Since the 1930’s, Elmwood has produced many good lacrosse teams and players. One of the most dominant teams started as the 1967 Kelvin Pee Wee Terriers. With all plenty of offensive talent the backbone of the team was their goalie- Jim Thompson. In newspaper clippings Jim’s play was described as “impressive”, “no better goalie in Manitoba”, and “a tower of strength”.
Thompson started his lacrosse career as forward.in 1967 with the Kelvin Pee Wees. That year, provincial team coach Abe Pierson selected Jim, to attend the first national Pee Wee championship. Thompson did quite well scoring a hat trick in one game of the tournament.
Thompson and his Kelvin teammates dominated minor lacrosse, from 1967 to 1975) winning 2 Pee Wee, 2 Bantam, and 3 Midget titles. These title were well earned, as the Terriers faced stiff competition from a well coached St. Boniface Tomahawk team, skilled Melrose club and determined Boyd Park Nor’ Westers squad. In the bulk of the newspaper articles outlining this period, the outstanding goal tending of Thompson was pointed to as the difference maker. One article described it this way: “ Nor’ Westers were victim of Thompson’s outstanding goal tending”.
Thompson’s wizardry continued with the Terrier winning two of three junior championships from 1973 to 1976. In 1977, the junior league was put on hold, to focus on preparation for the 1977 Canada Games in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Thompson and Boyd Park’s Dennis DeClerq were chosen to share the goal tending duties.
Thompson and teammate Dave Steckler were selected second and third overall in the 1979 junior draft by the Nor’ Wester Senior team. The superior goal tending of Thompson, the game moxy of Steckler combined with the North End toughness inherent in the Nor’ Westers carried the North Winnipeg to senior championships in 1979 and 1980. Thompson was selected player of the game in both championship series.
Thompson represented Manitoba at numerous national minor championships and competitions from Pee Wee to Senior
While work commitments made it difficult for Jim to play at the national level, he continued to play senior lacrosse until 1984. In his years in senior lacrosse he led the league in goal tending every year- never posting a goals against average greater than seven. Anyone who knows lacrosse understands this is an amazing feat in the fast furious game of boxla.
In 1975, Winnipeg Free Press described the play of Jim Thompson as “unquestionably one of the best junior goaltenders in western Canada, if not the entire country”. The only thing lacking in this statement is a mention of Jim’s ability to be a good teammate. For all his success, he always gave credit to hard work of the teammates who played in from of him.