Special article: Mike Kelley Memorial Trophy: Past, Present, and Future

Each recipient of the Mike Kelley Memorial Trophy receives a plaque, but there is not an official trophy anywhere. Moving forward, Kelley would like to see that change.

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Mike Kelley Memorial Trophy
Mike Kelley

Every kid that grows up playing lacrosse in Canada dreams of hoisting the Mann Cup: the Holy Grail of Canadian lacrosse. The brutal and quick nature of the WLA and MSL playoffs makes the Mann Cup one of the most difficult trophies to win in sports. During this brutal grind, the boys are separated from the men, and the biggest stars rise to the occasion of the moment. The Mike Kelley Memorial Trophy exists to honour those performances.  The trophy has been awarded to the most valuable player in Mann Cup competition since 1941.

Despite being such a prestigious honour, the trophy’s name does not hold close to the power that the Mann Cup’s does. Many people in the lacrosse community do not even know who Mike Kelley was. The history of the trophy and its name, while sad, has an interesting story that should be told.

Mike Kelley
Mike Kelley

Every kid that grows up playing lacrosse in Canada dreams of hoisting the Mann Cup: the Holy Grail of Canadian lacrosse. The brutal and quick nature of the WLA and MSL playoffs makes the Mann Cup one of the most difficult trophies to win in sports. During this brutal grind, the boys are separated from the men, and the biggest stars rise to the occasion of the moment. The Mike Kelley Memorial Trophy exists to honour those performances.

The trophy has been awarded to the most valuable player in Mann Cup competition since 1941. Despite being such a prestigious honour, the trophy’s name does not hold close to the power that the Mann Cup’s does. Many people in the lacrosse community do not even know who Mike Kelley was. The history of the trophy and its name, while sad, has an interesting story that should be told.

Each recipient of the Mike Kelley Memorial Trophy receives a plaque, but there is not an official trophy anywhere. Moving forward, Kelley would like to see that change. “It would be meaningful to me, but I just feel like it would be the right thing to do in honour of this guy that clearly worked very hard in trying to make lacrosse a wonderful Canadian sport,” said Kelley. This year, the Mike Kelley Memorial Trophy went to Dan Dawson of the Six Nations Chiefs. Next year, the Mann Cup returns West, which would give the Shamrocks a chance to win it at home, as they did two seasons ago.

If Kelley’s hopes come true, and an official Mike Kelley Memorial Trophy is created, then there is a chance that it will be awarded for the first time at the Q Centre to a player wearing a white and green jersey.

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