Author’s note: Welcome to the second installment of a series focused on lacrosse in literature. Lacrosse Book Reports, if you will. This submission puts focus on John Tavares: Soul to the Goal, a short biography of one of the greatest lacrosse players of all-time, John Tavares. We won’t be spoiling the books too much. Our goal is to let you know they exist and how to add one to your library.
Continuing to binge on my little library of lacrosse literature as I stay in quarantine with the rest of the world, I knocked out a short little read before bed the other night. Just like the last Lacrosse Book Report, I’m skimming through my assemblage of twelve or so books, from the roots of the game to the birth of professional lacrosse and beyond. This particular read I scored in the team shop at the KeyBank Center, home of the Buffalo Bandits. Lucky for you, they’re on Amazon too.
No, this isn’t about Toronto Maple Leafs superstar John Tavares, but it is about his uncle, the man from whom he got his namesake. We like to think the lacrosse JT is a little more B.A. You’ll have to read about him to decide for yourself.
One to the next report: John Tavares: Soul to the Goal – A Concise Biography of the Greatest Ever. Like it? Buy it. If not, hopefully you learn something.
John Tavares: Soul to the Goal
Richard L. Jacob, Ph.D.
Copyright 2016, published by Sustain Progress, LLC
New for $14.95 on Amazon!
In less than 100 pages, John Tavares: Soul to the Goal will give you a unique look into the upbringing, career and home life of
one of the greatest indoor lacrosse player s to ever grace the floor. From his humble roots as the fifth child in an immigrant family to his own blue collar career as a math teacher and life as a father, the quick read covers all corners of the Tavares’ picture. From 1992 to 2015, Tavares served as a superhero to the game of lacrosse, particularly the city of Buffalo where he donned the orange and black sweater of the Bandits for 24 seasons. Three NLL MVP awards, 19 total All-Pro selections and four championships cap off one of the most inspiring careers in pro sports. It would be hard to imagine anyone ever snapping his records for games played (306), career goals (815), career assists (934), and career points (1,749).
The title was published shortly after the ironman’s retirement from the NLL as player at age 47 and step into coaching. With recollections from family, friends and coaches adding to the accounts of historical accomplishments, the book starts to go below the surface of what Tavares has meant to the lacrosse community. Memories plucked right from the family photo album line the pages with pictures from his childhood home to the hoisting of hardware reaching cover to cover.
For lacrosse-crazy young minds, John Tavares: Soul to the Goal is book report gold. It’s a quick read packed with history and even includes a reference section for those working on their studies to expand further into research. Tavares deserves to be on the Mount Rushmore of lacrosse players and the perfect role model to be immortalized through text.
Enjoy these three quotes that align to make a quick passage from John Tavares: Soul to the Goal as John, his nephew, John, and wife Barbara reflect.
John Tavares: Soul to the Goal excerpt:
“If my nephew John would have played professional lacrosse, he would have broken all my records.” – John Tavares
“It’s an honor for me to call you my uncle and look at you as the greatest lacrosse player of all time. And, of course, you’re just such a tremendous person.” New York Islanders captain John Tavares
“I remember being at my in-laws’ house and watching my mother-in-law make repairs to John’s kidney pads on a number of occasions, and I believe John wore the same pads right up to his retirement. When John was attending Wilfred Laurier University, he would come home with laundry and would need it all done with a short turnaround time. His mom tired to keep up, but with no dryer and relying on air-drying, she and her husband decided it was time to purchase a dryer. It was a big deal then, but in a way, thanks to John, the dryer came sooner than later.” – John Tavares’ wife, Barbara