The 1994 Raider Football Team was exactly that, a team. It was a team effort all the way that got the squad to the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association 3A Football provincial championship. Coached by Steve Variyan and a mix of highly respected former football players and veteran coaches including Tom Dutton, Urban Kiernan, Ed Magis, Don Trevena and Miles Tabin, the Raiders capped an 8-2 season with a thrilling 29-21 win over the North Battleford Vikings. The victory, before over 500 fans in North Battleford, was only the third provincial title for the Regional High School but it was the second in four years.
The road to the championship game was an exciting one with the Raiders defeating Swift Current in the quarter finals and Moose Jaw in the semi finals. Both YRHS losses had come at the hands of the North Battleford Vikings. Many of the grade 12 players had been together for four years of football, and the previous year the team made it to the provincial championship before losing a close game to the Notre Dame Hounds.
Although the coaches say the team didn't focus on any individual stars and that it was a team concept that brought them success, many players went on to have successful careers beyond high school. Mark Dutton and Colin Dutton (University of Saskatchewan) and Trent Szabo (McGill) played at the university level. Sean Brimacombe (Saskatoon Hilltops), Ryan Gay (Saskatoon Hilltops), Stu Russell, Ryan Effa and Joe Vitkoskis (Regina Rams) played junior football. Mark Dutton was also part of two Vanier Cup winning teams, his brother Colin was on a Huskie team that claimed one Vanier Cup title and Sean Brimacombe won a national championship with the Saskatoon Hilltops.
Don had an exceptional trap shooting career, winning many trophies at the local and provincial level and represented the zone at the Saskatchewan Summer Games in 1980. From 1985 through 1988 he qualified as a member of the Saskatchewan Amateur Trapshooting Association all star team. He represented Saskatchewan several times at the Canadian Trapshooting Championships, including those held in Saskatoon, Hamilton and Brandon between 1985 and 1988. He competed in many open competitions in Canada and in 1983 also competed at the Phoenix Mid-Winter Trapshoot.
As a founding member of Yorkton Trap Shooting Club Don spend many hours on planning, construction, and maintenance of the Yorkton Wildlife Federation building and grounds at York Lake Regional Park. A place for meetings, trapshooting and skeet competitions became a reality through the efforts of people like Don.
In curling, Don worked tirelessly to help plan the Yorkton Curling Rink and Agriplex. He was a club director for six years, draw master for five years, and president for 15 years. In 1960 he won the Saskatchewan Curling Association district championship and throughout his curling years brought home much hardware, starting in 1953-54 when he skipped his high school team to the local championships including the Park Trophy.
Don's involvement with golf were also extensive, sitting on the Board of Directors for the Deer Park Golf Course and working diligently for that club for many years. Don also played basketball and baseball, and participated in track and field in his younger days. He competed against the Harlem Globetrotters on one of their tours. Don was also an avid nordic and alpine skier and an accomplished fisherman and hunter. Don was recognized as Yorkton's Sportsman of the Year in 1984 and in 1985 received a lifetime membership from the Yorkton Curling Club.
Gene's interest in hockey dates back to the late 1960s first as a volunteer with the Yorkton Senior Terriers, then a coach in minor hockey. From 1984 to 1994 he served the Junior Terriers hockey club as an executive member and administrator, including vice-president from 1984 to 1986 and president from 1986 through 1993. Following that, he was a volunteer with the hockey team for another 25 years.
In 1986 he was instrumental in the development of the scholarship fund for graduating players who attended post secondary education. He developed and helped organize major fundraisers for the club.
During 1995-97 Gene wrote Twenty Five Years with the Yorkton Terriers 1972-1997...The Puck Does Not Stop Here, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the hockey club. Proceeds went to the hockey team. Two copies can be found in the NHL Sport Hall of Fame in Toronto. From 1997 to 1999 Gene co-chaired the national championship Royal Bank Cup hosted by Yorkton in 1999.
He served the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League as a Governor from 1984 to 1994, co-ordinator of the all-star weekend in Yorkton in 1986 and 1987, chairman of the league expansion committee from 1988 to 1993, and vice-chair of the Board of Governors from 1990 to 1994.
Michael's hockey career started at age 5, playing minor hockey in Springside and Yorkton where he was recognized with a number of Most Valuable Player awards. He was an under-age player with the Yorkton Bantam team which hosted the Puralator Cup, played for Athol Murray College of Notre Dame as a Bantam and then as a member of their AAA team where he was consistently a top 10 point getter, followed by two seasons with the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
In 1990 he received a full-four year scholarship to Ohio State as a Buckeye. In 1995 he played semi-pro hockey in Australia, and in May of that year, as a member of the Canadian National Deaf Ice Hockey Team, Michael was chosen captain and at Rovaniemi, Finland at the International Olympic Games for the Deaf he led all players in points as Canada brought home the silver medal in competition with Russia, Finland, USA, Switzerland and Sweden. In 1999 as captain of the Canadian national team at the World championships for national deaf teams in Davos, Switzerland, he set new records for points and helped Canada win the gold medal. In 2003, again as captain of the national deaf team playing in the 15th Annual Winter Olympics in Sundsvall, Sweden, he helped Canada bring home the gold medal.
In 1995 Michael took over as coach of the Williston North Dakota Coyotes varsity hockey team. The Coyotes went to the state championship every year he coached, a feat never before accomplished. He instructed at hockey schools in Yorkton, Notre Dame, Williston and Springside, and at the Jim Kyte Hockey School for the Deal in Winnipeg and Ottawa. He has been a great ambassador for Canada, Yorkton and Springside, showing determination and a positive attitude and dealing with life's challenges.
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