Nine individuals and a team comprise the Sarnia-Lambton Sports Hall of Fame’s class of 2019, it was announced May 29.
The enshrinement dinner will be held Oct. 26 at Sarnia Golf and Curling Club.
Here are the inductees and award winners:
Baseball star Nick Bucci and hockey stalwart Rick Fraser are co-winners in this category.
Fraser played Jr. ‘B’ in Sarnia and OHL hockey in Oshawa before moving to the pro ranks, where he played for the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association. He also suited up for the Mohawk Valley Comets of the NAHL and a couple of teams in the IHL.
Bucci, who signed a professional baseball contract with the Milwaukee Brewers when he was just 18, had a distinguished pitching career at the minor league level.
In 2011 he won all-star honours with the Brevard County Manatees (Milwaukee’s High-A affiliate) then helped Team Canada win bronze at the World Cup in Panama and gold at the Pam Am Games in Mexico.
The late Tom Hutchinson, a superb lacrosse player, is being inducted in this category. With the Sarnia Keelan Pacers in 1986 he was the most valuable player.
A high scoring player, he later went on to officiate lacrosse at the highest levels in the nation.
Hutchinson was also an accomplished football player at the high school level.
Michael L’Heureux is the winner in this category. As a youngster he excelled in soccer, tennis and hockey.
As a teenager he was a standout with the Jr. ‘B’ Sarnia Legionnaires. From there it was on to college hockey where he was captain of the Ohio University squad. He set a school record for most points in a game (nine) that has stood for more than half a century.
Earl MacKenzie category
The late Walter Nicholls has won this award, which is for people involved in sports for at least 30 years.
Nicholls led the local YMCA aquatic program for many years, teaching a generation of children how to swim. He also trained and developed the leaders who would succeed him.
Nicholls also participated in gymnastics and football, playing three seasons with the Sarnia Imperials. He also helped form the first club for scuba divers in the area.
Bud Morrison category
Photojournalists Glenn Ogilvie and Nora Penhale are co-winners of this honour, which recognizes people who have made a significant contribution over many years to youth in sports.
Ogilvie, the most decorated photojournalist in Sarnia’s history with over 30 awards and/or honourable mentions in provincial and national newspaper competitions to his credit, has worked for The Sarnia Observer and The Journal.
Penhale worked at the old Sarnia Gazette and The Observer. Both took many hundreds of outstanding photos of individual athletes and teams in just about every sport imaginable.
Past winners in this category have included Fred Wheeler and Red Wilson of The Observer and George Heath and Roy Caley of CHOK.
Pat Brown enters the hall after more than three decades as a physical and health educator and department head at St. Pat’s High School.
He also coached teams to countless titles in track and field and cross country.
A long-time basketball coach, he was also actively involved with a program for developmentally delayed student athletes.
Jack Isom category
Priscilla Gage, who has a vision impairment, is the winner of the Jack Isom award, which honours athletes who have participated in international and/or Olympic Games.
Gagne is a world-class martial artist who has excelled in judo, wrestling and karate. She is perhaps best known for her success at judo, excelling at numerous competitions in North and South America and Europe.
When the International Blind Sports Federation combined its Pan American championship with the Canada Open in 2018, Gagne won Pan Am gold for Canada. It was her second career medal at that competition.
She has also won a silver at the ParaPan Am Games in Toronto, a bronze at the World Cup in Brazil and finished fourth in the 52-kilogram weight divison in judo at the Rio Paralympic Games.
The Sarnia Braves, who became known as ‘the team that wouldn’t quit,’ won the 2000 Ontario Midget AA baseball title. And they did it in spectacular fashion, overcoming a 5-0 deficit to defeat Auroa in the championship game.
Rose Hodgson Memorial Award
Former Sarnia Mayor and MPP Andy Brandt has won this award, which is for outstanding contributions to the community.
As mayor Brandt was best known for his efforts to revitalize downtown, while as MPP he played a key role in securing Sarnia Bay Marina and the construction of Highway 402.
He served in the Ontario cabinet and is a former leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives.
The Hall of Fame is still accepting nominations for the Pappy Burr award (for students headed off to college or university) and the Joe DeRush award (for local athletes with disabilities) until June 30.
Nominations can be submitted to any board member or by contacting president Pete Coenjarts at 519-542-4095.
Tickets for the October dinner can be purchased by contacting any board member.
Coenjarts said the board is also looking for more directors. Anyone interested should contact him or any board member.