Brian Dubeau nominated by John Dubeau
Brian Dubeau was a young tennis prodigy who burst forth from Penetanguishene’ s growing tennis scene in the late 1950s. With good coaching from senior players, he developed in every aspect of the game and especially his serve which progressed to be as hard and strong as any adult.
In 1958, the 14 yr. old led a group of Penetanguishene tennis players to the Toronto Telegram Provincial Tennis Championships and stunned the provincial tennis world by powering his way to the finals where he disappointingly lost. He put the losing experience to good use though.
When he returned the following year to the same Toronto tournament, incidentally by hitchhiking a ride on a Penetang Bottling Company truck, he was ready. Showing grit and determination, Brian’s powerful serves and overhead smashes catapulted him to the 1959 Junior Boys Toronto Telegram provincial crown that had him the talk of the town and the province’s sports pages.
Elizabeth “Liz” Duval nominated by Annette Duval
Elizabeth “Liz” Duval showed athletic prowess at an early age and began playing hockey in Penetanguishene at the age of 10, one of two girls allowed to play with “the boys”. She later played women’s hockey locally and competed in the Ontario Winter Games for our region in 1988.
She then went on to enroll and play for the women’s varsity Gryphon’s team at the University of Guelph. As captain for three years, she led the Gryphons in scoring three year running, leading them in capturing the Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association Championship in 1994-95. As the team’s MVP, Liz was a finalist that year for the University of Guelph’s Sportswoman of the Year Award. She was on the OWIAA All-Star team each year she played.
She also starred with the Mississauga Chiefs of the Central Ontario Women’s Hockey League between 1993 and 2000, and scored the overtime winner in 1996 in leading the Chiefs to the Ontario Senior AA Women’s hockey title.
Ken Desjardins nominated by Steven Gauthier
Ken Desjardins joined Shit-Ryu karate in 1986 at the age of 37. he earned his 1st degree black belt in 1993 and established the Shito-Kai Penetanguishene Karate club in 1995. he has now been teaching Shito-Ryu karate in Penetanguishene for over 14 years.
“Sensei” Desjardins served as assistant-coach of team Canada to the 3rd World Shito-Ryu Karate-Do Championships in Tokyo, Japan in 2000. That same year he received the Sempai Eric P. Pick Memorial Award for outstanding hard work, loyalty and friendship.
He has been an inspiration to his many students locally which culminated when three of his Penetanguishene students received the clubs first black belts, in competitions held in Monterrey, Mexico in 2004.
His small school has grown significantly and his students have shown amazing dedication and have participated and won countless medals at competitions provincially, nationally and internationally. A 4th degree black belt himself, Desjardins continues to be a shining example of hard work and determination to his many students.
John Gouett nominated by Henry Bisschop
John Gouett was born in Toronto but moved to Penetanguishene at a young age. He loved to play hockey and in 1967, he applied for and received a $300 Centennial Year Grant to organize and outfit a new concept, “Oldtimers Hockey”.
His first team, the Penetanguishene Centennial Oldtimers, toured the region playing against other communities such as Barrie, Fenelon Falls and Halliburton and hosted them in return. His Centennial project and concept of fun, recreational hockey played without body checking or slap shots was a huge hit.
Seeing a growing need for hockey to be played for fun by those too young to give it up and too old to know better, John established the Canadian Oldtimers Hockey Association in 1974. Its success was so rapid that he quickly expanded it into an international movement. Before long “the Founder” was helping organize Oldtimers tournaments all over the globe. Despite handing over the reigns of the COHA in 1981, he continued to be involved for decades afterward.
William “Bill” Hartman nominated by Kathy Adamson
Bill Hartman taught and coached volleyball at PSS for 22 years. He was instrumental in making PSS a powerhouse in boys and girls volleyball, with his teams winning countless medals locally and provincially. Between 1986 and 2008 the various PSS teams under his guidance won 14 Georgian Bay Secondary School Association championships to advance to the provincial championships.
In those 14 OFSSA provincial championships, his PSS teams competed against much larger urban schools and were always competitive which culminated in 4 provincial OFSSA medals of which the highest was a Girl’s Senior silver medal won in March of 2007. His organization of local beach volleyball over the years has also won him many local volunteer awards.
The greatest epitaph of “Coach” Hartman was his inspiration and example of hard work and dedication in building one of the provinces most respected volleyball programs in one of Simcoe County’s smallest secondary schools. Most of all, he inspired his students to excel both on and off the court.
Kevin Scott nominated by Scott Hartman
Born near Orillia, a young teacher named Kevin Scott arrived at Penetanguishene Secondary School in the fall of 1989 with the intent of starting a wrestling program. Improvising on lack of space and equipment, his innovation and determination were rewarded with almost instant success as PSS became a wrestling powerhouse within a short time.
In a wrestling program that spanned 12 years, his leadership and dedication in also forming the Huronia Wrestling Club helped Penetanguishene elementary and secondary school students win dozens of school awards locally, provincially, nationally and internationally until his leaving the teaching staff of PSS in the fall of 2001.
The dedication and impact of “Coach” Scott on his students and athletes was best exemplified by how many went on to have prolific wrestling careers at the college, university and international levels and eventually became coaches in their own right. All credit Kevin Scott for their success. There can be no better epitaph than this.
1980 Ontario Curling Champions nominated by PSHOF
In the fall of 1979, local curling talent came together at the Penetanguishene Curling Club to form one of the area’s most formidable teams ever assembled.
Midland skip Russ Howard and lead Kent Carstairs were joined by Penetanguishene’s Larry Merkley at third and second Bob Ruston to take a run at a provincial title. The team succeeded by winning the zone and regional qualifiers before heading to the Ontario championships in Brampton.
The Howard team jumped strongly out of the gate and won the first seven games! But when they lost their last two of the tournament they had to play a sudden death playoff game against veteran Bob Charlebois to decide the winner. Not letting the pressure get to them, the four men curled great and the locals won the provincial title with an impressive 6-2 win. They were off to the Brier in Calgary!
At the March 1980 Brier, Russ and his team didn’t advance to the finals but the team from Midland-Penetanguishene had done themselves and the area proud!
1987 World Curling Champions nominated by PSHOF
Curling out of the Penetanguishene Curling Club in the fall of 1986, the new curling team of Russ Howard, Glenn Howard and Kent Carstairs were joined by Tim Belcourt. Larry Merkley would stay on as the fifth.
They started their goal of another Brier appearance with a loss at the local playdowns ensuring a harder road to travel through the more difficult Challenge Round. They eventually faced and defeated Gary Smokum of Barrie to advance to the Ontario Curling Championships in Chatham. The team finished 7-2 and defeated Ed Werenich to advance to the Brier in Edmonton.
Despite bad ice conditions, the team only lost two games in the round robin and defeated BC’s Bernie Sparkes to win the Canadian Championship. The team then went on to post a great record at the World Championships held at BC Place in Vancouver and defeated West Germany in the final to take top spot.
1993 World Curling Champions nominated by Paul Stack
The Penetanguishene Curling Club was again home base for a strong Russ Howard team that consisted of skip Russ Howard, second Glenn Howard, third Wayne Middaugh, lead Peter Corner and fifth Larry Merkley.
In their third year together as a team, their eventual success was not easily achieved after they had won the zone championship but lost in the regional final, bumping them down to the challenge round. They never looked back!
They defeated Gary Skokum of Barrie to advance to the provincials. At the Ontario Tankard they made it to the finals where they defeated Mike Harris to advance to the Canadian Briar championship held in Ottawa where they defeated BC’s Rick Folk.
As Canada’s representative at the World Championship in Geneva, Switzerland, the team powered their way to the finals where they defeated Scotland’s David Smith to become World Champions. The team would also later win the Player’s Invitational Championship and the TSN Skin’s Championship.