Down Memory Lane - Roy Cavallin
Down Memory Lane Articles - by Stan Shillington
Without a doubt, he was the Burrards' own Energizer Bunny.
Bubbling with the tenacity of a bantam rooster, Roy "Fritzie" Cavallin injected a spirit of determination that has become the hallmark of the Burrards' organization over its 70-year life span.
While other 125-pounders played dipsy-doodle lacrosse, devil-may-care Fritzie smashed and bashed his way about the playing floor, which usually resulted in a goal or three. and/or a new cut or bump on his balding pate.
The competitive fire burning inside Fritzie made him oblivious to the size or reputation of any opponent. Undoubtedly, his most memorable battle pitted him against 220-pound Norm Baker. Oldtimers still recall the royal battle they staged for a good five minutes before they could be separated.
But, enroute to the penalty box, Roy's stick just happened to find its way between Baker's legs. Down went Baker, and the all-out battle resumed for another five minutes.
Oh, yes, the two combatants later shared a beer and a good-hearted laugh.
Who, then, would make a good official? You're right! In 1961, after he mothballed his equipment and stick, the bandy-legged dynamo became the Inter-City Lacrosse League's referee-in-chief -- he even took up a whistle and handled 26 senior games.
During Roy's 15-year, 326-game senior career, he earned a hefty 513 goals and 261 assists for 774 points. His goal total included 64 hattricks.
Much has been said about his fiery play but it was more flare than folly. Fritzie racked up a total of 567 minutes in penalties, paltry when compared with Burrards' top three badmen -- Ward Sanderson (1,647), Ron Pinder (1,207) and Bill Chisholm (1,157).
Probably as famous as his playing grit was his proficiency in taping the knees and ankles of athletes.
It began back in 1938 when Indians' Ray Baker ran into Roy, badly twisting his knee. Former newspaper photographer Chuck Jones taught Roy how to apply tape to strengthen injured or weak joints. Soon, Fritzie was not only doing his own knees, but those of his teammates, as well. Heck, on occasion, he also helped opposition players.
In 1954, Cavallin became the first trainer for the B.C. Lions football club, a position he held off-and-on until 1961 when he began and 18-year stint as the full-time trainer. That's when Fritzie picked up his second nickname. Quarterback Joe Kapp took one look at Roy's craggy face and immediately dubbed him "Rocky."
Roy went to the Mann Cup championships on five occasions -- 1940, 1945, 1949 and 1951 with Burrards and, in 1943, as a pickup player with Salmonbellies.
Roy Cavallin was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1970