Bob the builder
Bob Luey can’t envision his life without lacrosse.
The 69-year-old St. Catharines native compiled a long and successful resume in the sport, particularly on the management side, where he acted as vice-president of the Minto Cup champion St. Catharines Athletics in 1990 and general manager of the Canadian junior A lacrosse champions in 2001 and 2003.
Luey was last involved with the A’s on a day-to-day basis in 2005 as president, but still keeps his hand in the sport helping out Corey Quinn with the A’s alumni.
“It does seem like a lifetime ago but the nice thing is now I have grandkids that play,” said Luey, a contract manager at A-1 Flooring in St. Catharines.
Luey’s son, Tim, has following in his father’s footsteps. Tim is a former Athletic who coaches the field lacrosse team at Brock as well as Team Ontario. His sons, Keegan, 9, and Emmett, 5, also play.
“The whole family just loves lacrosse, they’re as hooked as (my wife) Sue and I were,” Luey said. “They are quite involved with minor lacrosse.
“Lacrosse is going to be in the family forever.”
Reflecting on the past, Luey has fond memories of the Minto Cup championship teams.
“I think it’s a lot of circumstances came together at the right time,” he said. “The people I worked with, all of us kind of clicked and worked on so many aspects of the game. When Les Bartley came along, I think that was the icing on the cake. He gave us that push to be a winning team consistently.”
Luey said the staff also came to the realization the players themselves could be a huge help when it came to game preparation.
“Doing game plans, the players were involved because they were so involved against all these guys we played against since they were eight so they knew probably better than we did a lot of times,” he said. “It took a while to figure all that out. They were involved in all our game plans every game. We learned a lot that way from them.”
Luey was inducted into the St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 along with Jimmy Joy (lacrosse), Al McDonough (hockey), Terry O’Malley (hockey, baseball) and Doug Robinson (hockey).
He was caught off guard by the award.
“It’s something I never thought of,” he said. “Being involved with the Old Boys as long as I was, you see all the work they’ve done. One of their goals was to get as many members inducted into both Hall of Fames. They do good bios. When I read the bios of the people who have gone in before me, they were extensive and unbelievable. To get that recognition certainly makes me feel good.”
Luey was also inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named the winner of the Jack Gatecliff Award by the St. Catharines Standard in 1998.
Luey still keeps close tabs on the A’s as well as several former players.
“I think it’s great. (General manager) Jeff (Chcoski) and (coach) Steve (Toll) are doing a great job,” Luey said. “It’s just unfortunate the Minto Cup got canceled because I would say they would have been the favourite. That’s a shame and a shame the kids the graduated lost that chance. Ultimately, that’s what everybody looks for and keeps the players going.”
With the 2020 induction ceremonies cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BPSN will be looking back and featuring select inductees from previous years
BPSN’s coverage of the St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame is brought to you by Peter Partridge of Partridge Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities (www.peterpartridge.com).
It’s time to win with BPSN!
To entice readers to make a donation to our site, we have come up with a contest.
BPSN is offering four prizes to anyone who makes a donation to our site, regardless of the amount. In addition, anyone who has made a contribution to our site in the past three months will also be entered in the contest. The contest will run until March 1 at midnight. At that time, four names will be randomly selected and contacted as the winners.
Thanks to Jeff Chcoski at the Niagara Brew Club for generously donating a Free Batch of Wine, 30 bottles, valued at $135 while Dan Timmins at Big Red Markets in Thorold has donated a $100 gift certificate.
As well, the Niagara IceDogs have donated a framed, autographed picture of Akil Thomas scoring the golden goal for Canada at the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championships while the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games have donated a hoody.
Just hit the Support Us button located halfway down the right-hand side of our home page or the yellow Support Us button located at the top of each story to make your donation and be eligible to win.