LACROSSE GREATS RECEIVE THEIR DUE
January 2, 2022
2022 INDUCTIONS TO THE HALL OF FAME
After missing two inductions due to the COVID pandemic, the Board of the Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum is proud to announce its next induction will be October 2, 2022 at The Garden City Inn. Inductees include 2 teams, 4 builders, 2 player builders, and 11 players (spanning from the 1930's to the 1990's). Congratulations to all the inductees. More information about the induction will be made available once the COVID situation in Manitoba is under control.
- TAMMANY TIGERS- drawing players from local schools (Mulvey, Laura Secord, Alexandria, and Greenway) the Tigers dominated Senior lacrosse in the 1920's capturing titles in 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, and 1928 and competing for the Mann Cup emblematic of the Canadian Senior Champions in 1926 and 1928. The Tigers produced a number of great players including Dick Buckingham who was choose to captain the 1934 Olympic team and Art Shaw who was selected as one of the top five athletes in the first 100 years of Manitoba.
- 1995 NORTH AMERICAN INDIGENOUS GAMES GOLD MEDAL WINNERS- A team composed of indigenous players from Winnipeg's St. John's High School and Sagkeeng First Nation, coached by Mike Gilbert captured the gold medal at the third ever NAIG in Blaine, Minnesota. Anchored by the Bruyere Brothers Team Manitoba swept the round robin, winning the gold medal against Alberta.
- ERIC ABBOTT- started playing lacrosse in the West End of Winnipeg in the 1930's. While playing Eric coached Isaac Brock Midgets (1947) and Juveniles (1948) and Deer Lodge Juniors (1950) to titles. As the game of lacrosse started to wane in the late 1930's, Abbott worked on a committee chaired by Tom O'Brien to revitalize Canada's National Spot in Winnipeg. Under the banner of the Greater Winnipeg Lacrosse Association the game spread to over 15 community centers through out Winnipeg. While the boom faded in the 1950's, players from the GWLA went on to become the heart and soul of the successful Minto Cup teams of 1951, 1954, and 1955. The boom of players graduating from the junior ranks lead to the formation of a 4 team senior lacrosse league. While working to resurrect the game of lacrosse Abbott also became a nationally recognized referring at both Minto and Mann Cup finals.
- SAM SIMCOFF- As part of CALM (Committee for the Advancement of Lacrosse in Manitoba), Simcoff to the led role in re-introducing the game of lacrosse into Winnipeg's North End. Recruiting players and organizing teams Sam was able to build an organization playing out of Northwood Community Centre and Old Ex Arena. Some years Simcoff was coaching 2 or 3 teams. The players who started with Sam went on to play and coach for Boyd Park Nor' Westers and North Winnipeg Falcons.
- BRUCE PATON- Bruce is entering is 30th year of officiating lacrosse. Starting by refereeing minor lacrosse, Bruce has worked hard to develop his skills, earning the respect of his fellow referees and players. Bruce has been National Officiating Course Conductor, delivery referee training across Manitoba and Canada. Paton has officiated at numerous national championships and is current the Referee-in-chief for the CLA.
- TERRY ROSS- Terry was instrumental in he developing of the Manitoba High School Lacrosse League and the Junior Provincial Field Lacrosse program. Terry was a real "salesman" of the game, promoting it to high schools across the province, growing from a hand full of school to provincial program with teams from Thompson, The Pas, Beausejour, and Power View, The players developed in the high school league became the foundation for the success experienced on the national stage with Manitoba winning the National Junior championship in 1990. This rise to championship was a made for TV movie, with Team Manitoba going from being drubbed by the Oshawa Blue Knights in 1989 to easily handing the Blue Knights their first defeat ever. Terry was a key cog in the development of a provincial team program organizing practices, recruiting players and coaching the team in the '80's and '90's.
PLAYER BUILDER CATEGORY
- RON HENLEY- a noted goal scorer Ron started playing lacrosse at Isaac Brock Community Center in the 1940's winning the Bantam (1944) and Junior (1948) championships. In 1948 Henley represented Manitoba in the Minto Cup play downs. While an accomplished player, Ron made his greatest contributions to the game of lacrosse as an official. Ron along with Eric Abbott and Moe Renaud officiated most the junior and senior games played in Winnipeg. As well Ron trained and mentored new officials coming into the game. The respect for his ability was displayed at Ron was chosen to officiate in the Minto Cup play downs in 1950, 1955, and 1957.
- LOVRO PAULIC- started his playing career as a nine year old in Thompson, Manitoba, winning numerous provincial and interprovincial championships, representing Manitoba in both Field and Box Lacrosse. While still playing the game Lovro jumped into building lacrosse in Thompson taking on the role of President of Thompson Minor Lacrosse from 1985 to 1992. While President, Lovro coached Team Manitoba at the Canda Summer Games in 1985. From 1985 to 2012 Paulic was a certified referee and coach clinician. Lovro has made lacrosse an integral part of life in Thompson.
- JIM THOMPSON- did not start his career as a goalie, but he went on to one of many excellent goalies produced by the Province of Manitoba. Teams that "Tommer" backstopped won 10 championships in 12 years. Jim represented Manitoba numerous times from pee wee to senior. Nationally, Thompson was the difference maker, that allowed Manitoba to compete against superior competition- on occasion winning games against traditional powerhouse provinces. In the 1975, Winnipeg Free Press preview of the upcoming 1975 season stated: "Outstanding net minding is to be found in the play of Jim Thompson, unquestionably one of the best junior goaltenders in western Canada, if not the entire country".
- KIM RIDD- In today's hockey language, Ridd would be described as a power forward- rock solid on defense with the ability to put the ball in the net. Often over shadowed by more offensively productive players, Kim's hard work and dedication to doing the little things was always appreciated by his team mates and coaches. Kim was a critical part in winning 6 senior championships Kim was selected to present Manitoba nine times both in Box and Field Lacrosse.
- DAVE STONOGA- Dave was an excellent athlete, excelling in hockey, baseball, and football. After some private tutoring by Harry Nightingale and hundreds of hours of throwing the ball against the school wall, Dave transferred his natural athletic ability to lacrosse. Dave, a naturally quiet leader, led a team composed entirely first year players to the semi-finals or finals every year- finally winning the junior championship with the Nor'Westers in 1976, senior championships in 1979 and 1980. Dave represented the province on three occasions in 1976, 1977, and 1978.
- LIONEL MERRICK- The 5'10'', one hundred forty five pound Merrick started playing senior at 17 years of age. His goal scoring, and play making, combined with playing hard on his check earned him a spot on the 1949, 1950, 1951, and 1952 Manitoba All star junior team, that competed in the Minto Cup play downs. His performance at the highest levels of competition earned praise from the Winnipeg Free who described him as "the best wing man in Canadian Lacrosse." Merrick continued to play, capturing senior titles in 1955, 1956, and 1957.
- KEN WILLIAMS- Career, as a goalie, spanned from 1941 to 1969. In 1969 he set a league record for the number of minutes played in one season. His goal tending was described as "cat-like", "outstanding" and "specular", as he lead his teams to bantam, midget, Juvenile, and senior championships. In 1967, Ken was selected for the Most Valuable Player award- receiving the Ernie O'Dowda trophy. He was also selected to the senior all-star team.
- MARK FLYNN- Propelled by Flynn's scoring magic, Deer Lodge captured Bantam championships in 1944 and 1945, a Midget and Juvenile titles in 1946 and 1947 respectively. In 1947, Flynn was selected as one of five seventeen year old to represent Manitoba in the Minto Cup play downs. In 1948, he selected to represent Manitoba in Minto Cup play down. In representing his province on the national stage, Mark's play was described in the Winnipeg Free Press as "a standout player", "playing an outstanding game", and "star player". All these accolades were earned as a 17 and 18-year-old player playing against veteran teams whose players were mainly composed of 21 year olds.
- CHARLIE SABO- was described by Harry Nightingale as "a goal scorer and fierce competitor". Charlie lived up to this reputation, playing for numerous west end teams in the 1940's, capturing league championships in 1946, 1947, and 1948. The Winnipeg Free Press described Sabo's play "as putting on a one man show with five hard fought goals- three unassisted. This fierce, relentless play earned Sabo spots on Manitoba Minto Cup teams in 1948, 1949, and 1950. In the 1950 series against the St. Catherine's Athletics, described as "the finest exhibition of lacrosse seen in Winnipeg", Charlie's competitiveness earned him the nick name "Little Scooter."
- GEORGE "JEEP" WOOLLEY"- "Jeep" playing under the tutelage of Tom O'Brien for the Deer Lodge Hornets won Bantam A (1945), Midget (1946), and Juvenile (1947). After one year of playing junior lacrosse for the Wellingtons, Woolley went onto play for the Deer Lodge Senior side. In 1951, his play in the senior loop earned him a spot on the Manitoba Junior All Star team. Playing in the Western Canadian Minto Cup play downs, Manitoba upset a heavily favoured BC All Star team. The Winnipeg Free Press noted Jeep's performance as "tremendous on defence, while scoring a key goal on a solo effort in the second game."
- GLEN AND LORNE CHRISTIANSON- Glen started playing midget lacrosse in 1945 for Isaac Brock and his younger brother Lorne later joined him. In 1946 and 1947, The Brockmen made it to the league finals (records are not clear on who won the championship). In 1948 and 1949, the brothers played for the West End Memorial Juvenile team. The Christianson brothers paced the Memorials to a three game sweep of the Deer Lodge Hornets. The Winnipeg Free Press described the brother's contribution: "The Christianson boys, Lorne and Glen paced the West End Memorials" to victory". In 1950 Glen and Lorne went on to play with the Isaac Brock junior team, who lost to Deer Lodge in the league championship. In 1951 Glen and Lorne continue to play for their home club Isaac Brock. The 1951 season was the high point in Glen and Lorne's lacrosse careers- both were chosen to play on the Manitoba Junior All Star team against the BC All Stars.. Players from three strong junior teams made this the strongest team to represent Manitoba. In the preview of the series, the Winnipeg Free Press described the Christiansons as "marksmen- with best shots in the junior league". Living up to the billing as marksmen, the brothers accounted for 50% of the Manitoba scoring with Glen scored the series winning goal set up by his brother.
- AL SMALLWOOD- A local Elmwood newspaper described Al's progress in the game that "he took to the game like a duck to water" spending all his time around the Elmwood CC practising his skills and instructing the younger lads." His hard work and dedication was recognized with selections to the Manitoba All Star team to compete in Minto Cup play downs in 1947, 1949, and 1950. The over matched Manitoba squad (composed of numerous juvenile aged players) struggled, but earned the respect of their much older and experienced opponents. Al was a strong defensive force, contributing regularly with a goal or two per game. Smallwood capped his lacrosse career winning the senior championship in 1957 and an all-star selection in 1958.