Victoria Shamrocks DJ Tom Grainger shows off his work space at The Q Centre in Colwood. Grainger, alongside Cliff Lequesne and Bill Sanderson make up the team’s entertainment crew for all home games.                                (Kendra Wong                                /News Gazette staff)

Victoria Shamrocks DJ Tom Grainger shows off his work space at The Q Centre in Colwood. Grainger, alongside Cliff Lequesne and Bill Sanderson make up the team’s entertainment crew for all home games. (Kendra Wong /News Gazette staff)

DJ rocking the ‘Rocks

Meet the team behind the entertainment at Victoria Shamrocks games

Sitting side-by-side in the sound booth on the main level of The Q Centre, the Victoria Shamrocks’ entertainment team works seamlessly together.

As part of the Shamrocks’ introduction, DJ Tom Grainger cues the intro music as the team heads down the tunnel and out onto the floor for their second home game of the season. Announcer Cliff Lequesne energetically announces the team’s roster to a chorus of cheers from fans waiting to watch the Shamrocks take on the New Westminister Salmonbellies in Western Lacrosse Association action.

When play begins, the Salmonbellies strike first. That’s when scorekeeper Bill Sanderson, who is responsible for calling the goals, assists and penalties, springs into action. He jots down the goal scorer and the assist before Lequesne announces the names.

It’s the type of chemistry the trio has formed working together in close quarters for the past six years.

Sanderson has been at the score-keeping helm for several decades.

In the 1970s, he coached soccer at the high-school level when a fellow soccer coach, who was also a minor official with the Victoria Cougars, asked him to join the team. He started off working in the penalty box, before moving up to scorekeeper in the 1980s and eventually joining the Shamrocks.

“It keeps me going,” said Sanderson, 80.

“In retirement I enjoy getting out and I enjoy thinking. For my health, I love this so much … I don’t want to quit until I have to. Tom, Cliff and I have a really good relationship.”

Lequesne, who has been the Shamrocks announcer for several decades, and Sanderson prefer to keep things traditional, reading off a hard copy of a script and jotting down goals, assists and penalties with a pen and paper.

Grainger is the rookie of the entertainment team, and was recruited by the Shamrocks six seasons ago, just before the team’s run at the 2013 Mann Cup.

As the DJ, Grainger is responsible for playing music during stoppages in play – usually after goals and during penalties. Armed with an arsenal of songs, Grainger is constantly on alert to find the perfect song to play.

Grainger described the music as a mix between hockey (rock music) and basketball (more hip hop and top 40s) culture, and lacrosse is a mix of the two. In the end, fans still get excited by the favourites such as Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond and Don’t Stop Believing by Journey.

“I still feel like the rookie on the team because Cliff and Bill have so much experience and have so much passion for the sport … They’re both legends for sure,” said Grainger, a Langford resident and a teacher at Belmont Secondary school. “Just being able to watch the game and hang out with Cliff and Bill – it’s a fun way to spend some summer nights.”

But it’s not always smooth sailing. On this particular Sunday, there are a handful of changes that are made to the script written by game-day manager Michelle Evans – changes in prizes, contestants during games at intermission or adding a birthday announcement. That’s why communication is key.

“Sometimes we’ll go through stretches when goals are being scored and penalties are being called faster than we’re able to get them out, so co-ordinating between the goal song, and the announcements and Bill calling the goals, it takes a lot of communication,” Grainger said.

“The fans and the players expect a professional production, so we try to make sure all the small details are done in the same way as if we were in a 20,000 seat arena.”

The entertainment team gets to work every home game at The Q Centre.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstream

gazette.com

Victoria Shamrocks

Just Posted

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Saanich author Hannalora Leavitt hopes her new book, This Disability Experience, helps to dispel the ‘otherness’ that often surrounds people with disabilities. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Vancouver Island author demystifying disability and dismantling otherness

Hannalora Leavitt, who lives with a visual impairment, wants to change how people look at disability

Taya Lee is a Grade 11 student at Glenlyon Norfolk School investigating the use of algae for cleaning contaminated water and producing biodiesel. (Courtesy of Taya Lee)
Algae in can clean water, produce biodiesel, says Vancouver Island Grade 11 student

Taya Lee is presenting her project at the Sanofi Biogenius Canada Innovation Summit

NEW CUTLINE Payphone use is declining dramatically. (Black Press Files)

This payphone sits just east of TD Bank in Parksville, on Harrison Avenue. (Emily Vance photo)
Last call approaches for Vancouver Island payphones?

Some payphones don’t get used for days as mobile phones diminishing need

Garden centre manager Jack Olszewski and Chris Beaudoin say business has grown by 50 per cent at the Sooke Home Hardware Store. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
Flower power: COVID restrictions fuel boom in Vancouver Island gardening

More people seeking flowers to add colour, says Sooke landscaper

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read