January 11, 2012
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan – Two people in the athlete’s category, two people as both athletes and builders, one team, one builder and one person for meritorious service will be inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame Saturday, April 21st, 2012 during a banquet in the Ches Leach Lounge adjacent to the Sports Hall of Fame in the Art Hauser Centre.
As protocol, to make room for the new slate of inductees, those inducted during the 2000 ceremony will have their citations presented to them and they will join the section of the Hall for the retired citations.
Athlete – Brad Bergen – Hockey
Brad Bergen had the opportunity to travel the world thanks to hockey, and then returned home to Prince Albert! Bergen played his entire minor hockey in PA with the West Hill Community Club, the Pee Wee A & W Bears, Bantam Imperial 400s and Midget Raiders.
The smooth skating defenseman would then go on to play four years, from 1983-87 with the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL. In Humboldt he would establish Bronco team records for: games played, goals and assists by a defenseman and saw his junior career come to an end losing the championship game of the Centennial Cup national championship to the Richmond, BC Sockeyes, who were coached by former Prince Albert Minto Orland Kurtenbach.
Bergen also played briefly in the Western Hockey League: 1 game for the Saskatoon Blades and 10 for the hometown Prince Albert Raiders before he was traded to the Regina Pats. Instead of reporting to the Pats, Bergen returned to Humboldt for his 20 year old season and a run at the Centennial Cup.
While in Humboldt, former coach Bernie Lynch assisted Bergen in getting in contact with the Professional league in Germany. In 1987 Bergen moved overseas to play 21 seasons with 9 different teams in the German Professional Loop.
Bergen would suit up for the German National Team from 1996-98 including the ’98 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan where he had 1 goal and 1 assist in 3 games. He also played in the 1996 World Championships and 1996 World Cup for Germany.
In 2008 at age 42, Bergen announced his retirement from the game and returned to Prince Albert with his wife Anja.
Immediately Bergen started giving back to the game, coaching within the Prince Albert Minor Hockey Association and with the Prince Albert Mintos of the Saskatchewan Major Midget League.
Athlete – Roger Boucher – Swimming
Prince Albert was put on the Swimming map across the province and across the country by Roger Boucher who excelled in breast stroke, establishing many local records. An illustrious career in the pool made Roger an elite coach for the Sharks Swim Club.
Roger Boucher first entered the water in 1986 as a member of the Sprite Swim Club. Within two years Boucher was winning medals at meets and he would explode onto the provincial scene.
In 1995 Roger swam a perfect meet going 6 for 6, qualifying for the Junior Nationals. At the 1998 Chinook Swim Meet in Calgary, Boucher broke 5 Sharks Club records and won the 200m breast stroke.
1999 saw Roger win the Speedo Athlete merit Award and break provincial records in the 100m and 200m breast stroke.
In 2000 he became the first member of the Sharks Club to attend the Canadian Olympic Time Trials, establishing a new personal best. He then joined the University of Calgary Dinos Swim Team. At the CIS Championships in 2002 Boucher won a bronze medal in the 100m breast stroke establishing a new Saskatchewan provincial record.
Boucher also excelled in water polo as a member of the Bantam Provincial A team in 1996 and as a member of the Sask Elite team in 1998.
After his competitive career came to a conclusion, Roger Boucher became the Head Coach of the Prince Albert Sharks Swim Club.
Builder – Joe Bexson – Box Lacrosse
In the year 2000 Joe Bexson had a dream to bring the sport of Box Lacrosse to Prince Albert for his son Javan and others. With determination and hard work, he succeeded!
As with anything new there is a huge learning curve. Bexson would attend coaches and officials clinics in 2000 to learn the fine points of the game and would coach Prince Albert’s first ever Box Lacrosse team in the bantam/midget division to Provincials in Saskatoon.
By 2002 Bexson was organizing a Prince Albert Box Lacrosse league for a number of age divisions. He continued to take coaching and officiating courses and would pass that information on to others in the city league. He would then get involved at a Provincial level at the Saskatchewan Lacrosse AGM. He officiated at Bantam Provincials in 2002.
In 2003 Bexson had another dream – a Junior team in PA to compete in a province wide league. Again with hard work this became a reality. And again Bexson found himself as a key organizer of the PA Predators Junior Team and the Prairie Gold Junior Lacrosse League. He would serve the provincial association as Vice President of Marketing in 2005.
At the same time Bexson continued to be involved at the minor level, assisting to bid, host and execute Bantam Provincials in 2003 and Pee Wee Provincials in PA in 2004.
He was the Head Coach of the Junior Predators from 2004-07 leading them to the Provincial Tier II title in 2007.
Athlete & Builder – Jim McLachlan – Football
Jim McLachlan had a tremendous career as a football player and then as a builder in the sport in Prince Albert.
On the field Jim excelled as a linebacker for the Tech Tigers from 1966 to 1970. He would move on to the Saskatoon Hilltops Junior football organization where he played from 1970 to 1971 which earned him a scholarship to attend school and play football at Bemidji State University, Minnesota. Jim also had a try-out with the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League where he blew out his knee and ended his football career.
Upon retirement Jim McLachlan returned to Prince Albert and would be a big part of the Carlton Crusaders High School coaching staff for over 30 years. In 1995 he coached the Crusaders to the Provincial 3A final were they were edged 21-20 by North Battleford Vikings.
After the St. Mary High School football program folded in the mid 1990’s, McLachlan would organize a parent/alumni group at Carlton to keep football alive in Prince Albert. The group was successful in getting into the Saskatoon High School league that year.
He also was a key person in the start-up of the Kinsmen Minor Football program in the mid-2000’s, again rallying Carlton and high school alumni in the city to be organizers and coaches.
Another important facet of Jim’s contribution to the sport is the attaining of scholarships for a number of his high school athletes like Dane McArhur, Roy Charles, Rob Trebelcock and Ryan Molitwenik to name a few.
Jim was awarded the Outstanding Citizen of the Month Award by CKBI in January, 2000, for his involvement in Prince Albert Football. Also, in September, 2002, the Saskatchewan Roughriders presented Jim with an Appreciation Award for developing amateur football in Saskatchewan.
He also was involved with the Prince Albert Raiders Hockey Club as Strength and Conditioning coach under Terry Simpson.
Athlete & Builder – Garth Gariepy – Boxing
Garth Gariepy was a legend in Saskatchewan boxing, winning 12 consecutive provincial championships from 1968-79. He often would fight up in weight classes for more competition, with the biggest differential taking on boxers 70 pounds heavier, and winning!
He also won gold medals at the Saskatchewan Winter Games, Canada Winter Games, Northwest Boxing Championships in Whitehorse and Winnipeg, Western Canada Summer Games, Western Canadian Golden Gloves and at an Exchange with Newfoundland.
One of the more noteworthy fights for Gariepy was at the Provincial Championships in 1977 in Meadow Lake when he took on Dennis Lays from Weyburn, who weighed in 70 pounds greater. Gariepy knocked him out in the third round!
When his days as a competitor in the ring were complete, Gariepy would start the Tut Coombs Boxing Club in Prince Albert, named after his longtime coach who is also a member of the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame.
Gariepy’s biggest contribution back to boxing came as an official as he started refereeing in 1990. He would officiate at many prestigious events including: Western Canadians in Lloydminster (1994), Western Canadians in Kelowna (2002), North American Indigenous Games (2002), Western Canadians in Edmonton (2003), Head Official at Western Canadians in North Battleford (2004), National Senior Championships in Regina (2004), National Junior Championships in Brantford, Ontario (2005), Western Canadians in Whitehorse, Yukon (2006), National Juniors/Cadets in Edmonton (2008), Nationals in Windsor, Ontario (2008) and National Juniors in Edmonton (2009).
Meritorious Service – Braddock Koch – Boxing
Being named after a fighter – Irish-American James Braddock, Braddock Koch was destined to forge a life in the boxing ring. As a competitor in his home province of British Columbia, Koch would win Inland Empire Championships, Provincial and Western Canadian crowns and captured a Bronze at nationals. Upon moving to Prince Albert at the age of 20, Koch knew it was time to give back to the sport and become a coach.
Koch was more than a coach for his hundreds of athletes from the Tut Coombs Boxing Club and Wildcats Boxing Club for 22 years from 1989-2011. Koch understood many kids who take up boxing have life challenges just like he did when he got into the sport at age 11. Many come from broken families and turn to boxing as a sport and also a lifestyle. Koch would ensure, as much as he could, that that lifestyle was a positive one.
He would act as Uncle, Father, Grandfather as well as coach to many of his athletes. Besides training them in the technical skills of the sport, Koch would guide many through life on a day to day basis.
Koch would coach at 22 Saskatchewan Championships, bringing home Champions in 20 of those years. He also would be the Head Coach for the Zone 8 Boxing team for 8 years at Saskatchewan Winter Games. 3 times boxers under Koch’s tutelage would attend Canadian Championships with the best result being a silver medal.
One of Koch’s top accomplishments was as the Coach of Team Saskatchewan at the first ever North American Indigenous Games in Edmonton. The 11 boxers he took would bring home 4 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals.
In 2011 Koch’s life took a new direction as he retired from being a boxing coach to become a member of the clergy.
Team – 1958 PACI 6-man Football
The sport of football in Prince Albert started in the mid 1950’s. PACI, Riverside Collegiate and St.Mary all started 6-man programs with very little equipment. PACI would have a total of 6 helmets, of which 2 were leather, to share among players in the first days of the program. The Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association recognized the need for more protective equipment and made helmets and pads available to the schools.
PACI would play their first game at Riverside in 1957 with one of the teachers volunteering to be the referee. In subsequent games, former player Al Olander would volunteer to be the official and recruit others, to form the first referee’s association.
In ’57 the PACI team lost the two game total point provincial final to Yorkton. In 1958, eight players from that team were joined by 5 others to form a very strong Golden Bear team.
In the 2 game northern final they would take on Lloydminster, losing the first game 46-35, but would rally a week later for a convincing 47-6 win at PACI to advance to their second straight provincial final.
That final was played against Wynyard with PACI winning both games handily to give Prince Albert its first ever Football Title – the Saskatchewan 6-man High School crown!
The following year Prince Albert Schools changed to 8-man football and in 1961 converted to 12-man.
Inducted in 2000:
- PA Northern Bus Lines Midget Softball teams – 1995/96
- Tom Chad
- Lew Hobson
- Barkley Rocheleau
- John Odnokon
- Allan Olson
- Duncan Sinclair
Tickets for the 2012 Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, April 21 are $40 each and available at Community Services in City Hall. Corporate tables of 8 are $500 each which includes sponsorship of the event.
For More Information:
Ellen Grewcock, PASHOF President – 922-3115 ext.251
Bruce Vance, PASHOF Vice President – 765-2824