2014 Athlete-Legend Nominees For Chatham Sports Hall of Fame
The Chatham Sports Hall of Fame recently announced their 2014 nominees for the Induction Ceremony which will take place this coming September. Below are the nominees for the Athlete-Legend category. The winning selection will be announced before July 11.
The nominees are:
Jamie Jefferson – Jamie was born in Chatham and has lived here all his life. He started boxing in 1984 at age 11 and quickly rose in the sport to become Ontario Junior Champion at age 13. Since then Jamie has won 4 more Ontario Junior Championships, 2 Ontario Intermediate Championships, and 2 Ontario Seniors. He has competed successfully at the Canadian National level, has won 4 Championships in Detroit, and has won numerous other boxing tournaments. Jamie is presently a Level II NCCP Coach and for several years was head coach of the KAYO Boxing Club.
Ron Johnston – For over 40 years, Ron Johnston was a standout softball pitcher for Chatham and area teams. He led his teams to numerous league and tournament championships. Three times he was named league MVP and four times he won the Top Pitcher Award. Eight times his teams advanced in OASA playdowns reaching the finals twice, in 1956 with the Chatham Co-op team and in 1968 with the Chatham Parkview Hotel team. In 1959-60 Ron was named as one of the top sports performers of the year by the Chatham Daily News. Through the years he also competed in hockey, floor hockey and horseshoes where he also excelled. Ron lived in Tilbury where for 25 years where he was the Arena and Parks Manager. Ron passed away in 2013.
Brian Lancaster – Brian began his hydroplane racing career in 1969 and ended in 1984. Over that time he built his own boats and motors, raced them wherever he could, and won many significant championships. He won two Ontario Championships in 1974 and 1978 and one Quebec Provincial Championship in 1974. He won state championships New York in 1973 and in Michigan in 1978. In 1979 Brian won the Canadian National Championship in the Unlimited Class which was the fastest of all the boats. Because of his success he was asked by other racers to design boats and motors for them which he did. Brian lives in Chatham and worked at Eaton Yale for 30 years.
Ed Wright – Ed was born and raised in Chatham and developed into an outstanding football, baseball, and hockey player. Ed was a valuable member of 2 CCI football championship teams, one of which was undefeated and did not yield a point. He was a receiver and sometime quarterback. He led his minor baseball teams to 5 OBA Championships playing at the highest level of competition. Most years Ed was team captain playing either catcher or centrefield. He played minor hockey and then for the Junior Maroons for 3 years (1963-65) and was ranked as one of the team’s leading scorer each year. He accepted a scholarship and from 1965 to 1969 attended Boston University which had one of the top hockey programs in NCAA Division I. There he teamed with fellow Chathamite, Herb Wakabayashi, and became one of the top penalty killing pair and at one point did not allow a shot on goal for 36 minutes of penalties. They played on the same line in their senior year and Ed helped Herb to be named All-American. While at Boston, Ed won 2 major awards. In 1968 he was chosen “Most Improved Player” and in 1969 he was named “The Player Who Exemplifies the Spirit of BU Hockey”. After graduation, Ed went to the University of Buffalo where for over 40 years he worked as coach, administrator, and teacher. In 2010, Buffalo honoured Ed for his dedication to the school by naming their new athletic facility the “Edward L. Wright Practice Facility”. Also in 2010, Ed was honoured by the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society when they recognized his achievements in a ceremony at the WISH Centre.