By Bobinec, Greg on November 20, 2019.
Lethbridge College Kodiaks Athletics will be inducting their second group of honourees into the Kodiaks Hall of Fame during the upcoming Kodiaks’ basketball and volleyball weekend homestand Friday and Saturday evening.
Two athletes, two builders and two teams are set to be inducted into the hall of fame. In addition to celebrating the athletes and teams, the college is proud to welcome its first-ever inductees to the builder category. The category recognizes those who have served as trainers, managers, administrators, community stakeholders or support staff, that have made a major contribution to the development of Lethbridge College’s athletic programs. Former instructor and coach Mary Wall and long-time supporters Flora and the late Val Matteotti are the inaugural inductees for the builder category.
“The ability to have a vision and the dedication to make that vision a reality is why we honour builders like Mary, Val and Flora,” said Todd Caughlin, manager of Kodiaks Athletics.
“Lethbridge College athletics would not be where it is today without the work and commitment that these amazing people had so long ago.”
The Matteottis are long-time supporters of the Kodiaks through donations that helped the college complete construction of the gymnasium, which was named in honour of Val, as well as supporting recruitment and scholarships for the Kodiaks.
Wall joined the college in 1970 as the first woman physical education instructor and played a key role in the development of the women’s basketball and volleyball programs, established a precision women’s dance team, as well as coached basketball and volleyball.
Entering the hall of fame in the team category are the 1962-63 women’s basketball team, which was the first team fielded by the college, and the 1966-67 men’s basketball team that went 18-1 on its way to a Western Inter-College Conference Championship.
Both teams were coached by Gary Bowie.
“It feels so good to be recognized because I came here two years ago for a show and I looked at all of the banners and we weren’t there, but now we will be and that is exciting,” says Shirley Peterson, member of the 1962-63 women’s basketball team.
“We were 10 women who didn’t know each other, we came from different parts of Alberta and came to join the basketball team and ended up being champions. It was wonderful and I hope we did inspire the next group that did come along.”
Athletes entering the hall of fame this year include Lori Hart, who starred for the Kodiaks women’s volleyball team from 1981 to 1984, and Carlos Maffia, a men’s basketball star and Kodiaks coach.
“I was surprised when I got the notification, a little bit teary because it’s really nice that people remember you from way back,” says Hart. “We went through a lot of old newspaper articles and other stuff, it was a great trip down memory lane and thinking about all of the friendships you make doing sports, being on a team is a big part of it.”
The induction ceremonies for the Lethbridge College Kodiaks Athletics Hall of Fame will take place this weekend during the Kodiaks volleyball and basketball games as part of the Alumni Weekend, where all Lethbridge College and Kodiaks alumni are invited to join in the celebration. Admission is by donation all weekend, with all proceeds going to support student-athletic scholarships. A VIP lounge for all alumni will open at 5:30 p.m. each night with free food, beverages, games and exclusive prize draws.
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