Recognizing sports excellence

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The Brockville and Area Sports Hall of Fame recognized five new inductees and a few first time accomplishments for area athletes at this year’s inductee gala. 

Jim Hale, George Hunter (deceased), Steve McAllister, Roy Pyke and Jim Vickery joined the wall at the Brockville Memorial, bringing the number of plaques to over 100. 

Jim Hale was a lifetime sportsman, has been involved in several sports for over four decades in the area.  He was an accomplished hockey player, curler and later a coach for the Brockville Minor Hockey Association.  “I just wanted to thank everyone for coming”, said the 86 year old Hale.  “This means a great deal to me and my family”. 

The late George Hunter was represented by his nephew Bob and great-nephew Rob at the induction ceremony.  Hunter was the founder of several leagues and teams in hockey, baseball and other sports, and was also the very first trainer for the Brockville Braves.  “If a player needed equipment and couldn’t afford to buy it themselves, George would be there to make sure they had the chance to play”, said Bob, adding that he would never hesitate to chip in his own money for players and coaches if needed. 

Steve McAllister grew up in Prescott and has been a well-recognized sports writer for many years.  McAllister most notably was the Sports Editor for the Globe and Mail and now acts as Editor for Yahoo Canada’s Sports division.  Growing up the in Prescott area McAllister knows and has written about several current and past members of the hall.  “It is an honour to be inducted with all of these great athletes”, said McAllister.  “I know so many of these great people and I am humbled to be included”. 

Roy Pyke was best known for his aggressive style behind the plate for the Brockville Commecial Stars fastball team. "It means an awful lot to me. Seventy per cent of the people (in the hall of fame) I know or played against or played with, and it just makes me feel so proud and honoured to know I am going to be joining the people who have become my friends." said Pyke.

Jim Vickery joins his two friends Gary Bates and Jim Toshack, to form the ‘terrible three’ in the hall.  Vickery helped build many of the elementary school sporting tournaments over his 30 plus years coaching.  “After looking at the wall of fame, I don’t think I belong here”, said Vickery.  “It is a great honour to be next to all of these great athletes”. 

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