2022 INDUCTEE- CHARLIE SABO
Charlie Sabo's lacrosse journey started with immediate success. In 1944 as part of the Sam Evan's Orioles (Now Orioles Community Centre), he captured the City Bantam A Championship. The club reached the finals in 1945 losing the Bantam title to a strong Deer Lodge team. In 1946, as captain, Sabo lead Orioles bantam squad to the city championship.In 1947, Sabo followed up with a City Midget Championship with Isaac Brock. As well in '47, Charlie was a regular call up to the Juvenile squad, scoring hat trick on numerous occasions.
Paired with future hall of famer, Bill Curtis, Sabo was part of a dynamic one-two scoring punch for Isaac Brock. After years of the west end team being close to the tile, the Brockers defeated the perennial powerhouse Elmwood crew IN 1948.
Sabo represented Manitoba in three Minto Cup play downs in 1948, 1949, and 1950. In 1948 Charlie was part of the Junior league champion Isaac Brock bunch representing Manitoba against Ontario champion St. Catherine Athletics. The over matched club team was beaten soundly by the powerful Athletics. In 1949, as part of an all-star team, Manitoba travelled to BC and was beaten by the BC champion two games straight. In 1950, things were different as the Manitoba All-star team was considered the best team the province had ever assembled. Facing the St. Catherine's squad again, the two teams put on what the Winnipeg Free Press described as the "finest exhibition of lacrosse" seen in Winnipeg. The Free Press stated the All-star squad came "as close to an upset as possible" losing two straight games by the scores of 16-14 and 12-11. In both games, Manitoba held the lead but was unable to stop the offense of the Athletics. Because of his swift play and goal scoring prowess the Free Press gave Sabo the nickname of "Little Scooter". Sabo scored two goals in each of his Minto Cup games.
As a junior, Sabo played in the senior league with the Argo's finishing in the top ten in scoring in 1950 and 1951.
With the number of players in the west end dwindling in 1952, Sabo and some of his west end mates joined the East Kildonan Squires. Charlie continued his scoring ways with the Squires.
Through 1954-1955 Sabo joined the West End Memorial senior team. Back with his partner, Bill Curtis, Charlie was one of the top goal getters in the senior league. The Winnipeg Free Press described Charlie's play: "Sabo, a stick out, both ways, fired 4 goals and helped on another occasion, to almost single-handily keep his club in the fight". In another game the Free Press lauded Sabo "as putting on a one-man show with five hard fought goals- three unassisted".
In 1956, Sabo moved to the new St. James team. The newspapers referred to this team as the Jimmies or the Lodgers (as the team played out of Deer Lodge Community Centre). Playing with the St. James squad until 1958, Sabo continued to be a prolific scorer- finishing in the top five in goals all three years.
When the senior league disbanded in 1959, Charlie retired from the game. Looking back on Sabo's career, Harry Nightingale described him as "an elite goal scorer and fierce competitor".