Delta Sports Hall of Fame welcomes its class of 2018

Inductees, Sports Champions to be recognized at a gala banquet at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn Oct. 26

The Delta Sports Hall of Fame is proud to present its class of 2018 for recognition at its gala banquet on Friday, Oct. 26 at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn.

Family, friends, past inductees, past Sport Champions, and the public are invited to join the DSHOF committee and the award winners at the banquet. The speaker this year is two-time Olympic swimmer Richard Hortness, who competed in Beijing in the 50-metre freestyle and in London in the 4×100 relay. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased until Oct. 19 by calling Rick or Carlene at 604-943-0469.

RELATED: Best in Delta sport honoured at hall of fame gala

Started in 2005, the Delta Sports Hall of Fame set as its goal “to celebrate Delta sport achievement, recognize excellence and honour past, present and future role models.” For more information, visit deltasportshalloffame.ca.

This year’s Delta Sport Hall of Fame inductees are:

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Builder: Laurel Crosby — Wheelchair Sports

Starting as a volunteer at the G.F. Strong Centre and later with BC Wheelchair Sports Association as a coach, Laurel Crosby has been involved with wheelchair sports since 1979. She has been on the board of directors with the BC Wheelchair Sports Association for 39 years and on the board of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association for 26 years. She has also been president of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (1993-1997), president of the Canadian Paralympics Committee (1997-1998), is the past vice-president and president-elect of Wheelchair Rugby Canada and the president of BC Wheelchair Sports.

Crosby has managed teams at the BC Summer and Winter Games for the Disabled and several national championships. Internationally, she has managed teams competing in Paris, Puerto Rico, Seoul and Australia, and was the Chef de Mission for the Canadian team at 1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona. During the 1980’s Crosby developed junior sports camps for athletes with disabilities starting with the first National Junior Camp in 1984 in Toronto.

Crosby’s been widely recognized for her commitment to wheelchair sports. She was awarded the 125th Confederation Medal of Honor, Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award, the Sport BC Daryl Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Promotion Plus “In Her Footsteps” Award. Besides carrying the Paralympic torch, Crosby was chosen to light the cauldron at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics. For her volunteerism and advocacy for athletes with disabilities, Crosby was inducted into the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association Hall of Fame in 2017 (pictured).

Crosby believes her greatest achievement has been “the promotion of awareness of athletes with disabilities throughout the able-body community.” Crosby is proud of being a part of a change in attitudes towards athletes, with disabilities where these competitors are now seen as “athletes, not as athletes with disabilities.” She stays involved because she loves to work with athletes and volunteers, and she loves the challenges she faces with each event.

SEE ALSO: Delta Sports Hall of Fame welcomes its class of 2017

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Pioneer: Jill Proctor — Soccer

Jill Proctor is the pride of Delta in soccer officiating. In 1993, she began a journey that would take her from officiating local, provincial and national events to becoming the first woman to referee a professional match in B.C. and the first female FIFA-credentialed referee in B.C. As a FIFA referee, Proctor was selected from a world-class group of international referees to officiate at the U19 Women’s World Cup (2002), Algarve Cup (2002), China Four Nations Cup (2004), CONCACAF Women’s U19 World Cup qualifying tournament (2004) and the Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Costa Rica (2004). At this tournament, Proctor was chosen to referee the final game, a tribute to her hard work, skill and expertise. Proctor officiated for the Canadian Soccer League, including the Vancouver Whitecaps, from 1996 to 2007. Proctor officiated for the Canadian Soccer League, including the Vancouver Whitecaps, from 1996 to 2007 (pictured). Awards that Proctor has received include the Canada Soccer International Achievement Award (2007) and BC Soccer Official of the Year (2002).

Proctor began playing soccer at eight years old. She excelled as a player, winning multiple provincial and national championships. In her 20s, Proctor saw that officiating could offer her new challenges and opportunities. She began the rigorous process of study, academic and fitness testing, and peer review to becoming an accredited official. Along the way, Proctor had to face those that said FIFA would never accept a woman referee, which only inspired her to be more competent than others. Despite the naysayers, Proctor had a strong support network led by her husband Gerry, who is also a FIFA referee. She also acknowledges Rene Para, another FIFA referee who played a key role in supporting and mentoring her. Lastly, she applauds Neil Ellett, an official assessor, who gave Proctor an innumerable amount of unsolicited time to support her development.

Recognizing the role others played in her development, Proctor has found time to give time back by mentoring young aspiring officials and helping them see that the path to the highest level of officiating is in reach. While she was the first female FIFA-credentialed referee in B.C., she hopes that through her example there will be many others that follow her.

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Athlete: Chuck Westgard — Baseball/Hockey

Chuck Westgard grew up playing multiple sports in North Delta. Although best known for his abilities in baseball, Westgard also excelled in all of the other sports that he played, most notably hockey. He managed to juggle both baseball and hockey until age 17, when he was faced with the choice of various university scholarships in baseball or an opportunity to play for the Portland Winterhawks. Though he chose baseball, the Winterhawks retained his rights in case he changed his mind.

Westgard played for Delta throughout his entire minor baseball career, amassing multiple championships, MVP awards and playing all-star summer baseball each year. He was a prodigy, often playing up divisions to compete with older players. Between 1972 and 1979, Westgard led the Delta all-star team to four first-place finishes and three second-place finishes at provincials; two second-place finishes at the Western Canadian Championships; and a second-place finish at the Canadian Championships. A pitcher with a dominant fastball, Westgard was a fierce competitor who always “wanted the ball” in all situation. After high school, Westgard received a baseball scholarship at the University of Washington, where he played for two years before leaving to play professionally (pictured).

In 1982, Westgard was named to the Canadian National Baseball team and was an integral part of the team’s success at the World Baseball Championships in Seoul, Korea, where Canada finished with a record of 3-2 and Westgard had a complete game victory and two saves. That year, before Canada was even known as a baseball nation, Westgard was scouted and signed by the New York Yankees, playing two years with the Oneonta Yankees until a shoulder injury ended his professional baseball dreams.

Throughout his career, he was respected by his teammates for his competitiveness, leadership, and outstanding athletic ability. He was always “one of the boys” whom players gravitated to and coaches depended upon. His love of the game and his teammates and coaches motivated him to excellence. He continued his involvement in sports, leading his daughters’ teams to seven national titles in 10 years while emphasizing to “the girls that even at the highest level of competition, that there is still fun as the foundation.” Being able to share it all with his wife, Tanyce, and their four children (Tayla, Tanelle, Toryce and Ty) made everything that much sweeter.

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Athlete: John Coflin — Football

For John Coflin, love of sport is a family affair. Coflin is quick to credit his parents (his father Hugh is a former professional hockey player) for developing an appreciation for sport and its values, and being given opportunities to play. Coflin is the youngest of five children and his older siblings paved the way for his life of sport. Coflin watched his older brother Mark get drafted to the CFL, where he played for five years. Mark served as an example, mentor, brother and friend, opening the door for Coflin to follow.

Coflin started playing football with the Delta Rams, leading his team to a provincial title in 1979. Later, at South Delta Secondary School (1980-82), Coflin was a team captain, top offensive lineman and the school’s Most Sportsmanlike Player. From there, Coflin earned a scholarship to SFU, where he was honoured as a first team All-Columbia Conference, first team NAIA and second team All- Northwest player. For his efforts, Coflin was rewarded as a first round (number six overall) CFL draft pick by the Edmonton Eskimos. He played professionally for seven seasons with the Eskimos, Calgary Stampeders, BC Lions (pictured) and Toronto Argonauts, winning a Grey Cup with the Argos in 1991.

Coflin acknowledges that without coaches like Ron Uyeyama (SDSS), Jack Schrieber (SFU) and Ron Smeltzer (CFL), his technical performance, ability to overcome adversity and overall development would not have been what it became. Coflin also points out that his uncle, Charlie Coflin, inspired him at a young age to be fit and flexible and enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. Coflin, now a counsellor in Delta schools, continues to give back to sport by volunteering his time to coach community and school sports teams.

SEE ALSO: Delta Sports Hall of Fame introduces its class of 2016

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Coach: Ed Anderson — Softball

Before coaching his daughter Jill and a group of six- and seven-year-olds in 1974, Ed Anderson would never have imagined how many great memories that he would build as he continued to coach that core group of girls in softball for the next 17 years. At all levels, Anderson’s team had tremendous success. In 1977 and 1978, they won the Squirt division league banner. At the next age level, they became known as the North Delta Animals and began playing rep softball. As a first-year rep B team, they were the league champions. Moving up to rep A, they placed second at provincials. They continued their climb and became provincial champions in 1981 (pictured).

Anderson took his team travelling all over Washington State, bringing home many trophies. In the Bantam division in 1982 and 1983, they were provincial silver medalists. The Midget division years were golden for the Animals, as they won provincials in both 1984 and 1985, and Anderson led the team to the Canadian National Championships. In Burlington, Ontario in 1985, the Animals won the silver medal at nationals. A testament to Anderson and the team, they stayed together in Junior Women’s, where he led the team to two more national tournaments, winning a bronze medal in 1986 and a silver medal in 1987.

Throughout the years, Anderson had some fantastic assistant coaches in Shirley Green, John Ansell, Ron Tiffenbach and Colleen Moffat. Anderson speaks highly of all of his fellow coaches, noting that they all were in it for the girls. Anderson and the coaching staff created experiences for the team that the girls would remember for years and still reminisce about, usually starting with, “remember riding in Anderson’s van…?” To this day, Anderson still hears from and visits with many of the ladies he coached for so many years. He counts himself “very lucky to have had such good and talented girls,” noting that “we probably had more fun than we realized at the time.”

A point of pride for Anderson is how well all of the girls have turned out. He helped develop and produce players who went on to play with the Canadian National team, and various others who earned scholarships to play ball at American universities. Anderson is the first one to deflect attention back to the girls that he coached, saying he “got as much out of it as the girls did. It was a really good part of my life.”

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Team: North Delta Colt All-Stars 1979 — Baseball

The 1979 North Delta Colt All-Stars were a very special mix of friends and neighbours who loved to play baseball and enjoyed great success. The group of boys was proudly coached by Gord Westgard, Don Robinson and Brian Sharp. While Westgard’s son Chuck played for the team, Robinson and Sharp coached to support the boys. The coaches brought this group of boys together and in the summer of 1979 set about enjoying great success and building treasured life-long memories.

The North Delta Colt All-Stars stormed unbeaten through the provincial tournament at Mackie Park without allowing a run against. The 15- to-17 year-old group depended on a very strong pitching staff of Paul Melton and Chuck Westgard, while the team also boasted the top batter of the tournament, Steve Lorenz (.525 average). Earning a spot at the Western Canadian championships in Merritt, the team picked up three more players, Steve Clements, Gord Smart and Randy Regush to round out their roster. Dropping one game in the round-robin portion of the tournament to Saskatchewan, the team was stellar in the playoff round. It was a total team effort to win the gold medal, with individual recognition going to Steve Clements, who won top batter and was named an all-star as an outfielder. Also named to the tournament all-star team were Greg Durand, Arron Denis, Tom Hill and Chuck Westgard. Westgard was also named MVP.

Travelling to Niagrara Falls for the All-Canada Midget Baseball Championships, the Colts claimed a silver medal, losing the final game 3-2 in 11 innings in the pouring rain. Chuck Westgard pitched the entire game, striking out 12 batters. At the end of the game, one of the players had the presence of mind to acknowledge that this accomplishment marked the end of an era for many of the team as it was the last time most of them would ever play together. The greatest intangible for the team was the strong bond created on the team as they were simply “the boys from the neighbourhood” who grew up playing with each other in backyards, at the park and on the baseball diamond. Half of the team came from roughly a three-block radius in North Delta. To this day, a handful of the team remain close friends.

The North Delta Colt All-Stars 1979 consisted of: Aaron Denis, Eric Braumandl, Mark Nerland, Randy Pordan, Lee Cannel, Chris Young, Richard Holfeld, Chuck Westgard, Paul Melton, Darren Hebert, Jay Donze, Tom Hill, Steve Lorenz and Greg Durand.

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Sponsor: Phil Breton — Ladner Motors

Phil Breton and Ladner Motors have been active supporters of sports in Delta for many years. They have supported minor hockey and baseball, and Breton has been the keynote sponsor at several golf tournaments to raise money for amateur sports.

For more than 75 years, Ladner Motors has been keeping up with the latest automotive technology and is equipped to service cars with personal service and local convenience. Their mission is to provide fair and honest automotive service to the South Delta community.

Recognized alonside the inductees will be this year’s Delta Sports Champions, seven individuals and one team who the nominating committee considered as having had an outstanding 2018. They are:

Jarvis Dashkewytch (youth athlete — rugby), Rowan Childs (youth athlete — field hockey), Devy Dyson (athlete — gymnastics), Hayley McKelvey (athlete — water polo), Gurpreet Sohi (athlete — water polo), Landon Kitagawa (master athlete — field hockey), Fred Wells (volunteer — fastpitch) and the 2018 South Delta Secondary Senior Boys AAA rugby team.

READ MORE: Delta Sports Hall of Fame to honour this year’s Sports Champions



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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