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TSHS to hand out awards Sunday, March 3

Craig Burgess and his daughter Karlee have enjoyed success in curling. The entire Burgess family will be honoured on Sunday, March 3 at the Truro Sport Heritage Society with the  Armstrong Family Award.
Craig Burgess and his daughter Karlee have enjoyed success in curling. The entire Burgess family will be honoured on Sunday, March 3 at the Truro Sport Heritage Society with the Armstrong Family Award. - Contributed

TRURO, N.S. – The Truro Sport Heritage Society will honour athletic accomplishments of local athletes and volunteers from 2018 on Sunday, March 3 during its 35th annual awards dinner at the Best Western Glengarry.

Bruce Rainnie, president and CEO of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, will again be emcee for the event.  

For additional information on the awards dinner, or to purchase tickets, contact Sara McKenna at 902-957-0084, or email sara_mckenna@hotmail.com. Ticket costs are: adult – $40 and student – $25.

Nominees will be featured in the Truro News leading up to the dinner.

Armstrong Family Award

The Burgess Family

The Burgess family of Truro has dominated the Nova Scotia curling scene for at least five generations.

The family’s contribution to curling dates back to 1952 when Bob Burgess’s father-in-law, Avard Mann, represented Nova Scotia at the Brier on three occasions in 1952, 1955 and 1956.

Avard’s son Bob Mann represented Nova Scotia at the Brier in 1960 and represented Ontario in 1963 and 1964. Avard’s daughter, Phyllis Burgess, was a Charter Member of the Truro Curling Club and represented Nova Scotia at the national senior ladies championship in 1979. Her spouse, Bob, was a Nova Scotia Johnson Cup champion and won three Truro Curling Club championships. Bob’s brother Irving won six Truro crowns and captured 11 provincial legion titles. His wife Ruth served the club as the ladies president in 1969.

Bob’s son, Jim, was inducted into the Nova Scotia Curling Hall of Fame in 2016. He captured two Johnson Cups and three branch junior provincial championships as a player. He also represented Nova Scotia at the 1972 Canadian mixed championship. As a coach, he has an outstanding record of service and success since beginning in the early 1980s. In 2005 he coached at the Olympic Trials and the Brier with the Adams rink. As coach of the outstanding Meredith Doyle rink, he helped them reach the 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 junior women’s nationals. This team won bronze, silver and were the Canadian champs and world bronze-medallists in 1997. In 2007, Jim and his three sons won the Johnson Cup. This was the first time a family had won the title since 1926.

Jim’s wife, Judy, was inducted into the Nova Scotia Curling Hall of Fame in 2016. She represented Nova Scotia at the 1972 Canadian mixed nationals. She skipped a rink to the women’s national championship in 1981 and 1988 and represented Nova Scotia at the national masters championships in 2013, 2014, and 2015. She won the Atlantic masters title in 2015 and was runner-up in 2014. As a coach, Judy helped the Colleen Pinkney Rink win the 2009 and the 2013 Canadian crowns and gold at the 2010 world championship.

The fourth generation of outstanding achievement is well represented by Jim and Judy’s sons Todd, Craig and Peter. Todd represented Nova Scotia at the 1985 national juniors and was a member of the 2007 Johnson Cup winning team. He was a two-time Truro Curling Club champion and a 2013 Atlantic curling champion. As a coach he guided the 2014 under-15 provincial Champions.

Craig was also a member of the 1985 team that represented Nova Scotia at nationals. He won the 1987 national junior championship and was named all-star second, representing New Brunswick. In 1988 he won gold for Canada and was named the all-star second. In 1990 he captured silver at the Brier representing New Brunswick. He went on to represent Nova Scotia at the national men’s championships in 1995, 2002 and 2005, capturing a silver medal in the 2005 Brier. In 2005 he went to the Olympic Trials in Halifax.

Peter skipped a high school championship team in 1990 and skipped the N.S. team at the 1991 Canada Games. Peter was named the N.S. curler of the year in 2007. He represented Nova Scotia at the 2008 national mixed championship, capturing bronze. Peter has also won eight Truro Curling Club championships, was a member of the 2007 Johnson Cup winning team and won the Atlantic curling championship in 2013. More recently, Peter skipped Nova Scotia at the 2015 Brier. 

Craig’s wife Allyson won the 2002 Nova Scotia ladies championship with the Doyle rink, was a two-time Truro Curling Club champion and captured the 2006 provincial club championship.

The fifth generation has already exhibited outstanding accomplishments. Craig and Allyson’s son Andrew won the U18 provincial championship, the NSSAF title and the New Brunswick U21 championship. At the AUS level for UNB, his team won in 2015. 

Sister Karlee has already won two Canadian junior crowns and two world championships. She has represented Nova Scotia at nationals multiple times as a provincial champion at various levels, as well as playing in the Canada Games in 2015 where she won a silver medal. She also won gold at the 2016 Youth Olympics in Norway. 

Lindsay, Todd’s daughter, was part of the team that won the national and world gold in 2018. She has also won a U15 title and represented Nova Scotia at the Atlantic U18s. Her brother Chris won two silver medals in 2014 and 2015 at the NSSAF championships.

* * * *

Chair Award

Veronica McMillan (posthumous)

Veronica was born and raised in St. Andrews, Antigonish County on a dairy farm with her nine siblings.

Veronica moved to Truro when she was 18, after graduating from NSIT, to start working as a dental assistant, a profession she continued to work at up to her untimely death.

Soon after Veronica and husband Doug were married in 1982, Doug suggested Veronica might meet some girls in the area by joining a local women’s fastball league. It soon became a passion and led to her playing in the Truro Business Ladies League for almost 25 years for MacDonald's Insurance. She was a self-taught pitcher, however, she played many positions, including catcher. The team won many league championships, including five in a row.

In the early 1980s Veronica took up running and swimming. She ran her entire adult life, year-round, usually early in the morning before work. She competed in a few races over the years including the Nasty Nuttby 5K which she ran with daughter Justine when Justine was 13 years old, and the Bluenose 10K, which she ran with daughter, Nicole.

In swimming, Veronica swam with the master’s program and competed in several local and provincial meets. She also competed in the 1992 and 2008 Canadian masters swim meets. In 2014 she competed in the world masters held in Montreal. She holds a provincial record for the 800 freestyle for the 45-49 age group with a time of 11:54.39.

In the late 1990s Veronica and Doug took up skiing. Veronica switched to snowboarding in 2005 and taught herself and became very proficient. She boarded on a regular basis quite often with a couple of fellow swimmers. Around 2005 Veronica decided she should play ball hockey in the new ladies league and played for about four years alongside her daughter Miranda.

Veronica started playing hockey in 2006 when the ladies rec league started. She played for about nine years. She had only played a few times in her life back during her school years. She greatly enjoyed playing in a year-end tournament with Miranda and her friend Robyn Nicholson, both who were playing college hockey at Dalhousie at that point.

In 2008, Veronica fell in love with bike riding. She tried to put 1,000 kms on every year. In 2017 she rode in the Hippie Dippie Fall Colours Bike Ride, intending to ride 50 kms, but decided along the way she should do the 100 km, and she completed it.

Veronica also enjoyed spending time kayaking, hiking, walking with the dog and playing golf, usually with Doug, her sister Mary and husband Bob. A birdie was always a plus as it led to a shot of Fireball – the birdie requirement became a par this year.

In 2011 Veronica received the Truro Sport Heritage Female Over 50 Athlete of the Year Award.

During the week leading up to the accident that claimed Veronica's life, she and Doug kayaked and golfed, she biked 40 kms on the Salt Marsh Trail in Halifax, she golfed ladies night at the Mountain, she ran and she swam.

Veronica’s energy and spirit for life were truly unique. Although she is missed terribly by Doug, family members and all those that knew this very fine person, we can all appreciate and maybe become even more motivated to make the most of life from the incredible example she set.

* * * *

Sport Legacy Award

Mike Spencer

The ball field in Great Village had been left idle since 1988.

A meeting was organized to bring the ball field back into playable condition. The field had small bushes and trees 30 feet high growing on what once was the outfield. The infield was like a hayfield with brush and small trees here and there.

Initially, three or four people came out to help, but within weeks the brunt of the job landed on the shoulders of Mike with help from his father, Logan, and other family members. Trees were pulled, rocks picked, and as time went by it became smooth and began to take shape.

Mike then began promoting a minor baseball league for players aged 5 to 13. The first year 75 children registered. They then associated with Baseball Nova Scotia in T-ball and mosquito. It didn’t matter to Mike, who coached the teams, or the children, what the score was; they were just happy and proud to have a ball field in their community.

The ball field’s comeback story was better each summer; 90 children signed up to play. Mike then oversaw the league, coached and together with his family and community, members kept the field in great shape.

The Ball field was named “The Doug Peppard Memorial Ball Field,” his golf tournament being the main source of revenue.

Years after the beginning of this work the field is in great shape and many children and youth are able to participate in sport due to Mike’s commitment, passion and work, a legacy has truly been created and will live on for years to come.

* * * *

Club team (U15)

Team MacIsaac curling

The Truro team consists of skip Calan MacIsaac, third Evan Hennigar, second Owain Fisher and Lead Christopher McCurdy and coach Craig Burgess. Exceeding expectations, they captured U13 and U15 provincials. They placed second at U15 Atlantics.

Team MacIsaac also participated in the provincial high-performance program to work with the Canada Sports Centre Atlantic. To add to their accomplishments, they had qualified for the U21 provincials that took place in December 2018.

The team’s most memorable moment of the season would have to be skip Calan MacIsaac’s last shot in the U15 provincials. A draw to the button came down to a measure of two millimetres for the win.

CC Riders U13 boys soccer

The CC Riders U13 boys soccer team competed in the Nova Scotia Soccer League A Division. This is the highest level available for the CC Riders club team.

The U13 A Soccer League consists of 10 teams from N.S. The Riders finished first with a 13-2-1 record. The league was so close it came down to the last games of the season. Down by one point in the standings, the Riders needed a win to pass the second-place team to finish first. The Riders showed great poise under pressure, coming out with 2-0 win to earn the league banner.

The Riders also competed in the Codiac First Touch Soccer Tournament in July 2018. They entered this, the largest annual youth soccer tournament in Atlantic Canada, undefeated to that point in time. The squad persevered against strong competition and came away with the gold.

CC Riders U15 boys soccer

The U15 A CC Rider boys team completed the regular season in first place with a 15-1 record.

The team had 82 goals and just 10 against in the regular-season play. In 2018, they won bronze at the Halifax Ratomir tournament and won gold at the Bruce Wagner Memorial Tournament for the third year in a row. Also, for the third year in a row, the club brought home gold from the Nova Scotia A championships.

The season was a true team effort.

The team is a class act and knew how to represent themselves, their team and their community well at all times, both on and off the field.

* * * *

Outstanding Female (16-20)

Isabelle Harrington

Isabelle (Izzy) is a dedicated equestrian rider and competitor. She has placements in competitions locally that are recognized at the national level. 

In 2018, Izzy was ranked third in Nova Scotia/P.E.I. and qualified to compete in the Children’s Hunter Division at the Royal Winter Fair in Ontario. 

Equestrian is a highly individual sport where it’s just you and your horse performing alone in front of the audience and judges. Izzy has had to overcome her anxieties and has pushed herself out of her comfort zone in order to grow and achieve success in her sport. She is certainly a leader in her sport and shows compassion for her horse as well as other competitors. 

Karlee Burgess

Karlee is a member of the Kaitlyn Jones curling team, throwing second. Team Jones qualified to represent Nova Scotia at the national championship in Quebec in January 2018. This would be Karlee’s fifth provincial title. At nationals the team finished round-robin play with a 5-1 record moving on to the championship pool where they won the next four games, giving them a bye into the final. Team Jones defeated Quebec to capture the national title. This was the second national gold for Karlee which ties her for the most gold medals for Canadian Junior women.

Karlee and Team Jones captured the provincial title once again in December 2018 to allow them the honor of representing Nova Scotia once again at Nationals in 2019. After nationals, Karlee was invited to join Team Alberta at the world championship.

Lindsey Burgess

Lindsey is also a member of the Kaitlyn Jones Curling team, throwing lead stones. Lindsey has two provincial U21 title wins and has represented Nova Scotia for the past two national junior championships. Team Jones also had success at the Pinty’s Canadian Beef Curling Grand Slam held at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, in Truro. The team defeated Rachel Homan, and the hottest team in Canada at the time, Kerri Einarson, but lost in the quarter-finals to Chelsea Carey in a very close match. Lindsey plays an important role for her team and consistently performs against all competition.

The team was named N.S. Curling Association’s Team of the Year in 2018 and N.S. Support for Sport Team of the Year. Team Jones also won a junior curling slam series event in Quebec in November.

* * * *

Outstanding junior high team

South Colchester Academy volleyball

The SCA club had an undefeated regular season on their way to the district and regional championship, their first in seven years.  The team was coached by a number of former players, which pushed the Wolves to achieve at a higher level while teaching valuable leadership skills. 

Bible Hill badminton

The BHJH team made history this year. 

In 2018, after winning district and regional championships, the Huskies were the first school in the 39-year history of the NSSAF to win the junior team championship from the district of Colchester-East Hants. 

Truro track and field

With over 100 junior high schools starting the track and field season, the TJHS team earned a berth with 43 other schools to finish in second place at the provincial championship.

The school competed in 10 of the possible 15 events.

* * * *

Outstanding club team (16-20)

Truro Cougars female volleyball

The Truro Cougars female volleyball team was Volleyball Nova Scotia champions in 2017 (16U) and again in 2018 (17U).

As the season is very competitive and short, it is a great accomplishment to win the provincial championships two consecutive years.

In 2018, the Truro Cougars consisted of 11 athletes, nine in Grade 11s and two in Grade 10. These athletes are committed, competitive and have great perseverance.

Although in 2018, they were technically a 17U team, they competed in all 18U Tier 1 VNS Provincial Super Series events and in 18U tournaments. There were 26 teams registered throughout the province, consisting of 20 18U and six 17U teams. In all tournaments, the Cougars competed at the 18U level and finished in the top three.

The squad finished the season undefeated in the 17U VNS championship.

Truro Bearcats 18U AAA baseball

The Truro Bearcats 18U AAA baseball team made baseball history this past year in being the first local team at this level to earn a spot at nationals in Fort McMurray, B.C. They placed a very respectable fifth against highly skilled teams from across the country.  As well, this team for the first time won back-to-back provincial titles in 2017 and 2018.

The Bearcats squad had a successful season, finishing in first place in the Bluenose 18U AAA league before winning provincials.  All players contributed to the team’s success on a team that gelled very well together.

The Bearcats positive energy, professionalism, high level of play and dedication to sportsmanship endeared the team to the Nova Scotia baseball community and beyond. 

CC Riders U21 women’s soccer

The CC Riders U21 women’s soccer team had a season to remember in 2018. In July the team participated in the Gunn Balderrson Memorial Tournament in Wolfville and came home with the title, compiling a 3-0-1 record with 11 goals for and just three against.

Later in the summer, the Riders claimed their divisional 2018 N.S. Women’s Soccer League championship with a record of 14-0-0 in league play, with 69 goals for and only 14 against. In August, the team won provincial sin New Minas with a record of 3-0-1 and 16 goals for and 5 against.

While running off an impressive record of 20-0-2 over the season, the Riders were named league Club of the Year. 

Outstanding high school team

CEC boys volleyball

The CEC boys volleyball team continued its dominant play this season, winning their fourth consecutive provincial championship.  With little competition within their region, the Cougars played in seven exhibition tournaments though the season in preparation for provincials. 

The 2018 squad finished with a record of 48 wins and 0 losses in match play. Therefore, as the No. 1 seed in all tournaments they entered, they were always the team that other teams wanted to defeat. They had some challenges and tough matches, including Three Oaks High School of Summerside who took them to three close sets each time.

The motto and t-shirt slogan of this close knit and well prepared, hard-working team was “Sweat More in Peace, Bleed Less in War.” This philosophy resulted in something that coach Harvey MacEachern has never witnessed in his previous 30 years of coaching. In the provincial finals he watched his starting five players peak, such that they all played their best volleyball match of their high school careers, resulting in a dominant championship win.

CEC Cougars boys baseball

The CEC boys varsity baseball team enjoyed a banner season in 2018. After winning provincials in 2017, the Cougars repeated as NSSAF champs in 2018 with an 11-1 record. Their record over the two-year period is 28-2.

The Cougars outscored opponents 113 to 35 during their 11-1 season. They have not lost to an opponent within their region since 2014. There are six players graduating this spring, of which five of them have a cumulative record of 42-3 over three years with the team. 

The Cougars faced adversity when their only loss of the season occurred to Halifax West in the opening game of the provincial tournament. Another loss would have dropped them from contention. The close-knit team rallied to win the next three straight games by a combined score of 33-5 to win the provincial title. In the provincial final, Grade 12 pitcher Jackson Haight threw a complete-game two-hit shutout en route to a 6-0 victory. 

Longtime coach JP Wood enjoyed coaching this group, as he stated: “To be around a group of individuals who have dedicated themselves to not only being good ball players, but also to being good people, has been pretty special. The sustained excellence of the program is a testament to all the young men who have worn the Cougar orange, especially those over the last number of years which was shown by bringing home back-to-back provincial championships. This is a group that will be remembered for years to come.”

SCA senior girls slo-pitch

To say the SCA senior girls slo-pitch team members will always remember their provincial championship final game is an understatement.

The busy, young team played 30 games from early May until the first weekend of June. In their first tournament of the season in Yarmouth, he Wolves went undefeated in four games for the title. SCA hosted the regionals tournament and won again with an undefeated record, while helping out in various capacities such as working at the canteen or cleaning up.

At provincials, the SCA girls started out well, winning their first game. Amherst defeated them 13-10 in the second game.  The next day in a semifinal they came from behind with a seventh-inning rally to win and earn an opportunity to play Amherst again for the championship. 

Despite playing well against the Amherst squad, the Brookfield girls found themselves down by three runs entering the seventh and final inning. This never-say-die group of young ladies came together to make a most memorable comeback as they all contributed to scoring an unbelievable 11 runs in the seventh inning to win the big game and take the trophy home.

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