The Upper Canada Patriots of the OJHL, announce that effective July 12, 2011 they will be known as the “Toronto Lakeshore Patriots”. Founded in the spring of 2008, the Patriots have continued to improve each year and are now firmly established as one of the league’s leading franchises. After eliminating the Lindsay Muskies in play-off action, last year’s Patriots ended their season after being defeated by eventual OJHL Champions, the Wellington Dukes.
In discussing the name change Kevin O’Connor, team founder and Governor, indicated that “the renaming of our team is an important component of a comprehensive rebranding program that emphasizes our team’s home base is in the area of Toronto known as the ‘Lakeshore Villages’. The Lakeshore Villages includes the communities of Mimico, Long Branch and New Toronto. All three of these communities have a long history of supporting amateur sports.”
Team President Graham Carter also added that “as we enter our third year of operations out of the MasterCard Centre, we continue to build awareness across our home community. To continue to be successful with these efforts, we recognize that we require a name that is more closely linked to that area in the city in which we operate. By adding “Toronto” to our name we fall in line with the other teams in our league that include their home town in their team name”.
The Patriots plan to get out in the community and make their presence known through various charity events, tickets promotions and local activities. Patriots Head Coach, Mike Tarantino said, “We are looking forward to hitting the ice in September as a newly branded team. This name change will strengthen the Patriots' connection to the community.It’s important to bring awareness to the area that they have a successful Jr. A team playing in a first class facility in the heart of Toronto’s Lakeshore communities.”
The Toronto Lakeshore Patriots will open the year with 16 of their first 34 games at home in September, October, November and December with 24 total home games scheduled to take place Friday, Saturday or Sunday evenings. The Patriots will play 6 games against the St. Michaels Buzzers, their closest rival. Lakeshore Patriots team Governor, Kevin O’Connor said, “The inaugural Pats Season will be quickly upon us and we are excited to have such a strong schedule with mostly weekend dates.”
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)