Athlete – Lacrosse
Photo Credit: Toronto Rock
A native of Whitby, Derek Suddons began playing lacrosse at the age of twelve, and over the course of what would become a 29-year career, he compiled an extensive resume of success at both the amateur and professional levels. This success began while playing minor lacrosse for his hometown Whitby Warriors, as Derek’s teams won several Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA) championships and Ontario Field Lacrosse Association (OFLA) titles from 1990 to 1994.
The accolades continued at the Junior A level, where his skill as a defender played a key role in propelling the Whitby Warriors to two Minto Cup Canadian championships (1997 and 1999). During this same time period, Derek received a scholarship to play field lacrosse at Mercyhurst College then Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, and though he subsequently transferred to the University of Hartford, Derek’s play at Mercyhurst earned him a place on that school’s all-time roster for men’s lacrosse. While at Hartford, Derek led the Hawks to a 14-2 won-loss record and a first-place finish in the America East Conference in 2000.
In 2001, Derek was a first-round draft choice, fourth overall, of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) Columbus Landsharks in professional box (indoor) lacrosse. In his 18-year NLL career, Derek played in 274 regular season games and an additional 20 playoff games with Columbus (2002-03) the Toronto Rock (2004-08), the Edmonton Rush (2009-12), the Buffalo Bandits (2013-15) and the New England Black Wolves (2016-19). Derek reached the NLL final on two occasions, winning the league title with Toronto in 2005, was selected to play in the 2012 NLL All-Star game, and currently ranks third all-time in NLL career games played.
At the Senior A level, Derek played in 387 total games (280 regular season, 107 playoff) over 21 seasons (1997-99, 2001-18) with the Brooklin franchise in Major Series Lacrosse (MSL). He was awarded the Merv McKenzie Memorial Trophy as MSL’s Top Defensive Player in 2004.
At the international level, Derek represented Canada at the U-19 World Field Lacrosse Games in 1996 (Tokyo, Japan), where his team captured the bronze medal.
Derek currently resides in Whitby with his wife Lisa, a teacher with the Durham District School Board, and their son Peter, who is active in lacrosse, hockey, golf, and baseball. Derek works as a firefighter in Pickering, and he dedicates many of his off-duty hours as a volunteer coach with the Brooklin Lacrosse Club and with his son’s various sports teams.