Members of York University’s Athletics & Recreation community are devastated by the news that Lions’ men’s hockey alumnus Mark Cross was one of the casualties in the fatal bus crash on Friday evening involving the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL).
Like all members of the hockey community, the York Lions students and staff are extremely saddened by the news of the crash. As with many U SPORTS teams, the Lions were actively recruiting a number of the players from the Broncos team. The University’s recruitment of the Humboldt players came in large part due to the presence and recommendation of Cross, an assistant coach with the Broncos.
“Mark was exceptional young man, an assistant captain during his time at York and the team MVP in his fifth and final season in 2015-16,” said Lions men’s hockey head coach Russ Herrington, who was an assistant coach for the squad when Cross was in his final season. “He was a ferocious competitor who had a vibrant approach to life. There was no one in the room that commanded more respect than Mark. To say we were proud that he was giving back by becoming a coach would be an understatement. Mark was in his element in the hockey arena and I could think of no better mentor for junior hockey players to have than Mark Cross. He has been taken away from us much, much too soon.”
Cross spent five seasons with the Lions from 2011-16 and graduated with his degree in kinesiology and health science in 2016. His long-time girlfriend also graduated from York University and spent five years working as a student staff member in Athletics & Recreation.
“This crash is an unbelievable tragedy for everyone involved. Far too many young lives were taken from families, friends and communities far too soon,” said Jennifer Myers, executive director of York Athletics & Recreation. “We are extremely sad to learn that Mark was one of those who lost his life; he was a tremendous member of our family and an incredible leader in our program. The thoughts and prayers of the entire York Lions community go out to Mark’s girlfriend, his parents, family and friends, and to all those affected by this tragic event.”
For those that want to support and keep Cross’ memory thriving at York University, a fund has been established by the Athletics & Recreation department to support the men’s hockey program in his memory. More information is available here.