Doug Pettet is the first to admit he’s obsessed with lacrosse. His home features lacrosse equipment and sweaters.
He was a player for about two decades and can point to the scar on his forehead like a medal of honour from this playing days.
But these days he’s an avid spectator since, after all, he is 84 years age.
The resident of Langley Gardens seniors residence in Walnut Grove, who was recently an honoured guest at the 2019 World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championships at the Langley Events Centre, remains as passionate about lacrosse as when he was a young player earning his way to play in the Minto Cup.
For Pettet, it’s a game like no other.
“It’s a lot faster. It’s a lot different,” he said of modern lacrosse. “We didn’t have the shots, like the 30 second shots. We didn’t have helmets, and we had wooden sticks.”
But he take any chance he gets to enjoy the sport because he remains a lifelong fan.
“It’s a different game all together,” Pettet explained. “I think that you either love it or you don’t love it. If you love it, there’s no words to describe it. I’ve known a lot of people who’ve played other professional sports… they’d still rather play lacrosse. Of course, there’s no money in it.
It’s not like he didn’t try his hand at other sports before settling on lacrosse as his favourite.
“I played every sport that was known,”he said… I love sports. Lacrosse was my sport.”
But when he was playing it decades ago, there was no opportunity to make a living at it.
“I just wanted to play the sport. I never thought about being paid,” he said.
But he played as long as he could, starting at about 12 in the bantam division and playing into the masters division in his senior years. The name Pettet is part of the history of lacrosse, having competed in the Minto Cup in 1955 as a member of the Long Branch Monarchs.
Pettet grew up in Long Branch, Ont., a village that is now part of Toronto. As a young man, his attentions turned to his work which involved spending time in dangerous waters, searching warships for enemy mines and damage.
He is a veteran of the Canadian military, having been one of Canada’s original squad of Royal Canadian Navy Clearance Divers.