Chatham Sports Hall of Fame Names 2011 Inductees
They are names that bring back memories for many across Chatham-Kent, and September 15, they will be honoured forever as members of the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame.
Selected for the class of 2011 were figure skater Joelle Batten-Daigneau, coach Gene Dziadura, football player Randy Rybansky, and two teams, the 84-85 Maple City Ice Crystals junior precision skating team, and the 1979 Chatham midget baseball team.
Batten-Daigneau will be inducted in the athlete-modern. During her skating career, Batten – Daigneau won six medals, including two gold, at the Western Ontario skating championships and was a two time medalist at the Canadian championships (gold in 1986 as a novice and bronze in 1987 as a junior). She won a bronze medal at a 1987 competition in Italy as part of the national junior team. Her best finish at the Canadian senior championships was seventh in 1991.
Dziadura, who passed away in 2010, will be inducted into the builder category. He coached several sports during a 35-year teaching career at Chatham Collegiate Institute. He was an area scout for the Philadelphia Phillies and is credited with developing Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins. The Windsor native also played in the Chicago Cubs’ minor league system before moving to Chatham.
Rybansky, this year’s athlete-legend inductee, played football at Wilfrid Laurier University from 1980-84 and was an Ontario second-team all-star running back in 1984. He played in the CFL with Toronto and Hamilton in 1985 and ’86, making one trip to the Grey Cup.
Finally, two teams will be inducted into the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame class of 2011 as there was a tie in the voting. The 1979 Chatham Erie and Huron Beverages Midgets won the Ontario Baseball Association elimination tournament and placed fourth at the Canadian championship. The Ice Crystals won bronze medals at the Canadian championships and gold at the Mid American championships in 1984 and again in 1985.
Tickets for the event, which will take place September 15 at the Chatham W.I.S.H. Centre go on sale July 11.