The Moose Jaw and District Sports Hall of Fame announced its class of 2023 at a news conference on Thursday at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
Going into the hall of fame this year will be:
- John Bozak (athlete, wrestling)
- Wayne Cormier (athlete, powerlifting)
- David Jukes (athlete/builder, rugby)
- Jim Little (athlete/builder, hockey)
- Garry Ross (athlete, hockey/fastball)
- Ivan “Amos” Wilson (athlete, hockey)
- Brad Hennenfent (builder, volleyball)
- Stan Montgomery (builder, baseball/curling)
The induction ceremony will take place on Oct. 27 at the Moose Jaw Events Centre. Tickets are $60 each and are available at the Moose Jaw Events Centre box office or online at sasktix.ca. Tickets will be available until 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 if they don’t sell out ahead of time.
Hall of fame president Larry Graham said it is an exciting time for those being inducted.
“It means a lot to folks and it means a lot to us. It’s a good thing to give people their due and it’s nice that people can come see this anytime they want,” Graham said.
For Cormier, this is his second time being inducted into the hall of fame. He was in the class of 2019 as a builder but couldn’t be inducted as he was still competing at the time.
He said it is even more special to be inducted as an athlete.
“As an athlete, I was asked what would you like our legacy to be? How would you like to be remembered? I said I’d like to be remembered as a good lifter for a long time. I was never a great lifter. I won a bronze medal at the worlds, and it took every ounce of energy that I had to do that for a year,” Cormier said.
Cormier competed in his first powerlifting competition was he was 14. He moved to Moose Jaw in 1981 and was coached by Dave Pyle and later Dave’s son Bill.
Cormier set the Saskatchewan Junior lift record in 1985. The record was retired in 2010 having never been broken. He also went on to set three other unbroken powerlifting records.
He claimed 13 Saskatchewan provincial powerlifting titles, one Manitoba Open title, three Western Canada titles and five Canadian National top-three finishes including winning twice. He competed at the World Championships in 194 and 1997 where he had three fifth place finishes and a bronze medal in 1998.
Bozak started wrestling in 1954 with the Moose Jaw Wrestling and Barbell Club under coach Dave Pyle. He won six provincial championships in his weight class, the welterweight championship at the Manitoba Open in 1961 and the Saskatchewan Open in 1964. He won gold in the Saskatchewan middleweight division in 1965.
Bozak won bronze three times at the Canadian Championships from 1959 to 1961. He competed at the World Championships in Manchester, England in 1966 where he finished 10th.
Jukes will become the first athlete/builder to be inducted into the hall of fame for rugby. He participated in all levels of rugby from local teams to international matches.
He competed on the Saskatchewan rugby team every year except one between 1974 and 1987. Jukes made the national rugby team as an alternate in 1980.
As a builder, Jukes was a strong supporter of the community rugby program and facilities at the Barry MacDonald Rugby Field. He was an executive member of the Moose Jaw and Saskatchewan Rugby Club board for many years. The Dave Jukes Award is given out each year provincially to the most outstanding junior forward.
Jim Little played defence for the Moose Jaw Pla-Mors from 1960-19665, winning two provincial championships.
He signed with the New York Rangers in 1965 and briefly played for the San Francisco Seals and Toledo Blades. He won an Allan Cup with the Spokane Jets in 1969-1970.
As a builder, Little coached all levels of local hockey. He became a member of the organizing group to bring a junior hockey team to Moose Jaw. In 1984, he signed a $10,000 bank note with the other committee members to provide the funding required by the Western Hockey League to purchase the team from Winnipeg to become the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Ross joined the Junior Canucks during the 1963-64 season and was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks and played five games with the St. Louis Braves before being sent to the Port Huron Flags of the International League. He played two seasons and won the Turner Cup in 1966-67.
His other love was fastball. He was a pitcher for the Johnstone Dairy Juniors in 1959 and captured a provincial title in 1961. He would go on to capture a number of provincial titles before retiring in 2007 at the age of 63.
Wilson played his junior hockey in Moose Jaw in the mid to late 1940s. He was signed by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1946 and turned professional playing for the Kansas City Pla-Mors, Vancouver Canucks, and the Tacoma Rockets
Wilson won the Saskatchewan Senior Hockey title in 1953-54 with the Moose Jaw Millers and the Henderson Trophy as the Saskatchewan Intermediate “A” champs in 1958-59 with the Moose Jaw Pla-Mors.
Hennenfent won provincial high school volleyball medals as a coach with Central, Swift Current and Vanier Collegiate over his 30 years of coaching.
He reached his Level 3 coaching standard and was the assistant coach and trainer for the University of Regina women’s volleyball team from 2014 to 2016, winning the under-21 western championship.
Montgomery played baseball with the Regals and Mallards through the 1950s and 60s. He played and coached in the local fastball league with the Braves in the 1970s. After joining the police service, he established the Police Athletic Fund for underprivileged children which continues today. He served as city mayor from 1988 to 1991.
Montgomery coached and skipped the Moose Jaw Police Service’s curling team to national championships in 1956 and 1962. He coached his sons Greg and Jeff along with Don Despins and Rod Verboom to the national schoolboy curling championship in 1971 and coached his son Rod’s rink at the men’s Brier in Kamloops in 1996 and Winnipeg in 1998.
It was also announced on Thursday at JGL will be the new title sponsor of the Moose Jaw and District Sports Hall of Fame.
“They’ve been super. They’ve been involved in the community, are well-respected members of the business community and are involved in so many community projects. We’re thrilled to have them partner with us and help us keep the hall of fame running as well as it is,” Graham said.
Since 2015, the hall of fame has inducted 50 athletes, builders and teams in 20 different sports.
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