Box Lacrosse has been played on and off in York Region North since the mid fifties. For two glorious summers during 1954 & 1955, the Newmarket Community Centre was home to the legendary Jimmy Bishop and his Green Gaels who were OLA Junior "A" finalists both years. Lacrosse historians remember those years as a precursor of what has become of the most storied franchises in Canadian Junior history. In that era, the game and the teams were much more transient so off Jimmy went to a couple of other towns before settling in Oshawa in 1963 for the next thirty-three years. In 1996, the Gaels moved further east in Durham region to the growing community of Clarington which is where you will find them today.
For the next twenty-five years, Lacrosse was hard to find locally and was played by only a handful of energetic boys in Newmarket and surrounding communities of East Gwillimbury and Aurora. However that started to change in 1984, when local Junior "B" Lacrosse got a rebirth when a fledgeing group known as the Stallions began play out of Aurora. Although, they lasted until 1990 and did not leave a legacy of on-floor success, they reawakened the interest at the minor youth level.
Beginning in 1991, Bob Murden an East Gwillimbury resident created the Redbirds and with that began what is known as the modern era of Minor youth lacrosse in a North York Region. Initally, the number of participants was modest, but the seed had been planted. Today, the Aurora "Old Timers" league features a number of the early Redbird graduates who are now in their late twenties and early thirties. Not only do they want to keep playing, but you can also find them giving back to the game as Coaches and Referees.
In 1997, Paul Thibault took the local program one step further by establishing a House League offering for individuals who were looking for something a little less competitive and more convenient from a trravel point of view. Within three years , the Redbirds were providing recreational and competitive lacrosse to more than 450 boys and girls playing out of Newmarket and East Gwillimbury and also Aurora. With the 2001 season, came more growth as a result of an amalgamation with the local Newmarket North Stars Field Lacrosse program. The Redbirds were now seven hundred strong and winning some championships along the way. Starting with the 2003 season, Stew Beatty took over the leadership of the Minor program and remained President until the 2008 season when Randy Henderson came on board.
From a humble start, the Redbirds have grown to be one of the largest Minor programs in the province. The Journey from the Gaels of the fifties has now come full circle with another storied junior franchise from Scarborough coming to Newmarket.