Panther plans to be busy with Queen’s U rugby

GOLDEN YEARS: Immersed in the sporting life at Lawrence Park, with time spent on the volleyball, soccer, curling, rugby and skiing teams, along with hockey outside of school, Will Cartar hopes to play rugby with the Golden Gaels.

Grad Will Cartar lists OFSAA bronze as most memorable moment

Will Cartar doesn’t know just exactly how his 6-foot-4, 180-pound body can take the demands of rugby, but it does.

“I think I’m one of skinniest kids I know. I don’t know how I can do sports,” he said, with a laugh. “But I haven’t broken anything, so that’s good.”

He’s not a one-hit wonder either, one of the Lawrence Park Panthers top athletes this year, Cartar has a marathon entry list of sports he’s picked up since arriving at LPCI in grade 9.

His initial inspiration for playing soccer, skiing and rugby in his freshman year came close to home: mom Andrea Knutson and older sister Holly Cartar.

“My mom was all into sports so she encouraged me to try out for every single sport,” he said, adding Holly played rugby when she attended.

When grade 10 came around he staked his claim on the volleyball court.

He credits coach Peter Gilbert, and in his grade 12 year, phys ed head Peter Bartha as role models.

“(Gilbert) was my grade 9 gym teacher and encouraged me to try everything,” he said. “He helped me on the ski team.”

Then there’s a moment of candor, as Cartar says a teammate on the ski team also inspired him to push ahead.

“I guess when I was in grade 10, and on the ski team, you really looked up to the kids in grade 12,” he said, referring to LP alumnus Andrew Shafto. “He was really intense in sports but always a really cool guy, friendly to everyone.

“I didn’t know him very well, but definitely as a younger kid looking up to him he was great.”

With those influences on his athletics Cartar helped the Panther’s ski team won bronze at OFSAA in 2009/10.

It came as a pleasant surprise to Cartar.

“When we finally tallied up the scores … we found out there was a shot for us to come in third, we were pretty excited,” he said. “We went to the dinner ceremony to find out who came where.

“When our team wasn’t mentioned in any of the ribbons, we realized we had a pretty good chance.”

In the past few years, Cartar admits, Lawrence Park has come into their own as a perennial competitor in the South Region. Still, being a school that flirts with a 1,000-student population has proven a bit of an obstacle.

“The problem with Lawrence Park is because we’re not a big school … putting together teams is so difficult,” he said. “Whenever we have tryouts, it’s like the bare minimum of kids.

“I don’t know how we do well for ourselves but it’s a lot of fun.”

It goes to show the spirit of sports is alive at Lawrence Park, as another Cartar, younger sister Gillian, is set to walk through the doors.

The barrier for Cartar now is a shoulder injury, collected during the ski season and re-aggravated in rugby.

“I have been taking physio for it in the summer, and it hasn’t been getting better so I’m going to be looking into that,” he said, optimism rising in his voice. “It’s my swinging arm, and of course you need your swinging arm for volleyball and your shoulders for rugby.”

The Lawrence Park CI grad has enrolled at Queen’s University in pursuit of an engineering degree, adding he’s going to try out for the Golden Gaels 15s.

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