Carmen Francis Collins was an inspirational lacrosse player, respected for his leadership and determination. His early life gave no hint of lacrosse stardom. Born and raised here, Carm played hockey with the 1960-61 OMHA Bantam titlists, and as a gridder, he was named MVP of both St. Peter’s juniors and Kenner Rams seniors; he also won city scoring honours in 1963.
Carmen quit lacrosse at 16 and returned at age 19 in time to play a half-season of junior. So he had to work very hard to make the senior Lakers. This club won the Pro Lacrosse League title in 1969, the OLA Sr. A crown in 1971 and the Mann Cup in 1973; Collins captained the 1973 team. A lithe, lanky defenceman who never backed from a challenge, he was Philadelphia’s first choice when the pro National Lacrosse League formed in 1974 and he led them to first place. However, a serious injury sidelined him and they lost in the playoffs.
Collins’ crowning touch came in 1978 when once again as captain, he led Team Canada to its first-ever world field lacrosse crown.