Burlington kid on England's national lacrosse team

BILL LANKHOF

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

It was some weeks ago that Terry and Lynne Winter's son told them he was applying on the internet to play for England's national lacrosse team.

They smiled and nodded. "We sort of said, 'Oh! Okay,'" mom, says of 18-year-old Kevin, a Grade 12 student at Burlington's Bishop Reading.

And, everyone went on with life.

Kevin sent off his bio -- how he'd been playing lacrosse since four. How he's played with the Ontario Under 19 program. How someday he hopes to earn a lacrosse scholarship, study kinesiology, become a paramedic and maybe play in the National Lacrosse League. Dad goes back to his job in the Toronto Sun press room. Lynne went back to doing mom stuff. And, then, the phone rang.

Surprisingly, it was not someone trying to sell life insurance. It was not someone asking them to support an orphan, adopt a baby harp seal or give them a free trip to Suckerville.

"It was a shock. It came out of the blue when they said, 'Get your English passport. You're on the roster,' " Lynne said. "It was like, someone's got to be kidding! We thought if they were interested he'd have to fly to England and try out. He's got his number and uniform and everything."

Kevin Winter: No. 17 on your program. Defence. England National Lacrosse Team. World Lacrosse Championships.

And we thought this stuff just happened in movies. It turns out the coach of the England team is Chris Hall, who also heads up the Calgary Roughnecks franchise in the NLL. "He called some people Kevin has played with. It's not like he doesn't have any credentials," Lynne said. "They've got some idea of what he can do if he's playing Junior A here. But he'll still be the youngest guy on the team."

Kevin is eligible to play for England because his parents are English, having emigrated to Canada in 1976.

He'll meet his teammates for the first time May 7, a week before the world championships begin in Halifax and, ahhh ... Ooops! Phone's ringing. Gotta go -- I've put my name in for the Pulitzer and they're sure to be calling any day, now.

GRAVE SITUATION

So, if Wade Belak pops Cam Janssen and he does a Masterton on the ice is Belak still nominated for sainthood by the Leafs' Nation?

And, if Todd Fedoruk's head ends up having more plates than brain cells, does Colton Orr get indicted? Or suspended?

Some might suggest Belak, with much public sentiment on his side, went head-hunting just like Todd Bertuzzi. Only the end result was different: This time nobody's neck got broken, nobody got sued, nobody even got hurt. Just a lot of cheers and jeers.

Belak, say the proponents of fisticuffs, was only answering The code of the NHL. Of course, that's what a lot of people said about Bertuzzi, too, before it all got out of hand. So maybe it's not Orr's fault. Maybe Belak isn't asinine -- maybe The Code is.

Maybe there's only one way the NHL bans fighting. Someone's got to die. Any volunteers?

SMART 'N' SASSY

Eleven pro wrestlers, including the WWE's Randy Orton, are linked to the latest steroids investigation. Adds Dwight Perry, Seattle Times: "In a radical departure from the usual athlete denials of drug use, however, the rasslers claimed they were simply faking it."

WHAT'S IN A NUMBER?

Certain numbers are identified with certain players. No. 9 will always be Gordie Howe. Wayne Gretzky is No. 99. Bobby Orr is No. 4. Larry Bird's 33 is so unique to his legacy that a convicted shooting suspect once asked a judge to bump his prison sentence from 30 to 33 years.

A number has to tell you something about the player. For instance, Sacramento's Ron Artest needs to switch his sweater number. I'm thinking 9-1-1.

GREAT GALLOPING GEEZERS

From the Memory-is-the-first-thing-to-go file:

A reception honouring the 1967 Maple Leafs team that won the Stanley Cup was held this week. They brought out this tall silver thing that looks a bit like a miniature Stelco smokestack. Someone said it was the actual Cup but nobody was sure. Hey, this is Toronto. We haven't see the real thing in 40 years. Asking a Toronto hockey fan what it feels like to win the Stanley Cup is a lot like asking Madonna what it was like to be a virgin. It's hard to remember that far back.

CLOSING QUOTE

"I'm so proud of the little stinker."

-- Paula Tuck of Tooele, Utah, after her daughter Katherine's noxious Nikes won the 32nd annual National Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest in Montpelier, Vt.


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