The Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame named its 2018 inductee class Friday morning, and the group includes a local association that just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
The Prince Albert Minor Football Association, which first started in 2017, was inducted into the sports hall of fame under the Organization of the Year category.
Current bantam coach Joey Hemsworth has spent the better part of that decade with the group, watching young kids he has coached move on to play for the Saskatoon Hilltops and the Regina Thunder of the Canadian Junior Football Leauge.
Hemsworth first started with P.A. minor football in 2008 as a receivers coach. He worked his way through the association’s coaching ranks and eventually found himself in the head coach role for the bantam-level River Riders.
He said Friday’s announcement is awesome for the city’s football scene. He also emphasized the strong-team aspect associated with the sport.
“I’ve had great feedback from people (about the city’s football program). Football I think is the ultimate team sport. You can have a kid who weighs 100 pound, and you can have a kid who weighs 250 pounds, and we’ll find a place for them on the team,” he said.
An important, long-term influence the program has had is in Prince Albert’s high schools: The St. Mary Marauders and the Carlton Crusaders both have junior and senior squads, while the senior teams compete against top schools from Saskatoon and North Battleford.
“It’s awesome for sure to have that Canadian Tire Bowl every year,” Hemsworth said, referencing the annual Crusaders vs. Marauders rivalry game that happens each fall at Max Clunie Field, behind Carlton high school.
“I go and I watch it. I went to Carlton, but I cheer for both teams because I coach kids on both teams. Every year, a kid I coached makes the Hilltops or the Thunder. It’s pretty cool,” he said.
Hemsworth tipped his hat to the staff and his colleagues at P.A. Minor Football for their dedication and hard work in developing the program over the last decade.
Other inductees into the hall of fame included the following, with their respective categories.
– Team: The 1999-2001 Prince Albert Aallcann Astros softball team
– Athlete: Andrew Taszlikowicz
– Athlete: Manny Primeau
– Athlete/Builder: Dale McFee
– Meritorious Service: George Sinclair
– Off Ice Officials – Meritorious Service: Gerry Bergen, Elder Bergen, Lloyd McBeath, Jean Mauvieux, Wayne Soles, Rick Willie, Ron Wildey
– Meritorious Service: Wayne Roznowsky
The induction banquet for this year’s inductee class will take place on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Ches Leach Lounge.
Inductees in the 2017 class include dChris Lair, Deanna (Hemstad) Rindal, Ken Morrison, Douglas Primeau and the Prince Albert Mintos teams from the 2005-06 and the 2006-07 seasons.