The Peterborough Lakers are one of the luckiest teams in Major Series Lacrosse. In addition to a rabid fan-base spread throughout North America, they also have the support of the city’s friendliest lion: Leo, the mascot.
Leo has been a lacrosse fan since he was just a cub and grew up playing the sport with his pride.
“Mom and Dad are big Lakers fans,” says Leo. When he heard the Lakers needed a mascot several years ago, he knew he would be the perfect choice.
“I’m not just Leo anymore… I’m Leo the Laker Lion!” he says proudly.
Mascots don’t actually speak; they entertain with their movement and interaction with fans. Therefore, Leo wrote out his responses to our questions for this story.
In general, mascots bring luck to the teams they represent while also adding entertainment value to the game’s atmosphere. Leo, in particular, is a lovable, energetic lion who lives for lacrosse, making him the perfect complement to the team.
Leo can be found in the stands during the game giving hugs and high-fives to fans. He’ll even break out into a dance to put a smile on a child’s face.
The players and staff love Leo and the passion he has for the Lakers.
“He’s a wonderful ambassador for the Lakers and the city of Peterborough,” general manager Paul Day says. “Our guys know that he’s a huge reason our fan base is so loud. He’s always the first one to cheer for us whether we’re doing well or we need a morale boost. He means a lot to our organization.”
When asked who his favourite player was, Leo immediately responded, “All of them!” However, he does have a particular affinity for Curtis Dickson and Zach Currier because their red hair matches his. Mark Steenhuis also holds a place in Leo’s heart because they both have unruly manes. “Mark and I were separated at birth!” Leo says.
Leo is excited for the upcoming MSL season.
“Every year it’s a dream come true to cheer on our Lakers,” he says. “Our team is always competitive which makes for great lacrosse.”
The 2017 Mann Cup will be hosted by the winner of the Western Lacrosse Association in British Columbia this September. The odds are good for the Lakers to represent the MSL in the national championship, and Leo will be there cheering them on at every home game this summer.
Make sure you say hi to him when you see him at the Mem Centre: interacting with fans is by far his favourite part of the job! Don’t forget to stop by the Lakers’ website, too, and catch up on Leo’s adventures at http://peterboroughlakers.ca/leo.html.