A successful career both on the field and in the box has earned Kelowna’s Doug Deschner a place in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Deschner, who played the sport at both the national and international levels, was officially enshrined at the CLA’s induction ceremony Nov. 9 in Burnaby.
“It’s really about being honoured by your peers, and going into the hall with players you idolized,” said Deschner, 51. “To be included in the same category as players you looked up to, is very humbling.”
As a youngster growing up on the Lower Mainland, Deschner dreamed of one day playing field lacrosse at the NCAA level.
That chance came in 1982 when he was offered a scholarship at the University of Baltimore, where he played for the next three seasons.
Deschner was a pioneer of sorts, becoming one of the first B.C. products to complete his degree while playing field lacrosse at an American university.
“Getting a scholarship to play field lacrosse was a great opportunity for me, one of the highlights,” said Deschner.
In box lacrosse, Deschner won two Mann Cup titles during his career—in 1988 with the Brooklin Redmen in Ontario, and in 1989 with the New Westminster Salmonbellies.
In 1990, Deschner played on the national men’s field lacrosse team and was a member of the Canada’s silver-medal winning side that year at the world championships in Australia.
After moving to the Okanagan in 2003, Deschner shared his expertise with local associations, serving as Kelowna’s field lacrosse co-ordinator. He also coached Team B.C. at the U19 level, and led the Kelowna Minor Lacrosse Association U17 team to a silver medal at provincials in 2007.
Longtime local builder and coach Dan Wray said Deschner’s arrival in Kelowna was a big boost for lacrosse in the valley.
“It was awesome to have him come here, to share his knowledge of the game, and to mentor us for the last 10 years,” said Wray, the commissioner of the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League. “He helped the field lacrosse program here immensely.”
Deschner remains active in the sport from an organizational perspective and currently serves as a board member with the Canadian Lacrosse Foundation.