CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Axemen recognized four former players at the Calgary Roughnecks Canada Day Tournament on June 28th. Those four players — Jason Wulder, John Kilbride, Kaleb Toth, and Jeremy Cheyne — are also former Roughnecks.
The four athletes were presented with a banner donning their name and number, which will hang in the home of the Axemen — South Fish Creek Recreational Centre.
“It’s really humbling for me,” Kilbride said. “It’s also a reflection of what lacrosse is; it’s a very intense sport and almost cultish. Once you’ve got that bug, you’re in it for life. I think this is a reminder to me that I’ve been around it for my entire life. It’s a really humbling honour.”
Kilbride spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons with the Roughnecks, playing in 17 games and registering 22 goals and 34 assists, while scooping 52 loose balls. From 2002 to 2006, Wulder played 78 games for the Riggers, while scoring 108 goals and 154 assists. He also added 312 loose balls.
“It’s actually pretty cool,” Wulder said. “It’s unexpected mostly. It’s cool that they are recognizing us for something we did 30 years ago. I’d like to thank the Axemen organization for doing it, because it’s an awesome honour and it’s really humbling. I really have no expression of what to say.”
Cheyne played in only one game for the Roughnecks in 2006, scoring two goals.
“With only four of us from the Axemen being honoured this way and the fact that we are all still involved in lacrosse, I think it is a tremendous honour,” Cheyne said. “The banners will hang at South Fish Creek, where the children play, so that will be fun for kids and myself.”
Toth spent 11 seasons in Calgary, winning two championships and recording 274 goals and 628 points.
Now retired, all four have continued to be an active part of the lacrosse community.
Wulder is currently coaching in the WLA for the Coquitlam Adanacs, Kilbride is the head coach of the Calgary Sr. Mountaineers, Cheyne is coaching with the Calgary Axemen, and Toth is an assistant coach for the Vancouver Stealth of the NLL.
Being recognizable lacrosse figures in Calgary, the athletes embrace being ambassadors for the sport in their town.
“I think Calgary really needs that,” Kilbride said. “We’re not the big centre that BC or Ontario is, where they’ve got a lot of the high profile players. In Alberta and in Calgary, we need those types of people. We need those people who have played at the really high levels and come back to contribute. We’re all still involved with it and it’s really meaningful for me to be that ambassador in my home town.”
Added Wulder: “It’s really honourable that they are recognizing that I am from Calgary. When we were younger, we didn’t have anything to look up to besides bush league senior B. So when we had the chance to come up to Calgary and play professionally, it was a big deal. At the time, I remember being asked where I wanted to get traded and it was a no brainer I wanted to come to [Calgary]. I’m glad I did.”