Carter Boys

Old die-hard box lacrosse fans in the Fraser Valley still look back with fond memories to a Senior “B” club that began in, of all places, Websters Corner.

It was the Depression years of the late 1930’s, and lacrosse was King. A number of good lacrosse players had skipped to a professional setup in the United States (i.e., Tonto Smith and Mousy Davy). When the Pro League folded, many players returned to Canada to find that they were not permitted to play in the old Inter-City Lacrosse League.

But Senior “B” was acceptable so, with the assistance of Maple Ridge resident Harry Carter, the Websters Corner team was founded. Although still in his teens, Harry took up the coaching chores. One of his first moves was to sign up his 17-year-old brother, Garnie.

But the Carter brothers, like many others playing in the tiny Valley community, were too good to remain in the minors.

Garnie was the first to move, donning the yellow Adanacs uniform in 1938; however, like most of the Adanac teammates, Garnie joined the armed services following the 1940 season and eventually attained the rank of flight lieutenant in the RCAF.

Garnie’s lacrosse career appeared to have ended in the mid-1940’s when he lost part of his foot in a hunting accident. Always a rover or forward, Garnie could no longer run.

Then, an injury to Adanac netminder Gordie Pogue and Garnie had a new sporting life. He put on the goalie pads and let the “A’s” to the Mann Cup finals. With Pogue back the following year, Garnie shifted to the Salmonbellies goal for another two seasons.

Brother Harry, in the meantime, joined the Salmonbellies in 1939, staying four years before suiting up with the Army team as playing-coach. With the war over, Harry returned to the ‘Bellies in 1945.

Before his retirement in 1949, Harry had captured three scoring titles, led the league in goals scored on three occasions, topped the playmakers once and won the Maitland Trophy in 1943.

During his 10-year senior career, Harry managed an impressive 425 goals and 231 assists for 656 points in 209 games – better than a 3-point-per-game average. He was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1971.

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