Armstrong Shamrocks legendary player/coach Lance McGregor will be inducted into the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, June 24, at the current Shamrocks’ Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League home game against the Kamloops Rattlers. (Justin Bongers Photography)

Armstrong Shamrocks legendary player/coach Lance McGregor will be inducted into the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, June 24, at the current Shamrocks’ Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League home game against the Kamloops Rattlers. (Justin Bongers Photography)

Armstrong lacrosse legend nets Hall of Fame call

Lance McGregor to be inducted into Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame at Shamrocks home game June 24

It’s the perfect place for his induction as he will have just come off the floor from playing the game he loves.

The Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame will induct Armstrong Shamrocks legend Lance McGregor on Friday, June 24, at the Shamrocks’ Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League home game against the Kamloops Rattlers.

McGregor, who turns 74 on July 11, will have just finished playing in a Masters Tournament game at the Nor-Val Sports Centre prior to the Shamrocks-Rattlers game and his induction.

“It’s an honour I certainly didn’t expect but it’s a very nice honour to have,” said McGregor, retired City of Armstrong employee and former city councillor, of his induction into the Hall of Fame, which is under the auspices of The Museum and Archives of Vernon.

Born in Rocky Mountain House, Alta., McGregor started playing lacrosse at age 12 in Vernon with his neighbour, Jock Worth, whose older brothers had hockey pads that Worth converted into lacrosse gear. Longtime Vernon lacrosse coach Ben Douglas gave Worth and McGregor free sticks for signing up to play.

McGregor moved to Armstrong in 1964 and developed under the coaching of longtime Shamrocks legend Ken Watt. He quickly excelled and was called up to play for the Irish at age 15 in 1965.

From 1968 until 1975 McGregor was the Shamrocks’ top scorer and led the Interior Senior B Lacrosse League in scoring in 1968 and 1973. In 1975, he was offered a professional lacrosse contract with the Long Island Tomahawks of the National Lacrosse League but chose to continue playing in Armstrong through the highly competitive years of the mid-1970s until the Interior Senior Lacrosse league folded in 1980.

From 1976 to 1979, Armstrong’s bitter rivals, the Vernon Tigers, won four consecutive provincial titles and three straight Canadian Senior B President’s Cup championships. A number of the Tigers have said Armstrong was the second-best team in Canada.

“I don’t know about that but the games with Vernon were always tough and fun to play in,” said McGregor. “I think we prepared them well for the teams they faced in the Canadian finals.”

(The current versions of both teams renew their league rivalry Friday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.)

During his playing career, McGregor led the Armstrong Shamrocks to five Interior Senior B Lacrosse Championships. He played 14 seasons in Armstrong, compiling 985 points on 370 goals and 615 assists.

Through the 1980s, McGregor continued his involvement with lacrosse as a minor lacrosse coach and as a player – reuniting with rivals from the Tigers to form the Okanagan Masters Lacrosse team and lead that team to win consecutive Masters lacrosse championships.

McGregor was awarded the British Columbia Lacrosse Association Coach of the Year Award in 1991. In 1994, when the Interior Senior B Lacrosse League was re-established, he was named Shamrocks head coach and led the team to five Interior Senior B Lacrosse Championships including three consecutive wins from 1995-1997.

In 1996, the Shamrocks permanently retired his No. 15 jersey.

McGregor’s biggest fan will be missing from the Hall of Fame celebration.

His wife of 50 years, Mavis, recently died of cancer.

“She’s the one who always brought me back to earth,” said McGregor.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Armstrong Shamrocks tame Vernon Tigers

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Armstrong Shamrocks legendary scorer/coach Lance McGregor, shown at the team’s awards night in 1976, will be inducted into the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame at the Shamrocks’ TOSLL home game Friday, June 24, against the Kamloops Rattlers. (Contributed)

Armstrong Shamrocks legendary scorer/coach Lance McGregor, shown at the team’s awards night in 1976, will be inducted into the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame at the Shamrocks’ TOSLL home game Friday, June 24, against the Kamloops Rattlers. (Contributed)

McGregor (right) with the man he called “one of the two best goalies he ever played with,” the late Dan Buchanan (Brent Taggart was the other). (Contributed)

McGregor (right) with the man he called “one of the two best goalies he ever played with,” the late Dan Buchanan (Brent Taggart was the other). (Contributed)

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