Stealth player Joel McCready enjoys a day out with his daughters, aged 3 and 1. McCready says being a father is thing he is most proud of in the whole world. Submitted photo

For Vancouver Stealth dads, fatherhood is the ultimate prize

Four teammates reflect on how becoming parents has changed their perspective

Athletes, no matter their sport or level of play, strive to win.

Championships especially are used to define careers. And while winning titles or individual accolades at any level is a wonderful accomplishment, there is something special that tops even that: fatherhood.

Like many of his teammates with the Vancouver Stealth, Joel McCready is no stranger to success, both at the team level and in regards to individual accolades. But ask him what the best thing to ever happen to him and there is no hesitation in his answer — being a father.

McCready is one of four members of the National Lacrosse League team who will celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday with children of their own.

McCready has two daughters, while Cliff Smith and Rhys Duch each have a son and a daughter, and Matt Beers has a son with another child on the way.

“It is the best thing ever, to be honest. It is the thing I am most proud of in the whole world,” McCready said. “It is probably the best part of my life, having the girls at home and being able to play with them and watch them grow.

“Seeing the world through their eyes is an experience like none other.”

McCready’s daughters will turn four (in August) and two (in September), respectively.

And while some athletes struggle finding a balance between parenthood and continuing to excel in their profession, McCready said becoming a father helped him.

“It put things into perspective for me and it taught me how to be more patient and understanding and slow things down a little bit and take a look at the big picture before you dive into things,” he explained.

And with his daughters getting older and able to appreciate more what their dad is doing on the lacrosse floor, that makes things even more special.

“When you know they are in the crowd watching you, you want to make them proud and get a win and just play a way that they would be proud of.”

McCready’s teammates and fellow fathers also embrace and express the joys of fatherhood.

Duch’s son turn three in September and his daughter will be one in August.

“Fatherhood means everything to me. It’s a crazy, unique level of selfless love where everything you do is for them or with them in mind,” Duch said.

Smith has a three-year-old son and an 18-month-old daughter. Nearly every home Stealth post-game the past couple of seasons, Smith could be seen with his son either on his shoulders or in his arms.

The responsibility of fatherhood also helps the players put things in perspective.

“It helps remind you of what your priorities are. You can come home from a bad road trip and your kids have no idea (what may have happened) so it is good in that regard in that it helps you turn it off.”

One of Beers’ first jobs was at a daycare when he was younger, so playing or being around kids was no shock to him when his son was born. He and his wife are also expecting.

“We play sports, cars, read books, anything goes,” Beers said when asked to describe his parenting style. “I’ll do anything to get a smile.”

Family provided a balance from the rigors of everyday life.

“Being a dad has put things in perspective,” Beers explained. “Family is the most important thing in the world.”

It is a feeling shared by his teammates.

“Fatherhood has changed me quite a bit,” Duch said. “You are responsible for your kids and they rely on you in every way. It’s very humbling and at times extremely challenging, but an awesome feeling.

“It has taught me patience – lots of patience – and a new level of love, really.”


Rhys Duch with his two-year-old son and daughter, 10 months. Duch says fatherhood leads to “a crazy, unique level of selfless love.” submitted photo

Matt Beers enjoys an ice cream with his son. Another child is on the way. Beers says when it comes to his parenting style, he’ll do anything to get a smile. submitted photo

Just Posted

VIDEO: Bowen Byram named top prospect

Giants defenceman recognized as premier NHL draft pick

Langley golfer James Allenby takes Canada Life Open lead

Shot career-low round at Point Grey Golf & Country Club

Langley Thunder kick off 2019 season with high hopes

Home opener set for Wednesday, May 29 against the Burnaby Lakers.

Langley Home Expo shows off home and yard improvements

The annual event is being held in Brookswood at the George Preston Rec Centre

Winner announced in Langley Total Makeover Contest

Cheri McBride thanked friends and family for supporting her

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Most Read