The 30th banquet for the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame will see one of the largest induction classes in recent memory.
Dalyce Emmerson, Dwayne Gareau, Scott Byrne, Martin Ring, brothers Andy and Merle Kozun, Barry Schrader, Wendell Whitter, Bill Watson, and the 1973 East End Squirts and the 1975 Old Dutch Twins softball teams will all be enshrined on Saturday, May 2, while the Prince Albert Lacrosse Association will be honoured as the Sports Organization of the Year.
“I think you have to go back to around 2004 to find a class that had this many inductees,” PASHOF president Ellen Grewcock said on Friday morning after the class was announced at the Ches Leach Lounge.
“The key thing with this class is just how diverse it is. I believe we’re one of the only hall of fames that has a bullfighter going in alongside a basketball player.”
Ring will be going into the hall in two categories as he’ll be inducted into the athlete and builder wings.
“It’s pretty special,” Ring said. “From the athlete side, I just tried to compete as best as I could do and as a builder I just wanted to follow in my parents’ footsteps and try and give back that way.
“You grow up playing a sport and you just want to see that continue as you grow older. I think you can see that through all of the inductees as they give back to the grassroots level.”
In addition to his multiple championships at Cooke Municipal Golf Course and Waskesiu Golf Course, Ring has served major roles for major tournaments that have been hosted at Cooke over the last two decades.
He’s also been involved behind the scenes at the Prince Albert Golf & Curling Centre, coached minor hockey in the community and has been the color commentator on Prince Albert Raiders radio broadcasts for the last 15 years.
Joining Ring in the athlete category are Emmerson, Gareau and Byrne.
After playing multiple sports growing up, Emmerson would go on to play basketball at the University of Saskatchewan and was part of the Huskies team that won a national championship in 2016.
She remains involved in sports as an assistant coach with the Carlton Crusaders basketball team and the Prince Albert Optimist Toppers volleyball program.
Gareau also played multiple sports through high school and would move on to soccer at the post-secondary level for the Huskies.
He would then play soccer professionally and is now coaching the St. Mary Marauders senior boys soccer and senior girls basketball teams.
Byrne was widely considered to be one of the best bullfighters in rodeo until his retirement in 2016, as he was selected to take part in the Calgary Stampede for 16 straight years and remains involved in the spots as a colour commentator for TSN’s coverage of the PBR Canada Tour.
He will be enshrined alongside his uncle and fellow former bullfighter Ryan Byrne, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.
Whitter and Watson, who will both be inducted posthumously, will enter the hall as builders.
Having played football growing up, Whitter got involved in coaching in the early 2000’s and became the first head coach of the Prince Albert Minor Football River Riders peewee team in 2008.
He served many roles within the organization until his sudden passing in 2018.
Watson, who passed away in 2017, also played a big role in the community as a football coach, as he led the Riverside Rams to Prince Albert’s first 12-man provincial title in 1970 and was in charge of the Carlton Crusaders teams that reached the provincial final in 1980 and 1984.
His grandson Ethan, who attended Friday’s ceremony, is currently a quarterback for the Huskies.
The Kozun brothers will be joining Schrader in the meritorious service category.
Since he returned to officiating hockey games on a full-time basis in 1984, Schraders has been an on-ice official for approximately 3,500 games on the ice and has supervised almost 4,000 contests.
He was named the referee in chief of the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League in 2013 and has served the same role for Prince Albert Minor Hockey on three separate terms.
The Kozuns have been involved in a variety of roles for many organization and events over the years, but might be best known for their work with the Prince Albert Mintos as they helped to put on the Telus Cup Western Regionals in 2014 and were involved in the building of the Minto fitness centre in 2017, among other endeavors.
The Squirts and Twins teams dominated the local minor softball scene for six seasons, with 11 players and coach Tom Lavallee being a part of the provincial championship winning sides in 1973 and 1975.
Tickets for the induction banquet cost $50 each and are available at the Community Services department at City Hall.