Alfredo Bermudez was short in stature but cast a tall shadow over the development of competitive soccer in Yorkton and area. Alfredo, or Alfie as he is known to his family and friends, was born in El Salvador, but left for Mexico to escape his country's civil unrest. In 1984 Alfie and family moved to Yorkton, and he proudly became a Canadian citizen in 1988. He became involved in Yorkton soccer when his son was 6 and his team needed a coach. He was a natural; he had been playing soccer in his native El Salvador since the time he had learned to walk. As a coach and mentor he had a profound impact.
Alfie worked hard to obtain the highest level of coaching certification through the Canadian Soccer Association, and from 1996 to 2008 he had a hand in coaching teams that participated in, and won medals in the Saskatchewan Summer Games, the Saskatchewan Premier Soccer League, under-16 and under-18 girls division 2 provincial championships, high school provincial boys and girls 2A championships, under-14 boy's division 1 indoor and outdoor provincial championships, and women's division 2 outdoor provincial championships. In 2000 Alfie coached a Yorkton boy's team at the International Children's Games in Hamilton ON, where Yorkton played teams from South Korea and Spain.
Perhaps his coaching impact is best reflected by the accomplishments of the many players he had a hand in coaching. It was rewarding for Alfie to see kids that he has coached, like Andy Wyatt and Michael Jakubiec develop into first rate coaches themselves. As well, many of the children Alfie helped coach went on to play soccer at a high level, such as university players Cale Griffith, Dillon Ferridge, Steven DeLong and Bailey Popowich. Alfredo Bermudez was the architect of competitive soccer in Yorkton.
Rod Merritt first took to the ice to enjoy the sport of broomball in physical education classes while growing up in Sheho SK. This was the beginnings of his interest as a player and builder in the broomball that extended over the next 40 plus years. He started playing in 1958 in the Yorkton area, then moved to Thompson MB where he continued his playing days with the Thompson Hot Shots. There he accumulated five league championships. From 1970 to 1972 he played in Saskatoon before playing with some of the top teams in Edmonton AB. He was elected as the first president of the Alberta Broomball Association in 1976. He played in the Western Canadian Broomball Championships from 1968 to 1975.
Rod made his way back to Yorkton in the early 1980s and continued his involvement in the Yorkton area. As part of a group of Yorkton die-hard broomballers an annual tournament was organized to keep the sport active. When the competitive league began to dissolve Rod kept broomball active in the community by starting a non-contact team in Yorkton, and organizing other tournaments. While involved in the broomball league in Yorkton from 1980 to 1995, Rod held various executive positions. As a player Rod played on provincial championship teams representing Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan. He played in and also chaired numerous Western Canadian broomball championships. He was the inaugural first vice president of the Canadian Broomball Association and served from 1975 to 1994. In honor of his contributions, Rod was presented The Volunteer Recognition Award by the Saskatchewan Broomball Association in 1996. Rod, Terry Forbes and the Sports History Committee researched The History Book of Broomball in Saskatchewan. In April of 2009 Rod was awarded The 100th Anniversary Leadership Award.
His involvement with broomball spanned more than 40 years, but his skills weren't restricted to the ice. He was an avid fastball player, manager, and coach. He won numerous billiards championships under his belt, and played in and organized a number of golf tournaments in Yorkton.
Not many athletes personify Hometown Hero more than Darrell Spelay, who grew up and played his minor hockey in Yorkton and is remembered for four spectacular seasons speeding down the right wing for the Yorkton Terriers. From 1979 to 1983 under the leadership of legendary coach Gerry James, Darrell put up some amazing statistics in a brilliant junior career. In 246 games he scored 243 goals and added 208 assists for 451 points, an average 1.83 points per game. These long stood as Terrier and SJHL all-time records.
In 1980 Darrell attended the training camp of the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings and finished camp as the leading scorer. However, loyal to his hometown roots he returned home to the Terriers for the season. He had four consecutive 50-goal seasons (56, 51, 73 64 goals) and four trips to the SJHL all star game playing in games that featured future NHLers Chris Chelios, Dave Tippett and James Patrick.
Darrell was a member of the 1982-83 Yorkton Terriers that won the SJHL Championship in a thrilling series against the Weyburn Red Wings. Following his junior career Darrell played senior hockey for two seasons with the Langenburg Warriors and one season with the Canora Renegades. Darrell contributed back to the Terriers as a director for 2 years and has held various executive positions with the Kinsmen Club of Yorkton.
In 2000 Darrell was chosen as the starting right winger on the All Millenium Terrier Team and when the Terriers celebrated their 35th anniversary during the 2007 season he was chosen first of the Top 35 Terriers of all time. Darrell's number 6 jersey has been retired by the Terriers.
Terry Struthers was hired at CJGX Radio in December of 1988 as sports director and play by play announcer for the Yorkton Terriers and Melville Millionaires, and every local senior league. In years to follow his broadcasting lists would also include the Lebret Eagles of the SJHL, the Swan Valley Stampeders and Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the MJHL, the Fort Knox Junior B hockey team along with AAA Midget games for the Yorkton Harvest. Terry also did play-by-play for cable TV Cable broadcasts of all Yorkton Terrier home games. He also broadcast curling, baseball and football games on CJGX.
After working in construction in Edmonton AB he signed up for a broadcasting course and was hired at CFSL in Weyburn in 1983 as a part time announcer. His first hockey season at CJGX in 1988-89, Terry broadcast about 75 hockey games, and every year after that more than 100 games, totaling more than 2,000 hockey broadcasts during his time in Yorkton radio. He also covered summer and winter games, golf, baseball, fastball, slo-pitch, track and field, curling, football, soccer, broomball, billiards, snowmobiling, fishing and all school sports -- if it was a sport, Terry covered it. He also served on the host committee for the 1999 provincial Summer Games in Yorkton, the 1999 Royal Bank Cup in Yorkton and the first ever World Junior Hockey Challenge. He played hockey, slo-pitch, fastball, baseball, snowmobiling, stock car racing, billiards and golf. Terry coached ladies' fastball for many years.
Career highlights include the first Centennial Cup appearance for the Yorkton Terriers in 1991 in Sudbury ON; Royal Bank Cup tournament in Melfort, Yorkton and Streetsville ON; the Air Canada Cup National Midget Championship in Sault Ste. Marie ON; covering the 1999 Brier in Edmonton and the World Curling tour events in Yorkton. He had the opportunity to meet some so his sports heroes, including Rocket Richard, Guy Lafleur, Frank Mahovolich, Bobby Hull, Dennis Hull, Paul Henderson, Phil Esposito, Richie Hall and Sandra Schmirler, to name a few. In 2001 he was chosen by the SJHL as the inaugural winner of the Media of the Year award and in 2008 Hockey Canada recognized Terry for his dedication to amateur hockey.
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