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Quality Inn - Sudbury
Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018
2017 Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame Class confirmed
by Randy Pascal

Yet another set of very worthy candidates were announced late last week, as the Class of 2017 inductees to the Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame was confirmed.

The group includes eight individuals and one team, with four being honoured in the administration category, two as builders and another pair as players. That said, as is increasingly the trend, the majority of the inductees' sporting involvement actually crosses over into two or more of the categories, with most often enjoying a background as an athlete which eventually morphed into the coaching ranks, or as event organizers.

Leading the way in the administration grouping are the quartet of:

Pat Pickard: Laurentian University School and Human Kinetics professor for nearly half a century, former coach of the Voyageurs women's field hockey team, inductee to the Voyageurs Hall of Fame

Bill McKetsy: lifelong local sports volunteer, primarily in track & field (most notably the Rainbow Elementary series of meets) and swimming

Ron Didone: Member of the Copper Cliff Minor Hockey Association board for several decades, most often serving as CCMHA treasurer, and still finding time to coach a whole slew of teams

Bob Rogers: Team Canada assistant Chef de Mission for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano - retired teacher within the Physical Education program at Laurentian University - former President of the Canadian Ski Association

Another duo boasting equally as impressive sports-related resumes make up the Builders Division:

Mary Waddell: Nordic Ski team leader through six sets of Winter FISU (Universiade) Games - accredited NCCP nordic ski coach, teaching right across the country - World Cup nordic ski official

Mario Anselmo: A mainstay within the Sudbury soccer scene, originally for many years as a player, but following that up with decades of involvement both as a coach as well as a tournament and soccer administrator

Rounding out the individual inductions are a pair of athletes, with one being honoured post-humously:

Andy Barbe (passed in January of 2004) : A native of Coniston, Barbe would enjoy ten years suiting up as a professional hockey player with both the Oakland Oaks and primarily the Los Angeles Monarchs of the PCHL (Pacific Coast Hockey League), as well as the Pittsburgh Hornets of the AHL - he is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and was also an accomplished baseball talent within the Nickel Region Baseball League

Mike Derks: A member of the Gery Cup champion Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1986, Derks would follow up his NCAA career with the Cincinnati Bearcats with a six year CFL career as an offensive lineman. For the past several years, Derks has remained active locally as a physical education teacher at Lasalle Secondary, most often involved as head coach of the Lancers football team(s)

The sole team being inductee in 2017 is the 1999-2000 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats, silver medal winners at the 2000 RBC Cup in Fort McMurray (Alberta). Under the guidance of head coach Ken Mackenzie and team owner Gary Delorme, the Sabrecats posted an astounding record of 40-0-0 in NOJHL play that season, outscoring opponents 315 to 80

The 49th annual Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Dinner and Awards will take place on Wednesday, June 14th at the Caruso Club. Tickets ($55 adults and $20 for children ten and under) are available at various local outlets, with more information available through Sports Hall of Fame founder Chris Sheridan at (705) 522-9682.

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