From a 53-goal overtime game in the mid-70s National Lacrosse League to Quidditch players riding their brooms around Oshawa's Civic Fields, NLL alumnus Terry Lloyd has seen plenty of interesting sights through the years.
Lloyd was fresh out of junior lacrosse in Oshawa, Ontario when the NLL was created in 1974 and he was one of only a handful of players in the league who hadn't yet established themselves in the senior leagues of Ontario or British Columbia before playing in the pros.
That didn't keep Lloyd from excelling right off the bat. He was fourth on the Philadelphia Wings and in the top 20 in the league in scoring as a rookie. But that was just a warmup. Lloyd led the league with 113 goals and was the only member of his team named to the first all-star team for 1975, the second and final year of that iteration of the NLL.
Lloyd deflects much of the credit for his amazing season to his teammates, who were indeed a stellar group of players. Three of them—Carm Collins, John Grant and Larry Lloyd—were named to the second all-star team.
While he enjoyed playing with all of them, as well as fellow PLPAA profilee Jim Wasson [you can add a link to the Wasson story here if you like], it was particularly exciting for Terry to get to play with Larry Lloyd, with whom he'd never had the opportunity to be teammates because Larry is four years older.
“Playing together in Philadelphia was great as I looked up to my brother for many years playing sports in Oshawa,” Terry says. “It certainly made it easy on my Mother and Father deciding who to cheer for.”
While his teammates certainly played a role in his success, though, Lloyd outpaced everyone else substantially as a goal scorer in '75. Doug Hayes of the Long Island Tomahawks, with 104, was the only other player to hit the century mark in the 48-game season. Paul Suggate, who scored 115 in the 40-game '74 season completes the list of just three players who scored 100+ goals in the league.
Suggate's Maryland Arrows provided the competition for one of the craziest nights that Lloyd's Wings would encounter. The teams played eight times in 1974, with Maryland winning five, including a 27-26 overtime victory on August 2.
While the league was high-scoring, 53 goals was definitely an anomaly. Consider that in three of the games between the pair of teams that season, they didn't combine to score as many goals as Maryland posted in the overtime win.
Lloyd says that both goalies, Peterborough natives Wayne Platt and Greg Thomas, were great but that neither got any help from his defense that night.
“It was just one of those nights when the offense did everything right and the defense could do nothing right,” Lloyd recalls. “It was also unusual in the fact normal games between Maryland and Philadelphia were rough and tumble games.”
Among the highlights of Lloyd's post-NLL lacrosse career came when he reunited with several of his former Wings teammates to win a Mann Cup with the Peterborough Lakers in 1984. The following year, Lloyd got to experience something unusual, even by the standards of lacrosse in which it is very common for brothers to play together.
This was before the advent of the distinction between offensive and defensive players, so teams tended to have lines that would stick together, like in hockey. Lloyd played on a line with four Evans brothers: Paul, Brian, Mark and Dave (a fifth brother, Kevin, was a goalie on the team).
The Evanses are a well-known lacrosse family (after 1984, the Lakers wouldn't win another Mann Cup until 2004, when the next generation of Evanses was starting to suit up for their home town team).
The oddest thing about playing with the group, though, may not have been the fact that four members of the line were brothers. It was that Lloyd was the only righthanded shot on the line. With all four Evans brothers being lefties, “Brian drew the short straw and he got to play the wrong side of the floor with the out of towner.”
Lloyd's connection to the Evans family didn't end there. He moved into coaching during his playing days and among the players on his Oshawa Blue Knights field lacrosse teams were Scott and Shawn Evans, both of whom went on to successful pro careers of their own.
Lloyd was involved with starting up the Blue Knights in 1978. Almost a decade later he started helping Canada's field teams and he wound up serving as manager for Canada for seven world championships from 1988 to 2016. He's also been a manager for Team Ontario at various levels for many years.
On the box side, Lloyd coached in the Whitby Minor Lacrosse Association and helped coach the Jr A Whitby Warriors for a few years with Jeff McComb, Derek Keenan and Greg O'Connor. Those three all have connections to the current NLL: Keenan is the head coach and GM of the Saskatchewan Rush, McComb is his offensive assistant and O'Connor's son Reilly plays for the New England Black Wolves.
Lloyd never got far away from sports, even when he was at work. He started working for the City of Oshawa in 1976 at the old Oshawa Civic Auditorium where the Jr A hockey Generals played. From 1990-2015, he was a foreman at Oshawa's Civic Fields complex, where he says he got to interact with lacrosse, football, soccer, track and field people at the local, provincial, national and international levels.
The most unique of the sports taking place there was quidditch. If you're not familiar with quidditch, it is a grounded version of the game from Harry Potter novels in which players fly around on broomsticks, and Lloyd says it has a huge following.
He retired from work in 2015 and from all lacrosse in 2018. Lloyd has taken up walking “to keep the old body in shape,” and along with his wife Vi also enjoys seeing a lot of Mason, the grandson they welcomed to the world last August.
As for lacrosse, Lloyd says that now, for the first time in 40 years, he has the chance to just watch games as a fan. And he's taken advantage of that chance. He's a regular at games in minor, Warriors' Jr A, Arena Lacrosse League games at Oshawa's Children's Arena, and the Ontario Lacrosse Festival that is held in Whitby each summer.