Down Memory Lane - Mac Maude
Down Memory Lane Articles - by Stan Shillington
He defied the typical profile of a star athlete -- a portly body topped with curly red hair and a bushy moustache that fought to cover his chubby cheeks but could never hide his carefree grin.
Certainly, not the prototype of a rugged lacrosse player; but, appearances aside, could Mac Maude ever play goal.
Born July 14, 1956, in Orangeville, Ontario, Mac first began playing lacrosse at a jail in his hometown -- not in the jail but, rather, at the jail.
"I had never heard of lacrosse until I was 11 when a couple of friends said they had a game they wanted me to try," Mac recalled in a 1987 interview.
"So I put on a bunch of old baseball equipment, the chest protector end knee pads and went out behind the old Orangeville jail. There was a 30-foot stone wall at the jail where my friends drew a four-by-four net on the wall with chalk and took shots at me."
Countless shots followed as Mac took on the persona of Paladin, you know, "Have pads, will travel."
The Happy Wanderer played in his hometown until joining the Bolton Wanderers for two years of Junior 'C' lacrosse, followed by three seasons (1975-77) with the Junior 'A' Bramalea Exceisiors.
By now, he was gaining a coast-to-coast following. Bramalea travelled West in 1976 in search of a Minto Cup title, only to fall victim to Victoria. The following year, Brampton seniors picked up Mac to defend its goal in the Mann Cup series against Vancouver. Again, the Ontario representative failed in its quest, despite the brilliant netminding of young Maude.
Two trips to British Columbia convinced Mac to heed the siren call of "Go West, Young Man."
He joined the Nanaimo Timbermen in 1978 but, after four seasons, the Hub City's franchise folded. No problem, though -- for gas money and the love of the game, drove south to Victoria where, for the next six seasons, he basked in some of his most productive years.
In 1987, Mac returned to Nanaimo to backstop the Timbermen's Senior 'B' entry; however, wanderlust is a hard habit to break for, over the next four years, Mac loaned his talents to Burnaby, Vancouver, New Westminster and Victoria Senior 'A' clubs.
The genial goalkeeper continued to play into the early 1990's when a series of concussions forced him to pack away his equipment. But his dedication to the game continued as he spent countless hours teaching the sport to youngsters and representing Vancouver Island minor lacrosse on the B.C. Lacrosse Association executive. He was also instrumental in bringing Senior 'A' lacrosse back to Nanaimo in 2005.
During his 17-year junior and senior playing career, Mac saw action in the 1976 Minto Cup championships, the 1977, 1982, 1983 and 1984 Mann Cup series (winning in 1983), and capturing three silver medals in the national Senior 'B' playoffs.
Still smiling, but on a serious note, Mac once exclaimed:
"I haven't any regrets playing lacrosse. It's not a sport you can make money at and I don't know that it ever will be, but the people you meet and the good times you have are well worth it."
Every person he met became his friend, and the times were always good; however, tragically over the 2006 Labour Day weekend, Mac Maude passed away.