Chatham Hall of Fame Announces Nominees: Legend

Chatham Sports Hall of Fame

In the third installment of announcements from the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame, CKSN is publishing the bios for the nominees in the Legend category. You can also view the nominees for the team and builder categories by clicking the links below:

The builder nominees are:
Fran Crummer (1916- )

At age 12, Fran played her first game of golf at the old Chatham Golf and Country Club. Eighty years later, when she was well into her nineties she still played 9 holes usually two times a week. In between she competed successfully in provincial and national championships as well as many invitational tournaments throughout southern Ontario. In addition, while at University of Western Ontario she played on the badminton team and later carried this over to the Garrison Badminton Club where she competed within the club as well as against other clubs in the area.

– Chatham Golf and Country Club – won Junior Girls Club Championship (1935), won Ladies Club Championship (1936)
– Maple City Country Club – won Ladies Club Championship 6 times (1963, ‘65, ‘67, ‘70, ‘78, ‘80) and was finalist 3 times (1966, ‘79, ‘83) – won Ladies Handicap Trophy 2 times (1959, ‘85) – was Ladies Senior Champion 3 times (1983, ‘86, ‘93) and was finalist once (1985)
– 1937-38 – played in 2 Ontario Junior Girls Championships
– 1961-75 – played in 12 Ontario Ladies Amateur Championships
– 1966-82 – played in 13 Ontario Ladies Senior Championships
– 1971 – played in First National Ladies Senior Championship
– 1950-1980 – won at least 15 Closed or Invitational Tournaments in Southern Ontario and acquitted herself very well in many, many others
– carried a handicap of between 9 and 12 for over 30 years

In addition, Fran worked tirelessly for her clubs, for Windsor District golf, and for the Ontario Ladies Golf Association. In 1973 she received a silver tray from the Ontario Golf association for “Her Distinguished Contribution to the Game of Golf in Ontario”. In 1995, because of her outstanding work over the years at Maple City Country Club, she was named the first Honourary Life Member by the Board of Directors.

Shirley Pilson (1921-91)

This life-long sports enthusiast excelled at a variety of endeavours but was particularly successful in curling at the local, provincial, and national levels. Shirley was born in 1921 and passed away in Chatham in 1991, having established herself as one of the top curlers in Canada.

– 1937, 1938, & 1939 – won the Pembroke Ontario Ladies Long Distance Swim
– 1960’s – played on 6 teams that won the New Brunswick Ladies Curling Championship including 4 as skip
– 1968 – was vice-skip of the New Brunswick Mixed Championship team
– 1970 – won the New Brunswick Senior Ladies Golf Championship
– 1971 – was runner-up in the New Brunswick Senior Ladies Golf Championships
– 1975 &1982 – representing the Chatham Granite Club, skipped her teams to the Ontario Senior Ladies Curling Championship receiving Recognition Awards from the Province for these accomplishments
– 1985, 1986, & 1987 – skipped her teams to 3 consecutive Southern Ontario Ladies Diamond Senior Ladies Curling Championships
– 1991 – one of the curling teams of which she was a member was inducted into the Bathurst, N.B. Hall of Fame
– 1992 – received an Appreciation Award from the Southern Ontario Ladies Curling Association

In all, Shirley was on 9 curling teams, skipping 6 of them, which won provincial championships and then competed at the Canadian level. She also skipped 3 Chatham teams to Southern Ontario Ladies Diamond Senior Curling Championships. In addition, she competed in 2 Canadian Senior Ladies Golf Championships.

Randy Rybansky (1961- )

While growing up in Chatham and attending John McGregor Secondary School, Randy was an all-round athlete. He competed in track and field, volleyball, minor hockey, but he excelled particularly in football and basketball. In 4 years of senior Panther football Randy was on undefeated teams as he played an ever-increasingly prominent role in helping to win 4 county and 4 SWOSSA Championships. He went on to star for the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks football team and to play 3 seasons in the Canadian Football League including 1 Grey Cup Game. Randy presently lives in Chatham and teaches and coaches football at The Pines.
John McGregor Secondary School – 1975-80
– 1976-77 Basketball – only year of junior – starred on Kent Championship team, was first team all-star and team Most Valuable Player
– Football – played on first Kent and SWOSSA championship team – was chosen Most Improved Athlete at JMSS
– 1977-78 Basketball – as first year senior, was on Kent and SWOSSA “AAA” championship team
– Football – lead team to second Kent and SWOSSA Championship, was first team all-star
– 1978-79 Basketball – second team all-star
– Football – lead team to third Kent and SWOSSA Championship, was first team all-star, and Offensive Player of the Year
– 1979-80 Basketball – first team all-star – Football – lead team to fourth consecutive Kent and SWOSSA Championship – never lost a football game in 4 years of senior play – was first team all-star
Wilfrid Laurier University
– 1980-84 – 3 time Player of the Game (Sept. 16/83, Oct. 29/83, and Sept. 15/84) – OUAA & CIAU Player of the Week (Sept.16/83) as he carried the ball 23 times for 156 yards and scored 3 touchdowns against McMaster – team Most Valuable Player 1983 season) – OUAA All-star (1984)
Canadian Football League – 1984-86
– 1984 tried out for Ottawa Rough Riders, returned to school
– 1985 played for Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats who were Eastern Division Champions and Grey Cup Finalists losing to British Columbia Lions – 1986 – played for Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Eddie Wright (1945 )

Eddie was born and raised in Chatham, attended Victoria Park Public School, John McGregor SS and Chatham Collegiate. He was a multi-sport athlete starring in baseball, football and hockey as he was growing up. He starred for the Junior Maroons and earned a scholarship at Boston University. After graduation, he became a coach and administrator at the university level and has remained in that position for over 40 years.

Baseball – 1958 to 1965 – played a key role in his teams winning 5 Ontario Baseball Association Championships – was team captain on all those teams
Football – 1964 – starred on the CCI football team that was undefeated and unscored upon
Hockey – played minor hockey pee wee through juvenile
– 1963-64 and 1964-65 – starred for the Junior Maroons who were league Champions in ’65 – earned a hockey scholarship to Boston University along with Maroon teammates, Herb Wakabayashi and Mickey Grey
– 1966 – played on freshman team and was among top 5 scorers
– 1967 – was on varsity team but did not see a lot of action
– 1968 – played centre on second line most of year – scored 13 goals and 16 assists – received Most Improved Player Award at BU
– 1969 – played on first line with Herb Wakabayashj and another Canadian, Serge Boily – scored 16 goals and 16 assists – received the ‘Player Who Exemplifies the Spirit of BU Hockey Award’

– 1970 – was named hockey coach at the State University of New York at Buffalo, becoming the first black head hockey coach at the university level – over 11 years his team’s record was 133-130-6
– 1981 – was named Director of Recreation and Intramurals at UB and held that post until 1992 when he became Assistant Director of Recreation and Intramurals along with several other responsibilities, a position he still holds
– 1993 to 1998 – was hockey scout for Anaheim Mighty Ducks
– 1997 – was inducted into CCI’s Athletic Hall of Fame
– 2010 – the newly renovated practice facility at BU was named the “Edward L. Wright Practice Facility” in recognition of his over 40 years of service as a coach, administrator, and teaching professional at the school

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