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'We always remember': 2nd annual memorial game pays tribute to beloved teammate Luke West

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It's been almost two years since local Lacrosse player Luke West and five others tragically died in an August 2022 car crash on McKay Road. On Sunday, the Barrie Bombers and Huntsville Hawks – the two teams that West had strong ties to – faced off in a special exhibition game to honour the 22-year-old's legacy.

Luke West was a long-time member of Barrie's Bombers Junior C lacrosse team, having played from the age of 14 and returning as a volunteer coach during the 2022 season after his playing career.

"He was a true leader in the dressing room, so on and off the floor, a true leader as well as in the community," said Mike Hales, coach of the Barrie Bombers Jr. C Lacrosse Team. "We play for Luke every day. Every game we play for him. And that's why we keep living for him. We keep his number above our bench. We always remember Luke."

West followed in his father David's footsteps by playing lacrosse. The elder West is a Huntsville Hawks lacrosse legend.

"Westy was one of the toughest guys around back and back in the day. He was a strong kid. A Very strong kid. Luke was too," said Karl Carnduff of the Huntsville Hawks.

The Bombers retired Luke's number 11 jersey last April at the first memorial game played in his honour, while the Huntsville Hawks dedicated a seat in his memory at Jack Bionda Arena.

"He was always one of those guys that you wanted with you, behind you all the time," said Logan Flanagan, former teammate of Luke West. "He never gave up. The heart was always there."

A special ceremony before the game honoured Luke's former teammates and players he coached.

Proceeds from the game will support the Barrie SPCA, with the goal of surpassing the $1,700 raised last year.

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