The determination and dedication that Abe Pierson brought to his lacrosse career were evident at a young age. As a 12-year-old, Abe lost the sight in one eye in a freak accident. At the time, young Abe was a rabid lacrosse ‘nut,’ developing a deep and lasting love for the game while playing minor lacrosse at Kelvin Community Centre. The loss of an eye wasn’t going to keep him from the game he loved, and he spent hour after hour after hour practicing shooting and catching with his altered visual perspective.
Abe’s coaching career began in 1960 at Kelvin C.C. with a Peewee team. In the early ‘70s, he started lacrosse at Winakwa Community Centre with 180 eager youngsters in all minor age categories. Abe arranged all coaches and managers for all Winakwa Warriors (later the Tomahawks) teams except the ones he coached – Abe would alternate coaching his two sons, who were one year apart in age.
At this time, Abe was one of a handful of organizers that included Harry Nightingale, Ian Rafuse, Harry Rosenbaum, Meres Duch and Stan Tamre who jump started lacrosse across Winnipeg when the sport was rather stagnant.
In 1970, Abe coached an All-Star Peewee team that travelled to Toronto for a national tournament. Leading up to the tournament, the squad practiced regularly, but didn’t play a single game together. Yet, the youngsters played very well, defeating Quebec in the final to become National Peewee Champions. Abe coached two other All-Star teams at national championships – both at the Bantam level. He also was selected to coach provincial teams at the Peewee, Bantam and Junior levels; and mentored the Canada Games team in 1979.
Abe’s final year of coaching was in 1988, when he led his team to the Senior championship, defeating the Warriors in the final.
Abe has certainly left a lasting legacy in lacrosse in our province. Many youngsters learned lacrosse and life lessons from Abe – and they and the sport of lacrosse are better for it.