When the Moose Jaw and District Sports Hall of Fame gathers for their next induction celebration, it promises to be an epic shindig.
That’s because no less than three classes -- including the 10 members for 2020 and 2021 announced last Thursday -- will be taking part in the prestigious event.
How it looks and what format it’ll take is still up in the air, as is the date next fall. But one thing is for sure: it’s something MJDSHF President Larry Graham is most definitely looking forward to.
“It will be a little different, but it’s going to be a nice night and a fun night,” Graham said. “You look at all the connections, it’s a chance for all those folks to talk to their old coach or the guys they played with at the event. It’s a nice time and there’s a lot reminiscing.”
Five members were inducted for 2020 on Thursday, with a further four -- the Amber Holland 1992 curling team, Lorie Boyle (athlete, golf), Frank Abdou (athlete/builder, wrestling) and Levi Steinhauer (athlete, football) -- named as part of the 2021 class.
Both of those previous induction events were cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, leading to today’s plans for a three-class show in fall of 2022.
“It was disappointing that we had to cancel; all of us out there in the greater community understand why we had to do that,” Graham said. “But we’re of the feeling that it all paid off today, announcing these folks and having people attend and now we’ll hit the ground running again and we’re looking forward to a really fun event next fall.”
Here’s a look at the 2021 Moose Jaw and District Sports Hall of Fame inductees.
Amber Holland 1992 Curling Team
When Amber Holland and her Hillcrest Sports Centre rink won the 1992 Canadian junior women’s curling championship -- and subsequently went on to win silver at worlds -- you could tell it was a special moment just by how the community reacted.
“I remember the reception we got when we came home, it was absolutely out of this world,” said coach Merv Fonger, who was on hand for the induction on Thursday. “The police caught up with us and put their lights on and got in front of us and drove us into town to the rink, and the place was packed. I remember Mike Babcock was there; there were all sorts of people from the city who supported us. It was really exciting with everything that happened.”
Holland, Cindy Street (Ricci), Tracy Beach (Thibeault), Angela Street (Gordon) and Marie MacKenzie defeated Northern Ontario 7-4 in the championship final and would go on to reach the gold medal game at Worlds before falling 9-5 to Scotland.
It all led to big things down the road for members of the team, including multiple national Scotties appearances for Holland and a provincial junior title 1996 and women’s title in 1999 for Ricci.
“A big thing is it spring-boarded a lot of athletes into being successful in other events over the years,” Fonger said. “A lot of what happened afterwards, like Cindy reaching the final in ‘96, it was a spin-off of that particular team because so many things started happening after that. We did it, saw how it was done and learned from it, and I think everybody benefited from that.”
The Holland team was inducted into the CurlSask Legends of Curling Honour Roll in 2004.
Frank Abdou first got into the sport of wrestling under 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Dave Pyle in the early 60s and would win bronze at the 1967 Canada Games followed by the national Greco-Roman title in 1968.
Abdou would go on to win the 1971 CIAU national title with Lakehead University before claiming gold in the 1975 Western Canada Games in freestyle wrestling and silver in Greco Roman.
Abdou began working as a coach with the Moose Jaw Wrestling Club in 1981, and through the 1980s and 1990s helped the club dominate the provincial wrestling scene, including an under-18 club championship in 1993 and dozens of provincial and national medals over the years.
Abdou was the team leader for the national wresting team at the 1990 Pan Am Games and in 1991 for the Under-20 Worlds.
Abdou was inducted into the Lakehead University Athletic Wall of Fame in 2007.
For more than three decades, Lorie Boyle has stood over the sport of women’s golf in Moose Jaw like an iron colossus. And for portions of that time, she was just as dominant on the provincial scene, as well.
From 1981 through 2011, Boyle won every local tournament she entered, including 11 Hillcrest Ladies club championships, 24 Moose Jaw city ladies titles and six south Saskatchewan ladies championships. She represented the province 13 times at national championships and won three mixed titles in 2000, 2003 and 2006, finishing second three other times.
Boyle joined the senior ranks in 2006 and promptly started another winning run, claiming seven provincial titles and playing on four provincial teams. To top it all off, Boyle has won the Golf Saskatchewan Order of Merit five times between 2006 and 2014.
Boyle was inducted into the Golf Sask Hall of Fame in 2017.
When Levi Steinhauer and the Peacock Tornadoes won the provincial football high school championship in 2006 and 2008, it was just a sign of the success that lay ahead for the up-and-coming standout.
After a stellar career with the U of S Huskies, where he played five seasons from 2009-13, Steinhauer was selected by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 2013 Canadian College Draft.
Steinhauer promptly cracked the roster as a special teams’ player and long snapper, and at the perfect time -- the Roughriders would go on to win the 2013 Grey Cup and Steinhauer was the team’s nominee for the CFL rookie of the year. He’d spend four seasons in Saskatchewan and one in Edmonton before calling it a career.
He’s since joined the sports performance staff at Cumberland University in Tennessee and also has worked with the Chinese table tennis and men’s rowing teams as a strength and conditioning coach.