Yorkton Minor Sports was granted the right to host the Western Canadian Bantam Hockey Championships in the spring of 1997, and with the host's berth secured, a team was assembled that would be competitive and capable of winning the championship. The team posted an impressive regular season record with 21-2-1 in the South Saskatchewan Bantam League. Including tournaments and playoffs, the squad finished the season with 61 wins, 8 losses, and 1 tie. Six Yorkton scorers finished in the top 10 in league scoring, and their two netminders finished second and third in goals against average. In league playoffs, Yorkton defeated the Esterhazy Flyers in the final two games to one, but in provincial play they suffered a second-round setback by losing to the Naicam Vikings.
As the host team of the western championship they competed against the Langley (BC) Eagles, Spruce Grove (AB) Broncos, Unity (SK) Lazers, and Winnipeg (MB) Warriors. The Terriers began slowly by losing their opening game of the tournament against the Saskatchewan champions from Unity. They rebounded by winning the remaining three games of the round robin, which propelled them to the finals. The tournament final was played at the Parkland Agriplex before a crowd of more than 1,300 fans. Yorkton's Michael Clague made 47 saves, and Trevor Secundiak scored at 5:43 of overtime to give the hometown team the championship over the Langley Eagles.
Most of the players continued their hockey careers at the midget level, and eight played in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Western Hockey League teams drafted nine of the bantams with four playing in the WHL. Several earned scholarships to US colleges, and three played semi-pro in the United States. Jarret Stoll was selected by the Kootenay Ice and captained the team to the Memorial Cup in 2002. He was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 2002 and played in the NHL.
Team members were stickboy Lonnie Kopan, Wilie Olynyk, Trevor Secundiak, Brent Yaremko, Assistant Coach Jason Gordon, Bryan Heshka, Coach Tim Stoll, Michael Clague, Clint Belitsky, Alex Brischuk, Trainer Rick Stephenson, Ricky Stephenson, Chad Wonchulanko, Derek Halldorson, Chad Elmy, Justin Hellegards, Jarret Stoll, Manager Brian Belitsky, Ryan Neal, Phil Sobkow, Kurtis Zuchkan, Lance Kopan, Blake Poncelet and Brett Wiley.
During his athletic career, David Baron has participated in sports including broomball, flag football, hockey, fastball and curling. He was the leading hitter of the Yorkton Fastball League in 1978. He enters the Yorkton Sports Hall of Fame as a builder in the sports of volleyball and track and field. David was a founding member of the Yorkton Indoor Games and served as meet director of the track and field event for eight years. He was a coach of the Yorkton Legion Track Club for 14 years. He coached at the Legion provincial track camp for six years, was the head coach in 1978 and 1979, and coached the Saskatchewan team at the national championships.
David was a founder of the Yorkton Blitz Girls' Volleyball Club and a coach of this team when they won provincial midget championships in 1987, 1988, and 1991. The 1988 team also won the Western Canadian Championship. He coached the junior high school Yorkdale Royals to the provincial bantam championship in 1989, and was a coach of the Yorkton Macs Juvenile team that won gold in 1996.
He coached the Saskatchewan provincial elite Midget girls' volleyball teams from 1986 to 1990 and acted as head coach from 1988 to 1990. The 1989 team won gold at the Western Canadians and the 1990 team claimed the silver. In 2003 David achieved his Level IV National Certification as a volleyball official and has officiated at numerous national championships. He was cochair of sports for the 2000 Saskatchewan Summer Games in Yorkton.
David's provincial awards include the Bob Adams Coach of the Year award in track in 1986, volleyball Coach of the Year in 1988, and volleyball Official of the Year in 2003. He was Yorkton's Sportsman of the Year in 1988.
Betty Cheavins became involved with figure skating at the club level in communities where her husband Mel was stationed with the RCMP: Gravelbourg, Torquay, Blaine Lake, Hudson Bay, and Langenburg. She served on figure skating executives in a variety of roles including that of vice-president and president. Betty developed precision skating in Langenburg and assisted the Esterhazy club as they traveled to the Canadian Championships in Thunder Bay in 1985 and in Vancouver in 1986. Over the years, she assisted the Yorkton club with test days, competitions and precision skating. In January of 2008 she helped to host the provincial STARSkate competition held in the city.
Trained as a judge, Betty adjudicated figures and dance from 1966 to 1989, and precision skating from 1985 to 1993 in this province and across Canada. She conducted clinics and workshops and in 1989 she did a clinic at an international competition in Santa Rosa, California. She was the coordinator of precision skating for the Saskatchewan Figure Skating Association from 1984 to 1988. Betty developed a program for handicapped skaters which was used as a model for similar programs. She served as the manager of Special Olympics teams including the 1997 floor hockey team that participated at the Winter Games in Calgary and at a competition in San Diego, California. Betty was co-chair of the Special Olympics Saskatchewan Summer Games held in Yorkton in 1994. She served as a board member of SaskSport and on the selection committee of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. Betty received the Zone 4 Volunteer Award for her work with Special Olympics athletes and was twice the recipient of the Elizabeth Swan Award for outstanding work in the promotion of precision skating in the province.
Like many boys growing up in Saskatchewan, Arden played minor hockey. He played junior hockey with the Yorkton Terriers in 1979 and 1980 and for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies from 1983 to 1986. But it would be in golf that Arden would make his mark. At best, the golf season in Saskatchewan might be six months long, but Arden learned the game on the golf courses in the area.
From 1983 to 1990, Arden won the prestigious local Labatts' Blue Owl Tournament four times. He won the Saskatchewan Amateur Golf Championship in 1989 and again in 1990. He finished 12th in the 1989 Canadian Amateur Championship and was the runner-up in 1990. In the fall of 1990, he became a professional.
For the next 10 years Arden played on the Canadian PGA, Asian, Australian, South American, and Nationwide tours. He won the Payless Open Tournament and the Columbian Open in 1996 and the Niagara Classic in 1999. Arden represented Canada at the World Cup in 1999. He qualified for the United States Open in 1993 and 1994 and finished 62nd in 1993, an outstanding achievement considering that approximately 10,000 golfers attempt to qualify for the tournament. In 1996, Arden received the Gordon Bryson Trophy as the most improved player on the Canadian tour. That same year he won Score Magazine's award as Canada's top touring professional.
John Zeeben's connection to baseball covered more than 60 years. Since there was very little minor baseball he began playing senior baseball while still in his teens with eastern Saskatchewan teams like the Donwell Combines, the Canora Supers, and the Kamsack Cyclones, as well as the Bowsman (MB) Maroons. The Kamsack Cyclones baseball team consisted primarily of American college import players and their coach from California along with some local players. John was one of the Canadian pitchers on the team. He made his debut by pitching a no-hitter and continued with a 12 win and no loss season. He was chosen as the all-star pitcher at the end of the season.
Through his association with Cyclones coach Roy Taylor, John was able to secure a baseball scholarship to the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, which he attended from 1952 to 1954. During the summer he continued to play with the Cyclones. In 1955, at age 23, John was the player/coach of the Canora Supers that won the Manitoba/Saskatchewan League Championship. In 1956, he played in the Winnipeg Senior League and compiled a 9 win 1 loss record as a pitcher. He then concentrated his efforts on farming, operating a business, and raising his family.
From 1969 to 1978 John conducted coaching clinics as a Saskatchewan Baseball Association instructor and coached baseball and girls' softball with Yorkton Minor Sports. From 1995 to 1999 John coached at the midget level. He was the assistant coach of the Yorkton AAA Midget Expos that won the provincial championship and the bronze medal at the Canadian championships. He was an assistant coach with the AAA Yorkton Midget Prairie Bandits team that went to the provincial championship in 1999. John was one of the founders of the Yorkton Cardinals baseball team that began play in the Western Major Baseball League in 2002 and was an assistant coach with the team and a member of the executive. John received the Saskatchewan Baseball Association Award of Merit in 1970 and the SBA Certificate of Appreciation in 1999. He achieved Level II of the National Coaching Certification Program in 2001. That same year he was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of the Bowsman Maroons.
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