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Donald S. Lech

Don Lech excelled in several sports – swimming, football, basketball, handball and running to name a few.

As a youth he swam competitively for the YMCA, finishing with a bronze medal in the 1943 Ontario Junior finals. And as a gridder, because of his great stature, Don played tackle on several very good teams. His PCVS junior club won COSSA Lakeshore honours; the seniors won COSSA senior titles in 1946 and 1947, the latter undefeated. Lech played with Toronto Balmy Beach in the ORFU, and had tryouts with Calgary and Montreal before coming home to star with the Orfuns from 1954 through 1957. This city team won Eastern Canada laurels in 1954 and the Dominion Intermediate crown in 1955.

Don was known across Ontario as “Mr. Basketball” during his 25 years of managing the Jets’ men’s team, twice winning Ontario Intermediate B Championships. He was also a masterful handball player and ran a lot, once pounding out 1,000 miles in a year on the YMCA oval. Don was Sports Personality of the Year runner-up in 1963.

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