Remember last fall’s playoff final series between the Wings and Rochester (Long Island)? Remember the intimidation used
on many of the Philadelphia players? How about the constant harrassment of John Grant? Well, you can forget it now, because
it probably won’t happen again. At least not as long as Messrs. Derek Forbes and Wayne Spooner are wearing Wings’ uniforms.
Forbes was chosen on the first round of this past winter’s draft and, when people asked the Wings just why they made a defenseman,
who is not a scorer their initial pick, the management pointed to the desperate need for a policeman, which
every lacrosse (and hockey) team must have.
Spooner, who tried out for the Philadelphia Firebirds last October, was drafted on the 22nd round. He is known as an adept checker, but
more than proved his worth in a different way at Maryland in early June. The Wings were being soundly beaten on the scoreboard
when the Arrows’ Ken Henderson “accidently” hit Rick Boucher over the head with his stick. Spooner avenged the “accident”
by spinning the culprit around a few times and popping him with some hard and well placed rights.
It was during an earlier encounter with Maryland (April 28 at the Spectrum) that Forbes introduced himself to the league.
Gord Keates was giving Jim Hickey a rough time, as usual, when Derek took matters into his own hands and licked the Arrows’
“hit man.” Keates is now with Long Island. In recent games, Forbes has taken on Quebec City’s Glen
Mueller (twice) and Montreal’s Bruce Roundpoint and John Sheffield.
Neither Spooner nor Forbes minds the policeman role, as long as they can help the club in other ways.
“I don’t like being compared with a Dave Schultz,” claims Forbes, who used to play in the Canadian Football League, “because
that’s not what I am. I really don’t like getting into fights, but if one comes I’ll never back down. My role is being a defensive
player and not taking any guff from the opposition. If my smaller teammates are being harrassed, I’m the protector.”
Spooner is also happy. “I’m starting to get more time on the floor now,” says the New Westminster, B. C. native, who has
been away from the game during the past few years. “The goals will start to come, but when someone gets rough with our
club, then I get rough with them. Everything should work out all right. Derek Forbes, Rick Boucher and a few others can handle
the rough going also. I feel we have a tough club.”
Both musclemen have earned the club new respect, but each would also like to improve his floor skills, too.
“My stickhandling, passing, catching and throwing need work,” admits Forbes who, ironically, played a few games for the
Arrows last season. “They’re the basics of lacrosse. In practice they’re okay, but it’s a different story during the game. I’ll improve
with more game experience.” “I’ve always had a pretty good shot,” claims Spooner, “but my stickwork (like Forbes) needs improvement.
The strongest part of my game is defense, but I want to increase both my game time and goal production.”
Wayne is also a defenseman in hockey and feels the position must be played according to the sport. “In lacrosse you have to charge
the man with the ball, constantly pressuring him, where as in hockey you don’t want to make a mistake. You more or less sit
back and wait for the puck carrier to come to you.” The addition of Spooner and Forbes insures safety for such
diminutive stars as Hickey, Jim Wasson, Larry Ferguson and Bob Goulding, who will fight all comers despite his size.
The added muscle puts the Wings in excellent shape as the NLL stretch drive unfolds this month.