Hall of Fame Inductee page:
reprinted from the Class of 2022 Induction Program:
RICH CATTON – A Hall of Fame Defensive Career
Born and raised in New Westminster, British Columbia - Rich Catton had a stellar lacrosse career. Introduced to lacrosse by his parents, he began playing for the Salmonbellies organization at age 4. As a youngster, watching the Senior Salmonbellies teams had plenty to do with Rich falling in love with lacrosse.
Playing in an era when players went both ways - playing defence and offence – Rich Catton was known for being an exceptionally reliable defensive player. Standing 6’1” and weighing 210 pounds, he was the type of player any team would relish having on their roster.
During his junior career, Rich played four seasons for the Junior Salmonbellies. In 72 games, Rich tallied 56 points including 18 goals. His Senior career, which lasted 16 seasons, saw him suit up for Vancouver Burrards, Surrey Burrards, Maple Ridge Burrards, New Westminster Salmonbellies, Victoria Shamrocks and Coquitlam Adanacs. Rich played 338 games of Senior lacrosse. He scored 87 goals, added 166 assists for a total of 253 points. Rich also amassed 770 total penalty minutes. Of note, Rich Catton played for the Mann Cup champion Victoria Shamrocks in 2005.
Rich also played 11 seasons in the National Lacrosse League for Buffalo Bandits, Vancouver Ravens, Calgary Roughnecks and Colorado Mammoth. He played in 155 games, scoring 11 goals, along with 58 assists for a total of 69 points, while totalling 336 penalty minutes. Rich was on the NLL championship Colorado Mammoth team in 2006.
Among his numerous personal accolades, Rich Catton was awarded Best Defensive Player with the Junior Salmonbellies in 1992; WLA Best Defensive Player with Maple Ridge in 1996; selected to the WLA First All-Star team in 1996; voted to the WLA Second All-Star team in 2003; winner of the Wayne Goss Leadership Award in 2004; selected as the WLA Fred Wooster Unsung Hero Award in 2006.
In addition, Rich played on Team Canada, winners of the Gold Medal in the World Indoor Championships in 2003. When hearing he was to be inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Rich Catton responded, “Initially I was surprised, particularly because I was a defensive player. Nonetheless, it quickly turned into a sense of pride and joy for myself and my family”.
Like any lacrosse player, Rich Catton recalls those special moments of his career - “My fondest team highlights are being part of Team Canada and winning the Box World Championships in 2003, winning the Mann Cup with Victoria in 2005, and winning the NLL Championship with Colorado in 2006.
On a personal level what I appreciated the most was the great friendships I made over the years and competing with my teammates”.
Thinking about those who were most influential on his career, Rich Catton stated, “I want to acknowledge and thank all my teammates, coaches and team personnel over the years. It’s hard to nail down a group of individual people to thank because there are so many, but for different reasons I need to acknowledge, my wife Jamie (for her support through the twilight of my career), Mom and Dad (for their love and support), Stan Stewardson (for his passion for the game), Frank Nielsen (for the opportunities), Chris Hall (for his demand of hard work and his kindness) Steve Govett (for his belief in me and putting the pieces together), and Wayne Goss (an inspiration to us all)”.
Rich knows growing up in New Westminster was pivotal to his personal success as a lacrosse player. Growing up following the Mann Cup Salmonbellies teams served as an inspiration for Rich Catton and his generation of young lacrosse players. “We are proud of the array of Salmonbellies championship banners hanging from the rafters at Queen’s Park Arena”.
Beyond his career as a player, Rich Catton coaches – beginning with coaching his own children’s minor lacrosse teams (son Cole and daughter Madison). This allowed him to spend more time with his children while winning provincial championships.
He has been coaching the New Westminster Junior A Salmonbellies since 2016. With the goal of winning a Minto Cup, Rich commented, “Coaching the Junior Salmonbellies has been a fantastic experience. I am very thankful to Walt Weaver and Warren Goss for the opportunity. Todd Stockdale and Bob Salt brought me in as an assistant coach and I learned plenty from both of them. It also allowed me the opportunity to coach my son Cole. It has been an amazing experience coaching along side these players as they have grown from boys in minor lacrosse into remarkable young men”.
His serious involvement and commitment to lacrosse has been part of who Rich Catton is – “Over the past 45 years, lacrosse has become a way of life for me”. His commitment, his contributions, his passion - have led to Rich Catton being inducted into the CLHOF in the Player category, Class of 2022.
Rich Catton - Supplemental
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