By Chris Lewis | Vol. 31 No. 51 (March 6 2019)
The Town of Conception Bay South recognized the efforts of some of its top athletes and coaches at the town’s annual Sports Hall of Fame Banquet Monday night.
The Manuels River Hibernia Interpretation Centre was filled with plenty of excited athletes, coaches, and prominent members of the sports community for the awards and induction ceremony.
Some 22 local athletes were nominated for awards, including junior and senior male athletes of the year, junior and senior female athletes of the year, and coach of the year award.
Keegan Stuckless and Zachary Gosse were named junior and senior Male Athletes of the Year respectively.
Stuckless is a multi-sport athlete with a number of successes under his belt. 2018 was a prolific year for him in hockey and baseball, winning gold while playing with the Queen Elizabeth Pioneers during the Don Johnson Bantam A tournament, and being named in the top four for hitting on the provincial U-15 baseball team. He also managed to make the shortlist for the 2021 Baseball Newfoundland and Labrador Canada Games team.
Gosse received his award as Senior Male Athlete of the Year for his involvement in gymnastics – a sport he’s been involved in since the age of five. Gosse was named to the Newfoundland gymnastics team to compete in the 2019 Winter Games, all while being named Male Gymnast of the Year by Gymnastics NL.
Lauren Rowe was named Junior Female Athlete of the Year. She, like Stuckless, is a multi-sport athlete, having played soccer, basketball and volleyball at an elite level. She was the only Newfoundlander chosen to travel to Vancouver to play for the White Caps Professional Soccer Team.
The Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award was given to skater Hayley Dalton, who won gold at the Skate Canada NL Eastern Divisional Championships for novice women. In July, Dalton will become a triple gold skater, completing the highest level of training within Skate Canada.
In addition to the youth athletes, coach Kyle Strong was recognized as Coach of the Year. Strong has coached a number of sports in the community, holding a coaching position with two teams of the CBR Minor Hockey Association novice division in 2018. Following the conclusion of hockey season, Strong moved on to baseball, where he coached a total of three separate teams, all of which went on to win a number of tournaments with Strong’s help.
Conception Bay South’s Sports Hall of Fame also gained two new names Monday night. The late Reuben Warford and Marion Haines were both inducted into the Hall of Fame for their contribution to the sports community in the town.
“Reuben was considered to be one of the fastest, if not the best, and smoothest skaters on the ice,” said Carla Hodder of the Town of Conception Bay South describing Warford’s legacy on the ice.
“Mr. Warford’s talents extended beyond the rink into softball as well. He holds the honour of catching for many years with the best fast pitch pitchers that Conception Bay South has ever seen. He was known to be incredibly skilled as an all-star fastball player.”
Warford also made quite a name for himself as a coach in his lifetime, with a focus on hockey teams in the atom division. Warford’s team won every provincial competition they were a part of, and he also coached the first team to win an A division title.
“It is known that Howie Meeker of the NHL once asked Reuben to attend a practice where he asked Mr. Warford to demonstrate to his team how to skate with speed and finesse,” noted Hodder.
Marion Haines was the second of the two inductees. Haines’ legacy lies in the CBS Minor Hockey system, where she served a number of roles including secretary, statistician, and being responsible for scheduling and coordinating all minor divisions during her 24-year stint with the sport.
Haines was also a founding member of the Metro Hockey League, as well as the Ice Hockey Federation – an organization aiming to provide funding for families in need.
“It’s an honour to accept this. It’s not the reason you go into it in the first place, but you know, once you start you just can’t stop. You’ve got to keep going,” Haines said of her induction. “It’s an honour and a pleasure to go into this with Reuben Warford.”