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

Last year’s Langley volunteer extraordinaire pushes others to ‘give it a try’

Volunteering is incredibly gratifying and fun, says Sylvia Anderson in her call for 2019 nominees.

VIDEO: Koch’s OT winner sends Giants to sixth straight victory

Three games, three cities, three victories for the Langley-based hockey G-Men.

Tardi earns first victory in quest for third national title

A Langley-based junior curling team is in Prince Albert, Sask. for the Canadian championships.

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Langley-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Most Read