Commitment and talent: they are the two words that sum up the Molson Oldstylers lacrosse team from 1973 and 1974.
The Oldstylers won back to back provincial titles those years and claimed the big prize, the President’s Cup – emblematic of the National Senior B Championship – in 1974.
For Dave “the Wall” Jenkins, the win was sort of like a family affair.
“Every weekend, the team would get together for a social function,” recalls Jenkins, a goalie with the team.
Nobody missed a practice, he said. The sport and the team were too important to each of the players. It was that commitment that carried the team through two unmatched years for Prince George senior lacrosse.
“It is like a cult, it is like a religion,” explains Jenkins about Canada’s national summer sport. “It is so addicting, nothing else mattered. Everybody treated the game far more seriously than they treated their work.”
The Oldstylers also had no shortage of talent.
“We had some terribly skilled ball players,” Jenkins says “We had Gordie Jakubec who had probably been the top defenceman in the Western Lacrosse Association in the late 60’s. Al Watt was the top player out of the Okanagan, Al Lawson, one of the top players out of Nanaimo, Larry Calder, who was a top player out of Vancouver, Earl Hughes, who was the best man on loose balls I ever saw. All told, we were sound all the way through the lineup.”
The Oldstylers' run began in 1973. They upset the New Westminster Blues in the provincial final at the Coliseum, scoring a 7-6 win in the deciding game of a best-of-three series. Their trip to the national championship in Halifax took them to the final, where they bowed out to the Windsor Warlocks.
“None of the players we had in 1973 quit and we added two or three excellent playes who had played a lot of lacrosse elsewhere,” reflects Jenkins.
There was no denying the Oldstylers in 1974. After beating Vernon and New Westminster to claim the provincial title, they went down to Queens Park Arena in New Westminster and won the whole shooting match. The President’s Cup title added to an impressive resume, which had already included a provincial C title in 1971. They were runners-up to the provincial B champions in 1972.
The Oldstylers showed their prowess internationally as well, beating the Australian national side 7-3 in the Coliseum in 1974.
In winning a national title, the Molson Oldstylers brought glory to Prince George and served as a reminder of what this city is capable of accomplishing. They are an ideal inductee into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame.