Bob Elliott, Chair of the Runway of Recognition Committee, was at Council Tuesday evening to announce the 2015 inductees on to the Runway of Recognition. This annual event, through a Committee of Council, presents an to highlight their inductees. As Bob pointed out, this the Runway’s tenth anniversary and still has four of the original members on the committee.
This year’s inductees are as follows, as presented in a press release by the committee:
- Thorold Legion 1974 Pee Wee Baseball OBA Champions: The 1974 Legion Pee Wee baseball team was a combination of power hitting and great pitching. After staring the season with an impressive win in the Niagara Falls Pee Wee Tournament – against some of the best teams in the province – the Legionaires went on to beat Brampton, London and North Bay in the OBA’s. The team was managed by Jim Hill and the coaches were Dante Picillo, Marty Garrod and Dave Winstanley. Team members were Pat Burti, Joe Meyers, Ed Pizzo, Scott Marriott (bat boy), Scott Jane, Tony Giganti, Dave Bush, Brian Foley, Robert Ceraratti, Gary Stevens, Lou Gazzoli, Chris Giganti, Randy Connors, Gene Porco, Peter Fortura, and Roger Arsennault.
- Jim Conte, Builder, Soccer: Jim Conte was the founder and President of the Thorold Italo-Canadian Soccer Club from 1972 to 2002. The team played out of MacMillan Park and then C.E. Grosse field. Joe signed many talented soccer players from Thorold and area, and he and his teams won many league, tournament and playoff championships during his 30-year tenure. Joe had a passion and dedication to the club and he earned the respect of his players, coaches and opponents.
- Jim Chayko, Builder, Hockey: Jim Chayko started playing hockey at the age of 10 for the CYO. He became a goalie and played between the pipes for over 15 years. Upon the end of his playing career, Jim gave back to his community by coaching and refereeing games. He sat on the committee that organized the building of the New Arena, served with the TAAA in many positions including hockey chair, and the Atom House League Goalie MVP award is named after him.
- Nat Brigante, Athlete, Wrestling: Nat is truly one of Thorold’s greatest wrestlers. Nat won the 1975 OFFSA Wrestling Championship for Thorold Secondary School, the 1976 Ontario Jr. Wrestling Championship, won a Silver Medal at a pre-Olympic event in 1976, was Ontario Sr. Wrestling Champ in 1976 and 1977, and was Canadian Champ in 1977. As coach, Nat was 1983 Ontario Coach of the Year, AUAA Coach of the Year in 1987-89 at Mt. Allison University, CWUAA Coach of the Year in 1990-93 at U. of Manitoba, and CIS Coach of the Year in 1991, 1993 and 1996. He was the coach of the Olympians at three different Olympics.
- 1974 Thorold Bantam OBA Champions: The 1974 Thorold bantam Baseball team rolled through their regular season and won the Niagara District playoffs. The team won their play-down series and went on to play Waterloo in the OBA Final. Team members were: Mark Bromhall, Chris Buzdygan, Terry Connors, Mark Fluellon, Rick Gazzola, Nick Lanses, John Longo, Rick Lorenzi, Gino Paolone, Don Partington, Mark Plantery, Randy Quinn, Renato Romanin, Jim Smolak and Greg Van Nest. Head Coach was Roy Buzdygan and his Assistant Coaches were Gerry Van Nest Ray Persia and Ted Smolak.
In addition, this year the winner of the Mahler Award for Coaching is Bill Roscoe and the Trombone Award (given to their unsung hero) winner is Lil Sypes.
This year’s gala dinner will be held March 29th at Club Capri. Tickets are now on sale for $20 each and they are limited. Please call Tim Whalen at the Thorold community Credit Union asap at (905) 227-1106. Make sure you reserve tickets soon. As Bob pointed out, this event is sold out every year.