By NEIL ANDERSEN
Journal Sports Writer
The sports fans of Portland think of Jack Bionda as a rip-snorting, body-bashing defenseman for the Portland Buckaroos.
But the burly defender may be about to paint a new picture of himself.
When the Portland Adanacs tangle with New Westminster Friday in Memorial Coliseum, Bionda and one-time Buckaroo buddy Tommy McVie will be both wearing a uniform of Portland’s entry in the National Lacrosse Association.
“The old wheels (legs) are just a little fragile,” admitted Bionda, who hasn’t had a lacrosse stick in his hand for three years except to play with his kids.
“But the game has been good to me over the years and now I have a chance to help ‘em out here in Portland. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even think about it.”
Both Bionda and McVie will make their debuts Friday even though the Adanacs have a game Wednesday night in Victoria.
“Tommy will sign his contract Friday when the team gets to town and he’ll be on the regular roster,” pointed out Bionda. “It’s been awhile since Tommy has played but he’s had his best hockey years when he played lacrosse.”
To lacrosse fans, Bionda is considered the greatest of them all.
In 223 league games, Bionda scored 497 goals and 358 assists. In another 73 playoff games, he scored 144 goals and 103 assists.
He had 83 hat tricks in regular season play and 22 more in the playoffs.
He has an incredible record of 144 points in 29 games that may never be broken.
“There was no other player to compare to Jack,” said McVie. “When some player makes a real tricky shot, they refer to it as a ‘Bionda’.”
In his prime, Bionda was the difference between winning and losing.
“I’m not just a frustrated athlete,” grinned Bionda. “All I want to do is help.
“And I’m going to play…not just sit on the bench…but it will take me awhile to get into shape.
“I’ll be playing the odd shift and building myself up,” he concluded.
McVie is 33 years old and played last season with Phoenix in the Western Hockey League. During the off season, he makes his home in Portland.
(Oregon Journal, June 5, 1968)