Ottawa, Ont. - Softball Canada is pleased to announce the following award recipients who will be recognized at the Softball Canada Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet on November 11th, 2017 in St. John’s, N.L. The Banquet will be held in conjunction with the Softball Canada Congress and Annual General Meeting which will take place from November 9-11. As previously announced, Colin Abbott (Athlete, Newfoundland & Labrador), Dave Houghton (Builder, Nova Scotia), Randy Souliers (Official, Newfoundland & Labrador) and the 1992 Canadian Men’s World Championship Team will be inducted into the Softball Canada Hall of Fame at this Banquet.
The Home Run Sports Coach of the Year award will be presented to Chris Hopewell from Stewiacke, N.S. A former high-level athlete for the Brookfield Elks, Hopewell has been coaching for 15 years both at the minor and adult levels. He has led the East Hants Mastodons to five consecutive Top 5 finishes at the Men’s Canadian Championship, including their first Gold medal with a win over the five-time defending champion Galway Hitmen this summer. In addition to his success at the Men’s level, he brought in several Nova Scotia Canada Games team and Mastodons players to help establish the Timbits Softball and U8 programs for the East Hants Minor Softball Association, and leads winter skill clinics to help develop both minor and elite athletes in the area. Hopewell’s Mastodons will be looking to defend their title when they host the 2018 Men’s Canadian Championship in St. Croix, N.S.
Clinton Harvey, from Valley, Nova Scotia has been selected as the recipient of the Home Run Sports Umpire of the Year award. He began umpiring at a young age and achieved his Level V status in 2009 before becoming a WBSC certified umpire in 2011. His first international assignment was at the 2015 WBSC Junior Women’s World Softball Championship in Oklahoma City. In 2017, Harvey represented Nova Scotia at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg as a working umpire while also providing leadership as the Deputy Umpire-in-Chief at the U18 Men's Canadian Championship in O’Leary, P.E.I. This follows a year after his work on the field representing Canada at the 2016 European Men's Championship in Montegranaro, Italy and his support as a lead instructor in the Youth Workshop at 2016 Blue Convention held in Richmond, B.C.
The Rose Hodgson Volunteer of the Year award will be presented to Paul F. Smith from Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador. Smith has been involved with softball for over 50 years as a player, coach, umpire and organizer, founding the Conception Bay South Minor Softball Association in 1993 and serving as its President until 2006. In 2009, Smith was elected to the Board of Softball Newfoundland and Labrador, holding a number of roles and positions including President from 2013 to 2017. Throughout the years, he has put all of his heart and soul into the sport of softball at the local and provincial level. He was recognized as a nominee for the 2016 Sport NL Executive of the Year Award, received the 2016 Bob Whelan Memorial Award for his outstanding contribution to the game of softball in Newfoundland and Labrador and was inducted to the Conception Bay South Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
This year’s recipients of the Claude Deschamps Memorial Fund are Casey Hogan from Hoyt, New Brunswick and Jordan Pomeroy from Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Casey Hogan is a third-year Recreation Management student at Dalhousie University. She was a captain for Team New Brunswick and competed at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, helping her team to a seventh-place finish with a .407 batting average in 10 games. In 2015, Hogan attended Johnson State College in Vermont and played for their NCAA Division 3 Softball Team. She also competed in four Canadian Championships from 2013-2016, and ran Timbits Softball clinics throughout the province of New Brunswick this summer.
Jordan Pomeroy is a strong academic student who recently began his first year of a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree at Memorial University. He was a standout member of Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, batting .474 with 18 hits and 17 runs in 11 games as Team NL finished 5th. Pomeroy also made a good impression on the Junior Men’s National Team coaching staff, earning a spot on the Team Canada roster and he will compete at the 2018 WBSC Junior Men’s World Softball Championship in Prince Albert.
The Ethel Boyce Memorial Award will be awarded to Ashlyn Rupps from Saskatoon, Sask. and Mitch Stack from Petty Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Ashlyn Rupps started her second year of an Arts and Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan. She was a member of Team Saskatchewan at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, helping her team to a medal round playoff spot and a 4th place finish by batting .310 with a homerun and 6 RBIs in 10 games. Rupps also played for the University of Saskatchewan softball team. She was named to the Western Collegiate Softball Association (WCSA) All-Star Team and helped her team to a Silver medal at the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association (CCSA) National Championship held in Ottawa.
Mitch Stack is a third-year student at Memorial University, pursuing a Business Administration degree. He won a bronze medal as a member of Team Canada at the 2016 WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship and was named Softball Newfoundland and Labrador’s Junior Athlete of the Year that same year. This summer, he was the starting shortstop of Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the Canada Games in Winnipeg, helping the team to a fifth place finish with 4 homeruns and 9 runs batted in through 11 games.
The Softball Canada Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet will be streamed on Softball Canada’s YouTube page starting at 8:00pm NST on Saturday, November 11 and will be available to be viewed later. A cocktail reception will begin at 6:00pm with the meal at 7:00pm. Banquet tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners!