October 14, 2021 - St. Catharines, ON - On the heels of the excitement generated by their first Ontario Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse Championship in close to 20 years, the St. Catharines Athletics Lacrosse Club are pleased to announce the immediate acquisition of the St. Catharines Spartans Junior B Lacrosse Club. St. Catharines will continue to be represented in the Ontario Junior B Lacrosse League by the same franchise, however under the name and operation of the St. Catharines Athletics Lacrosse Club.
The Spartans lacrosse name, and trademark red and white barber pole jerseys, have been synonymous with commitment and dedication in the lacrosse community for decades, and have stood as a testament to the work and efforts of the Engemann family in growing the game locally.
“Our family has been dedicated to the players and families who have worn Spartans colours for decades,” said Joe ‘Jojie’ Engemann, on behalf of the Spartans club. “We view this step as a transformational change in aligning the Junior franchises in the City of St. Catharines.”
This alignment, which would see two Junior franchises operated by the same organization, is a significant step forward in ensuring that lacrosse players in St. Catharines represent the double blue of the Athletics starting from their first days in minor lacrosse, right through to their final days of Junior.
“We’re humbled by the opportunity to pull together both clubs under the Athletics banner,” said Paul Coates, President of the St. Catharines Athletics Lacrosse Club. “We believe it’s foundational to the continued success and growth of lacrosse in our community. Honouring the history of both of these organizations going forward is a challenge that we look forward to.”
With the growth of lacrosse across Ontario, and given the prominent role that St. Catharines athletes have played in lacrosse at a national, international and collegiate level, the continued evolution of the local lacrosse landscape is a beneficial step forward.
“It’s important that the local lacrosse community focuses on ways in which we can improve the development models that we have in place,” added Sallah Hamdani, President of the St. Catharines Minor Lacrosse Association. “Lots of work remains to be done, but we’re proud to work with our Junior lacrosse partners in doing so.”
Thanks are due to Chris Spiers and his family for the operations of the St. Catharines Spartans for over two decades, allowing hundreds of local players and families to further their lacrosse goals and dreams at the Junior level, and often beyond.
The St. Catharines Athletics Lacrosse Club, which operated the Junior ‘A’ Athletics, was founded in 1877, and has won six Minto Cups in its existence. The St. Catharines Spartans Junior ‘B’ team, originally founded as the Niagara-on-the-Lake Warriors in 1979, has brought home two national championships (the ‘Founders Cup’), in 1981 and 1996.
Information will be brought forward in the weeks to come with respect to further alignment, synergies, positions and relationship partners. Parties interested in any aspect or position with the St. Catharines Athletics Junior ‘B” Club should make it known by sending your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org during this exciting time for lacrosse in the community.
President, St. Catharines Athletics Lacrosse Club