New Faces For Barrie Sports Hall Of Fame

Two Special Olympics Athletes among inductees

The newest additions to Barrie’s Sports Hall Of Fame were inducted Wednesday night in a ceremony at the Royal Canadian Legion on St Vincent Street.

Among the inductees are Special Olympics Athletes Philip Lock and Ray Bolech.

Ryan Spataro of the Barrie Baycats was honoured as 2017 Athlete of the Year.

Terry Paddison and Jim Thompson were named co-winners of the 2018 John Crawley Local Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 2018 Jean McCann Unsung Hero Award winner was Doug Cundall.

Also inducted were Henry Verstraten – founder, Barrie Optimist Youth Soccer; Jeff Gilbert – a member of the inaugural team of the Barrie Tornadoes Junior ‘B’ lacrosse; Barrie FC Strikers 2003 Girls Soccer Team –  Honoured Team category.

Philip Lock was born in 1982 and has been an active athlete in Special Olympics representing Barrie since 2004. He is a year-round athlete, focusing on Track and Field in the summer and Nordic Skiing in the winter. Philip is extremely dedicated to his athletic endeavours, focusing well on his training and goals, continuing to give his all to his training.

He has attended several Provincial Games (both summer and winter) with Special Olympics: 2005 and 2013 for track and field, and 2007, 2011, and 2015 for Nordic Skiing. Philip has earned several medals at the provincial level.
Philip has also attended several National Games in the Special Olympics program, again in both disciplines: 2014 for Track and Field in the summer games, and 2008, 2012, and 2016 for Nordic Skiing in the winter games. At the national Games level, Philip achieved several podium finishes.

In 2013, Philip was selected to Team Canada for the World Winter Games for Special Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Here he raced to a silver medal finish in the 500 Meter Nordic Ski event.

Philip also received the Special Olympics Ontario Barrie Athlete of the Year award in 2012.

The winning of a medal in a Special Olympics competition qualified Philip Lock for Automatic Induction into the Barrie Sports Hall of Fame.

Ray Bolech was born in 1964. He has been involved with Special Olympics since 1996 and is actively involved in Track and Field as well as 5 Pin Bowling. He was also involved for approximately 10 years as a Nordic Skier. Raymond is a very dedicated athlete who gives 100% at every practice and race. He always sets high standards for himself in order to achieve his goals in the sporting world.

In 2009, Raymond competed in the Special Olympics Provincial Games in Windsor. In 2011, he competed as a Nordic Skier in the Special Olympic Provincial Games in Thunder Bay.
Due to his success at the Provincial level, Raymond advanced to the Special Olympics National Games in St. Albert as a member of Team Ontario in 2012.

In 2013, Raymond proudly represented Barrie as a member of Team Canada in Nordic Skiing at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Here he won a gold medal in the 500-metre event.

The winning of a medal in a Special Olympics competition qualified Raymond Bolech for Automatic Induction into the Barrie Sports Hall of Fame.

Henry Verstraten was born in Holland and immigrated to Canada in June 1950 at the age of 15. Although burdened by deformities of his feet, Henry was involved as a soccer player as a child in Holland. In 1966, Verstraten was one of the founding members of the Optimist Club of Barrie and in 1968, was responsible for the Optimist Club‘s extension of its’ sporting program to include youth soccer. The first year, there were approximately 270 boys spread over 16 teams. This Barrie Optimist Youth Soccer program grew quickly and was eventually incorporated as the Barrie
Minor Soccer Association in the 1980’s. In 1997 the name changed to the Barrie Soccer Club.

From 1966 into the 1980’s, Henry Verstraten alternated with Frank Bednarek as the perennial Presidents of the Soccer Association. During his adult life, up until 1978, Henry coached, refereed and played soccer. As well Verstraten was credited, along with the Barrie Optimist Minor Soccer League (BOMSL), with a number of firsts in the soccer world. FIFA (the world governing soccer association) had heard of something called “Soccer on Ice” that had been developed by Henry and the BOMSL. They requested an account of this unheard of sport for the FIFA News for distribution around the world. Also, girls were added to the Youth Soccer Association. Although this was common in Northern Ontario, girls’ playing with and against boys was unheard of. In Barrie, this was happening.

On September 20 2005, based on the recommendation of Henry Verstraten and after considerable negotiations, the Optimist Club of Barrie donated its building and property at 7 Currie Drive in Midhurst to the Barrie Soccer Club for their sole use. These properties are now known as the Barrie Soccer Club Development Centre. One of the fields there is named the Henry Verstraten field in his honour and to recognize his lifetime achievement with the Barrie Soccer Club.

In this their 50th Anniversary Year, the Barrie Soccer Club simply would not exist as it does today had it not been for the commitment and vision of Henry Verstraten.

Jeff Gilbert was born and raised in Barrie. He grew up playing in the Barrie Minor Hockey Association and the Barrie Minor Lacrosse Association.

In 2000 Jeff made the inaugural team of the Barrie Tornadoes Junior ‘B’ lacrosse team as a 16-year-old and went on to play 4 years with this team.

In 2004 he was a member of the Canadian Founder Cup Championship team with the Tornados. Between 2000 and 2004, Jeff also played in the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey league for the Durham Huskies, Couchiching Terriers, Parry Sound Shamrocks, and for the last 2 years, the Aurora Tigers. He finished his time with the Aurora Tigers by winning the RBC National Cup in 2003-2004.

In 2005 Jeff attended Robert Morris University in Pittsburg PA on a hockey scholarship, playing as a starter for 4 years. He also played varsity field lacrosse during his first year there.

After graduating in 2008, Jeff attended training camp in 2009 with the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League and made the team. He went on to play 6 seasons with the Toronto Rock, and 3 seasons with the Minnesota Swarm, also of the NLL. In 2011 Jeff was part of the Toronto Rock Champions Cup team and was a Champions Cup finalist on another 2 occasions. In 2013 he was named to the second team all defence team.

In the offseason, Jeff played in the Major Box Lacrosse League in Ontario and won the National Mann Cup title while a member of the Peterborough Lakers in 2010.

Athlete of the Year

Ryan Spataro was born in Barrie in 1982. He is a valuable member of the Barrie Baycats Baseball Club that plays in the top level amateur baseball league in Ontario, the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL). This league serves as a valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff. More than 40 IBL players have advanced to Major League Baseball, or returned to the IBL following their major league careers.

Ryan Spataro broke the stolen base record this past season, and is now the IBL all-time stolen base leader with 193 in just 380 games. The previous record of 179 stolen bases was accomplished in 834 games, more than twice the number of games it took Spataro.

Besides the stolen base record, Ryan has been honoured with many individual awards in his career with the Baycats. His .374 average (regular season), 592 hits, and 141 extra base hits (regular season) are all highest on the Baycats. He was the IBL Batting Champ in 2005 and 2010, as well as the IBL MVP for those same years. He has been an IBL 1st Team All Star 7 years; an IBL 2nd Team All Star 4 times; and has been on 5 IBL Championship teams.

Ryan is presently a fireman in the City of Barrie, married with 2 children. He participates in many charitable events representing the Barrie BayCats organization.

John Crawley Local Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim Thompson was born and raised in Barrie. In his youth, he played Rep Soccer and Rep Hockey. In 1961-1962 he was a member of the OMHA Bantam Championship Hockey team. In 1963-1964, Jim captained the OMHA Midget Championship Hockey team. In 1964-1965, he was the fullback and linebacker on the Barrie North Collegiate GBSSA championship football team. 1966-1967 saw Jim playing for the St. Thomas Barons hockey team that won the Western Junior ‘B’ Championship. He was the League Rookie of the Year, as well as a 2nd team All-Star. Thompson played for the OHA Niagara Falls Flyers in 1967-1968. This team went on to win the Memorial Cup that season.
During the mid-1960’s until the late 1970’s, Jim played 3rd base for a number of Barrie Senior Fastball League Championship teams, demonstrating his all-around athletic ability and prowess.

It was the sport of hockey, however, that was to punctuate Jim’s athletic career. He was a stalwart member of the OHA Senior ‘A’ Barrie Flyers during the 1970’s that won 4 Ontario and Eastern Canadian Championships. In 1972-1973 that team won the Allan Cup (emblematic of the Canadian Men Senior ‘A’ Hockey Championship),. In addition, Jim played on the 1976-1977 Brantford Alexander’s Allan Cup Championship Team.

In 1974, Thompson represented Canada at the Swedish Star Cup. In 1975, as an OHA All-Star, he played against the Soviet Red Army team. Many of that Soviet Red Army team had played against Team Canada in 1972, as well as NHL and WHA teams in famous showdowns.

Following his playing days, Jim Thompson successfully coached a number of BMHA teams, imparting his knowledge of the game to young men eager to learn the game. He successfully coached a Midget hockey team that toured Finland and Sweden in 1987-1988.

In addition, he coached the American Hotel fastball Team that won the storied Toronto Beaches Major Fastball League Championship in 1980. Once his Senior ‘A’ career was over, Jim played for the Barrie Douglas Oldtimers Hockey Club, considered as one of Ontario’s best teams during the 1980’s, winning Championships throughout the Province of Ontario as well as in Florida, San Diego and Phoenix.

After his distinguished career in sports, Jim is now retired and lives in Barrie with his wife Kathy.

Terry Paddison was born in Guelph and has served sports and the community in Barrie for the past 50 years. In a span covering 30 years, Terry coached volleyball, basketball, and track and field at various levels.

He has been President of the Barrie Y Neptunes swim club and Chairperson of the Huronia Region of the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association (Ontario). He was a founding member of the Barrie Trojan Swim Club. As well, he has chaired Players Services, Golf, Canadian Tour championships (2007 and 2008) at National Pines; and, was the scorer for the Canadian PGA Championship at National Pines in 2017.

As a Community Leader, Terry was a founding member of Recreation 82, a group of citizens who initiated the building of the Allandale Recreation Centre. He was the Acting Treasurer of the group when it turned over a cheque in the amount of $800,000.00 to the City of Barrie towards construction of the centre. As well, Mr. Paddison was a founding member of the Barrie Sports Hall of Fame Society and chaired an ad hoc committee that created the original constitution of the Society. He was on the executive of the Barrie Sports Hall of Fame for 20 years; 6 years as Chairperson. Terry was Chairperson of the City of Barrie Recreation Advisory Committee and Chairperson of the group responsible for obtaining approval from the City of Barrie to create a bike and walking path around the Bay. Among other positions, he was a member of the organizing committee for Barrie’s Ontario Senior Winter Games; member of the City of Barrie Sesquicentennial Committee, planning the celebration of the Barrie’s 150th birthday; member of the Community Editorial Board of the Barrie Examiner; and an ongoing contributor of blogs for the Barrie Historical Archive. Further to this, Terry has been on the executive (including 6 years as Treasurer) of the Georgian Bay Secondary School Association.

Mr. Paddison is also involved in charitable activities. For 9 years as a volunteer, he has taught physically challenged children how to ski (Track 3 Program) at Pine Ridge Ski Club. He is a member of the Allocation Committee, South Simcoe United Way. Additionally, he has trained as a volunteer for home visitations through Hospice Simcoe; created and initiated the first Hike for Hospice Barrie; and, was co-chair of the Capital Campaign to build Hospice Simcoe House. Finally, he has been a volunteer on the Salvation Army Christmas Campaign for 20 years.

Terry has shown leadership and inspiration to youth, the aged, the disadvantaged, and all others, and has managed this at the highest standard. His selfless efforts always fly below the radar as is not one to make himself obvious as he takes on all tasks at the highest level of competence.

Jean McCann Unsung Hero Award

Doug Cundall is a highly regarded official at the provincial, national and international levels. He began umpiring in 1966 working games 4 or 5 nights a week and most weekends. He acquired Level 4 Umpire certification in both Fast Pitch and Slo-Pitch but his hours of experience on the diamond were probably his greatest teacher. He has spent over 50 years as an umpire in Barrie, Simcoe County, and in communities throughout Southern Ontario.

In 1985 Softball Ontario made him Umpire in Chief (UIC) of Ontario’s Zone 6; this area covers Simcoe, Grey, Bruce and Dufferin Counties. Two years later he became a member of Softball Ontario’s Umpire Committee. Cundall carried on in this position for several years while maintaining his normal umpiring duties. He became a Development Clinician, developing and presenting clinics all across Ontario.
In 1995 Cundall became Chair of the Softball Ontario Umpire Committee and was responsible for the umpire program in the province.
In 2000 Cundall was appointed Provincial UIC for Slo-Pitch. In this position, Cundall was responsible for staffing, supervising and officiating at numerous high profile provincial Tournaments. He was also in charge of the provincial eliminations and championships for various levels of competition.

In 2002 Cundall became the first Level 4 umpire to become a member of Softball Canada’s Officials Development Committee and, as such, is a Deputy Umpire in Chief of Canada. His responsibilities on this committee were numerous. He was UIC of 9 Canadian Championships for both slo-pitch and fast pitch and personally officiated in five Canadian Championships. He took on the role of updating and developing Softball Canada’s many instruction and training manuals, including power point and overhead materials. He was also in charge of Softball Canada’s Slo-Pitch national exam for four years and was co-presenter of Softball Canada’s first Level 4 on-line clinic in 2011. He has instructed Instructor/Evaluator, Level 4 and Mechanics Clinics and at 5 Blue Conventions across Canada. He was UIC for numerous provincial championships and at the 2010 Ontario Summer Games. Internationally he officiated at the first ever International Softball Congress II championships and worked the plate in the championship game.

Cundall and his wife Gail reside in Barrie. He is also proud that he could give back to the local officials, both as Co-UIC (2011) of the Barrie and District Girls Minor Softball Association, and as past UIC for the local Slo-Pitch Association. Cundall was presented an Award of Merit by the federal government for his volunteer work in 1988.

In 2003, the Softball Ontario Umpire Committee awarded Cundall its Jim Bradford Memorial Award given for instruction and evaluation excellence.

Bios and pictures provided by Barrie Sports Hall of Fame

The Barrie Sports Hall of Fame Society was formed in 1985 to recognize excellence in sport within the Athletes, Coaches, Officials, Teams and Builders categories.

It has permanent displays in the Allandale Recreation Center to foster public awareness of the achievements of our sports community.