Astounding Achievements Awe Sports Hall of Fame Audience

In Editor Choice, Local, Sports

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Last week’s fourth annual Cobourg and District Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony kept those in attendance at the Best Western Plus Cobourg Inn and Convention Centre awestruck.

The festivities opened with achievement of a newer sort, as organizers honoured the athletes of the year from the high schools in the hall of fame’s catchment area of Cobourg, Alderville First Nation, and the townships of Alnwick-Haldimand, Hamilton and Cramahe.

From Cobourg Collegiate Institute came male athlete of the year Abdullah Al-Salihi and the girls who tied for female athlete of the year, Mackenzie St. John and Maci Davis (both of them five-sport participants).

From St. Mary Secondary School came male athlete of the year Jack Kelly and female athlete of the year Maya Ryglewicz.

Multi-sport athlete Abdullah competed year-round, becoming an award winner in boys soccer (qualifying for OFSAA in Windsor) and in badminton. He also made significant contributions to his schools swim team, track-and-field team and ultimate frisbee team.

Mackenzie played basketball, volleyball, badminton, soccer and ultimate frisbee, excelling in all. She was awarded team MVP for volleyball, basketball and soccer, also winning the Coach’s Award for basketball. She has also been a leader, serving as captain on multiple teams at the school.

Maci’s sports this year were basketball, hockey, badminton, soccer and ultimate frisbee. She was named MVP for hockey and won the Coach’s Award for basketball and soccer. She also has served as captain on multiple school teams.

Jack’s Grade 12 year saw him active (and standing out) in four sports – soccer, hockey, badminton and baseball. Except for COVID closures, he was a regular on the ice and on the ball diamond, and a frequent Athlete of the Week nominee. He was Boys Baseball MVP this year.

Maya has played several sports each year – a regular basketball, volleyball and soccer team member as well as a cross-country runner who won the Coach’s Award in Grade 9. Two years later, she was named Senior Female Athlete of the Year, not only beating out several other outstanding older athletes but also maintaining an exceptional academic average all for years of high school.

Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini, who is a veteran of the soccer pitch, congratulated the young athletes and their commitment to sports.

“It teachers you teamwork, it teaches you character, it teachers you to play by the rules, it teaches you what it’s like to win and to lose. It teaches you about life,” Piccini said.

Addressing the work of the hall of fame, he added, “You have been pivotal to our next generation’s journey in sports.”

The evening saw eight names added to those inducted in previous years.

Don Ball Sr.
Perhaps one of the most amazing things about ball is the longevity of his career in football, hockey, fastball and basketball, winning countless championships along the way.

Following his work on the Cobourg High School basketball team that won the Queen’s University High School Invitational in 1946 and 1947, he was the left end on Cobourg’s legendary Galloping Ghosts football team that won the Canadian Intermediate “A” Championship in 1948.

His impact in hockey and ball made a lasting impact.

As a forward, Ball enjoyed 24 years on the ice (mostly in the Cobourg Mercantile League, which now awards the Don Ball Trophy to the least-penalized team int he circuit). In 1971, he was awarded the Percy Baker Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and ability.

He was on the diamond an incredible 37 years, predominantly in the Hamilton Township and Cobourg Mercantile Fastball Leagues, earning such nicknames as The Grand Old Man and Softball’s Gordie Howe. He was the last of the unconventional underhanded pitchers in the area, a style that often befuddled opposing batters. He could still routinely throw perfect innings as he approached age 50 while also pacing his team (the Baltimore Merchants) at the plate.

“If he was here with us, he would be having the time of his life – he would have a story or a joke for everyone,” his daughter Barb said at the ceremony.

“He loved sports, and he loved to win,” her brother Don added, leading into a story from his sister about how – in his 80s – he still warmed up before every game he went to just in case he got the chance to suit up.

Jeremiah Brown
A Cobourg resident from Grades 4 through 12, Brown participated in a variety of sports, most notably with the Midget A team that won an Ontario Hockey Federation championship in 2001-2002.

At McMaster University, he made the football team as offensive tackle and was eventually recognized as the team’s Most Improved Offensive Player.

Then he graduated and found himself looking for a new athletic challenge. He found it when he watched the Canadian Men’s Eight Rowing Team win gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He vowed to make the team and win gold at the 2012 London Olympics. He moved his family to Victoria, BC, to make it happen at the National Rowing Team’s training facilities. He soon put in 1,700 hours of training and, by fall 2009, was representing the province at the National Championships.

He captured the silver medal at the 2010 National Championships in single sculls and, in January 2011, was named to the national rowing team. Later that year, he would claim a bronze medal at the World Championships as part of the Men’s Eight. In 2012, he would also take bronze at the World Cup in Men’s Eights where, in an earlier heat, his team set a World’s Best Time that would stand for eight years.

It was just three weeks prior to the London Olympics that Brown was named to the Canadian Men’s Eights team – which is how he came to be standing on the podium when Canada won the silver medal.

Brown said that Cobourg still feels like home to him, not least because of winning that OHF title for the town.

He related his insights into teamwork gained in that craft, looking into their eyes and realizing how they all depended on each other.

“In those high-pressure moments, you all to the level of your preparation, the work you have put in,” he said.

When that moment came for him at the Olympics, he recounted how his body was screaming for him stop at the half-way point.

“The only thing that keeps you going is the knowledge that your brothers in the boat haven’t stopped rowing yet,” he said – and the screaming gave way to a feeling of white-hot electricity as they crossed the finish line.

Faye Gaudet
Gaudet’s sporting career began in 1965 when she was bat girl with the Coverdale Aces. She began playing fastball the following year and has been on the diamond ever since – both playing and coaching.

Gaudet was a member of the Provincial Championship Bantam B Fastball team in 1970, 1975 and 1976. She played on the Cobourg Angels Junior B Ontario Championship Team. At the same time, began her own fastball coaching career, winning a Bantam B Ontario Championship in 1977, leading the same team to the Silver Medalists of the Bantam A division in 1978, and then back-to-back provincial finalists in 1979 and 1980 in the Midget division.

At the rink, Gaudet began playing hockey for a Cobourg women’s team at age 14. She went on to the Rice Lake Rebels the following year, moving on to the Colts when she entered Centennial College. After two years with Centennial, she played four with the Brampton Canadettes Senior team.

Prior to leaving for college, Gaudet had help establish the first Cobourg girls’ hockey league, which eventually led her to coaching an all-girls team sponsored by St. Michael’s Catholic Church (sometimes called the Flying Nuns).

While serving on the CCHL executive for years, Gaudet began refereeing in the OMCA and OHWA while also umpiring in the summer for Softball Ontario. In the late 1980s, she was part of the organizing committee for the Cobourg Jr. Angels. She continued to coach a Jr. Angels team and, in 2000, took a Jr. Angels team to the Bantam Tier II PWSA Ontario championship.

Those years also saw Gaudet coach boys’ teams for the Cobourg Legion. She served on the executive board of both the Cobourg Legion Minor Softball and Cobourg Baseball Association, at the same time coaching her two sons in baseball and hockey.

She returned to the Cobourg Junior organization to coach in 2003, where she has been ever since (in both a coaching and executive capacity). In 2017, her Novice tam won the Eastern Canadian Fastball Championship.

Gaudet also volunteered her time coaching teams in the Cobourg Youth Basketball League from 2004 to 2007.

“This is certainly one of the most meaningful and personal honours I have every received,” Gaudet said.

She shared the honour generously, singling out previous inducted Paul Currelly, who inspired her to coach, her parents for the hours they spent driving her from one sporting event to the next, and her husband and two sons who were content to spend their family holidays at the ball park and rink.

Clarke Harnden
Harnden was a mainstay of the Cobourg Community Hockey League for more than 40 years as volunteer, members of the executive and tournament organizer. But to all who were lucky enough to know him, he is remembered first and foremost as a coach.

He gave his time, his knowledge and his patience to teach prospective players the fundamentals of the game, passing along his joy and passion for hockey to generations of boys and girls in our community.

Then, in the summers, Harnden lent his coaching expertise on the diamond, coaching teams to the Tyke EOBA championships in 1970 and 1987.

As a player, he was a long-time fixture on the Cobourg Town League, winning a number of league batting championships as well as playing on the 1949 Durham Aces championship and as a member of the 1953 OASA Intermediate B Eastern Ontario Softball championship team.

In 2000, he began coaching in Baltimore, fulfilling his dream to keep coaching until he coached his great-grandchildren.

Among the countless young people who learned from him was future three-time Stanley Cup champion and long-time NHL coach Steve Smith, who called him “the Pied Piper when he opened the doors to the old Cobourg Arena.

“His kindness, generosity and selflessness were second to non. All these years later, I still try to emulate his patience, wisdom and knowledge with the players I am lucky enough to coach, passing on the true git that he gave to everyone he met.”

Harnden’s daughter Deb Lewis accepted on his behalf, saying recognition was also due to her mother, “his number-one supporter, who was right there with him.”


Jerry Lawless
Lawless brought his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto home to Cobourg to begin his career as a teacher and coach at CDCI West. He would also study nights and summers to earn a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education degree from McMaster in 1962.

The West appointed him head of the Physical Education department the following year and, thereafter, he would coach anywhere from five to nine teams at a time due to the shortage of coaches. One year, he coached the school’s soccer and volleyball teams to championship wins on the same day.

As coach and teacher, he not only helped countless students develop their athletic skills but imparted valuable life lessons, while coaching numerous teams and individuals to championship wins.

Some of his most notable teams were 1967 and 1968 Kawatha and COSSA Boys Volleyball, as well as 1975, 1978 and 1979 Kawartha and COSSA Midget Boys Basketball. In recognition, he was a recipient of the Pete Beach Award, a provincial coaching-excellence honour.

Upon his 1988 retirement, CDCI West presented him with the Coach’s Dedication Award and created two new awards – the Jerry Lawless Coaching Award and the Jerry Lawless Senior Male Athlete of the Year Award. The school also christened its gymnasium the Jerry Lawless Gymnasium in 2005.

“Dad would be humbled to know he made such an impact on people’s lives, that he was recognized as a builder of sports in Cobourg and district,” his daughter Mary said.

“Dad used to say, ‘If you are not nervous, you are not ready.’”


Terry Lewis
At the age of eight, Lewis was gaining the attention of previous inductee Layton Dodge with his performance on all-star baseball and hockey teams, Dodge christening him “a star in the making” in the Cobourg Sentinel-Star.

In 1966, he helped his Novice All-Star hockey team become the OMHA Zone Finalists in the winter – summer found him part of the Eastern Ontario Baseball Association Tyke A champion team.

Two years later, that same group would claim the first-ever Little NHL B Championship.

At CDCI East, Lewis would be part of the Midget COSSA Championship Basketball team in 1970 and the Junior COSSA Championship Football team in 1971.

On the ice, he joined the Cobourg Cougars Junior C team for the 1971-72 season, during which the team were OHA finalists and Lewis finished third in playoff scoring.

The following season saw the Cougars finish the year as Central and Eastern Ontario Junior C Champions, with Terry sharing top-scorer honours.

The 1973-74 season brought Cobourg its first-ever OHA championship, with Lewis as team captain. He was instrumental in the team’s success, capturing the league’s scoring title and Most Valuable Player award. As well, his 162 penalty minutes set a new team record, his 88 points were a new single-season record, and he would add 71 points in both group and provincial playoffs.

A versatile player who could (and did) play both forward and defence, Lewis played his last season with the Cougars in 1975-76, a year when the team reached the OHA semi-finals. He would return to the team a couple of years later as co-coach, taking over as Head Coach in 1979-80 and guiding the team to a first-place finish and a spot in the OHA quarter-finals.

On the ball diamond, Lewis joined the Cold Springs Cats fastball team in the late 1970s and was playing as a left-handed throwing shortstop when they captured the Ontario Senior A Fastball Championship in 1980. Years later, with his main contribution coming from the pitching mound, eh helped lead the Cats to consecutive Canadian Masters Championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999 (while being named top pitcher in the 1997 championship).

Lewis thanked his parents Tom and Ruth for their support of all their children in their various sports. And he thanked his own family for always being there for him. As for others who helped him, he mentioned previous inductee Ross Burgess.

“He taught me how to play hockey – and that man knew his stuff, because it stayed with me. An awesome guy.”

He was also grateful to co-inductee Clarke Harnden, who gave him his first chance at coaching when he was only 15.

“This guy loved every player he ever taught – just a great guy.

“I just loved the game and was delighted to play here. I am so honoured with this recognition. Thank you very much.”

Leo Reyns
Reyns’s career began with a record of sustained achievement on the CDCI East wresting mat from 1971 to 1975 as part of a team that were Kawartha Team Champions in four of those five years.

Individually, Reyns won the Kawartha Championship in his weight class in 1973, 1974 and 1975, finished as OFSAA runner-up in 1974 and was named the school’s Most Valuable Wrestler that same year.

In his senior year at CDCI East, he claimed the OFSAA gold medal in the 123-lb. weight class and was named their Athlete of the Year. Going on to the University of Guelph, he became part of the Varsity wrestling team that won the OUAA Championship in 1976 and 1977 and finished in fourth place in the 1977 World Cup Team Championship-Freestyle Division.

Individually, in 1975, Reyns won the Canadian Junior Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion, the Canadian Junior Freestyle Wrestling Bronze Medal and the Ontario Senior Open Freestyle championship.

In 1976, he captured the OUAA Wrestling Individual Championship and served as an alternate on the Canadian team for the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics.

In 1977, Reyns placed fourth in the World Cup Individual Freestyle competition in Toledo, Ohio, and eighth in the World Greco-Roman Championship held in Gothenburg, Sweden.

After claiming the 142-lb. OUAA Wrestling Championship in 1978, Leo capped off his championship career in 1980 by being named Outstanding Wrestler at the Ontario Senior Open Championship.

“I had a lot of fun wrestling. I went to a lot of places, and it was enjoyable,” Reyns said in accepting the award.


Ewart Timlin

No local history of fastball could be complete without a whole chapter for Timlin.

He was only 15 when he got the tap on the shoulder from the Cold Springs Men’s team and, within five yeas, held the dual positions of player and coach. He would keep this position for two decades before commencing a 25-year Slo-Pitch playing career. During this time, Cold Springs would emerge as a fastball powerhouse.

After spending the 1960s and early 1970s as part of the Ontario Amateur Softball Association and the Hamilton Township League (and in search of a higher level of competition), Cold Springs petitioned to join the Peterborough City League for their 1975 season. The request was reluctantly granted, but a subsequent first-place finish in the league and the OASA Intermediate C championship put initial doubts to rest.

They repeated that accomplishment in the 1976 season. Four years later, the Cats captured the Ontario Senior A fastball championship. Still guided by Ewart, they took home the OASA Intermediate B championship in 1989, and then came the establishment of the Masters level by the OASA in 1996.

Over the next 15 years, the reunited Cats participated in more than 20 Masters events, winning two Canadian Masters Championships, an Eastern Canadian title, plus OASA Masters Championships – three gold, two silver and three bronze.

In addition, the Cats dominated the North Bay World Senior Men’s Fastball Championship in their 10 appearances, winning seven gold and two silver medals.

Along with all the team success, many individual honors have come Timlin’s way, including the Cobourg Legion Giving Back Award (2012), OASA Honourary Vice-President (2011-2012), Ontario Masters Fastball Hall of Fame inductee (2014) and Hamilton Township Senior of the Year (2018).

Hall of fame board member Bryan Marjoram spoke for wife Bonnie, who accepted his award.

She recalled his children trailing him from ball park to ball park through Ontario and beyond.

“He loved being recognized, and enjoyed sharing his love of the sport with anyone who would listen.

“Ewart’s life revolved around sports, most especially softball. This sport brought so much joy to his lie. He met so many people and thrived on playing in tournaments and travelling to new destinations – all for the love of this sport.”

The evening closed with the announcement of the winners of the second annual Ross Quigley Youth In Sport award winners, each of whom will receive a $1,000 scholarship as they go on to post-secondary studies.

Andrex Kellar
The St. Mary Secondary School honour-roll student was captain of the rugby team for three years, in two of which he received the Coach’s Award. An outstanding achievement was being invited to attend the U18 Team Canada Rugby Central Camp. He also wrestled for two years, winning COSSA wrestling gold in the 72-kg. Boys’ division and qualifying for the OFSSA provincial championships. He gave back to his sports community by volunteering as the assistant coach for two years with the Cobourg Saxons. He also volunteered with the team’s Cobourg Saxons Beach Festival and their Give Rugby A Try events in 2018, 2019 and 2022. He has been accepted at Durham College, where he will focus on the Automotive Technician Service and Management program.

Sydney Pipe

A fellow St. Mary student, Sydney played hockey, rugby, soccer and basketball while still maintaining a 97% average and serving as a coach and mentor to young hockey players. She also volunteered at the Silver Stick Tournament, Charity Mud Run, Terry Fox Run and the Price Beach initiative. She also played sports in the community – hockey in Leaside and Clarington, while excelling in soccer and rugby for Cobourg, Quinte and Northumberland. Her individual awards include a hockey honour as most valuable defenceman, Clarington Mayor’s Award for Academics and Involvement and the Character In Sport Award in hockey. She is attending Queen’s University this fall for a Bachelor of Science (Honours) program in Life Sciences and Biochemistry. She will also be playing rugby for the Queen’s women’s team.

Looking ahead, emcee Joel Scott reminds everyone that nominations for the 2024 inductees close Sept. 30

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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