Lacrosse community mourns

MARK KEAST -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:15 AM ET

Two busloads of friends and teammates are driving all the way from Kentucky for his funeral. Friends in his hometown of Oshawa expect Oshawa Funeral Service to be packed this Saturday at 1 p.m. when they bury him.

That's how much Rick Passfield was admired. The 21-year-old, described as fun-loving and upbeat, died suddenly Monday during a conditioning drill at Bellarmine University in Kentucky, where he was on a lacrosse scholarship.

Passfield had just completed two of four quarter-mile runs when he collapsed. Doctors were unable to resuscitate him.

The Passfield name is well known in local lacrosse circles, especially in the Whitby area, where Rick played his minor lacrosse. Passfield was remembered yesterday as a lacrosse goaltender who stole games for his team. He won a Founder's Cup trophy, which goes to the provincial junior B champs, as a member of the Clarington Green Gaels, in 2002.

"He was authentic, the real deal. A great kid," said Doug Luey, president and general manager of the Gaels

By all accounts, Passfied was in good physical condition, and was competing for the starting goalkeeping position for the field lacrosse team. A coroner said a preliminary autopsy did not reveal a cause of death.

"In field lacrosse, (the goalkeeper has) to be a good athlete," said Stan Cockerton, the executive director of the Ontario Lacrosse Association, who's also from the Whitby area and knows the Passfied family well.


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