The Delta Sports Hall of Fame is proud to present its class of 2017 for recognition at its gala banquet on Oct. 21 at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn.
Family, friends, past inductees and Sports Champions, and the public are invited to join the DSHOF committee and the award winners at the banquet. A panel of parents whose kids competed for Team Canada in this year’s Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA will be sharing their experiences about representing Canada and Delta on a world stage. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased until Oct. 14 by calling Rick or Carlene at 604-943-0469.
Started in 2005, the Delta Sports Hall of Fame’s goal is “to celebrate Delta sport achievement, recognize excellence and honour past, present and future role models.” For more information on the Delta Sports Hall of Fame, please visit their website at deltasportshalloffame.ca.
This year’s inductees are:
Builder: Jamie Davidson — Cycling
Over the past 17 years, the Tour de Delta has become one of the great community events in the Lower Mainland and the kick-start to BC Superweek. Although many have contributed to its ongoing success, Davidson is one of few credited with the initial vision, insight, expertise, passion and hours of time given to build the Tour de Delta into the internationally recognized event it has become today.
In 2000 he was recruited to join the inaugural board of directors for the Tour, where his technical knowledge was critical to creating a world class race. In addition, Davidson played a crucial role in drawing national and international athletes to the Tour de Delta. Since that first year, the Tour de Delta has grown in size, popularity and support, and is now a UCI internationally sanctioned race, attracting the world’s finest to Delta.
“It went from a local bike race with a few international riders to an international race with a few local riders,” Davidson said.
Davidson has volunteered his time with the Tour de Delta for 15 years, creating and building the event. Other communities have adopted his model and implementation, which continues to build the sport of cycling in Canada. While his motivation for building the race came from a desire to showcase cycling, the Tour quickly became an event that pulled the community together and celebrated sport in Delta.
Pioneer: Herb Betts — Soccer
Those youths playing organized soccer in North Delta owe a great debt to this year’s Pioneer inductee. More than 50 years ago there were few opportunities for kids before Betts and a dedicated group of volunteers established the Delta Juvenile Soccer Club, based out of Ladner, in 1961. Betts later helped establish the North Delta Soccer Club (NDSC) in 1967, where he served as one of its directors and executives for many years.
Without proper pitches, Betts recognized the need for a lighted, all-purpose field. In 1970, after much campaigning, the Boys and Girls Club field (now North Delta Park) opened as the first lit all-weather field in the Lower Mainland. The North Delta Summer Soccer School and a small field mini-soccer program still operate today as a result of Betts’ work.
In 1983, Betts was recognized as the inaugural recipient of the NDSC Honour Roll award. In 1998, NDSC’s mini-soccer jamboree became the “Herb Betts Mini Jamboree,” and in 2001 BC Soccer awarded him a certificate of merit. Up to his death in 2006, Betts epitomized the values of service and commitment to soccer in our community.
Athlete: Timothy Lorenz — Football/Hockey
A Ladner resident, Lorenz graduated from South Delta Secondary. A true multi-sport athlete, Lorenz excelled at both hockey and football. His hockey career took him to the Portland Winterhawks, where he played from 1982 to 1984 and won a Memorial Cup in 1983. He was ultimately drafted in the fourth round by the Vancouver Canucks.
Despite not playing football since Grade 10, Lorenz was offered a scholarship to the University of Hawaii and played outside linebacker for two years, after which he moved to the University of California Santa Barbara and played defensive end. In 1988, Lorenz was drafted in the second round by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where he was a defensive lineman from 1988 to 1991. He finished his career playing two seasons with the BC Lions in 1992 and 1993.
In 1989, Lorenz had his best season, recording 18 tackles and six sacks, and saw his Tiger-Cats make it to the Grey Cup. Lorenz said that while there were many highlights in his career, the greatest accomplishments for him were his teammates and the friendships he was able to make.
Athlete: Sandy Beasley (Green) — Softball
Beasley played as part of the North Delta Softball Association for 17 years where she was a part of many provincial gold- and silver-medal-winning teams. An outstanding pitcher and utility player, Beasley was a member of the junior national team competing at the 1987 ISF Junior Worlds in Oklahoma City. She earned a full scholarship to Stephen F. Austin University in Texas where she was recognized as an All-Conference player multiple times on very successful teams. She was inducted into her university’s hall of fame in 2000.
Beasley continued playing after university, earning the right to represent Canada on the senior women’s national team from 1990 to 1996. She played in multiple world championships and Pan American Games, winning silver in 1991 and bronze in 1995. In 1996, Beasley represented Canada at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where Canada finished fifth.
Coach: Ron Steel — Soccer
In 1973, Steel helped with the creation of the Ladner Girls Soccer Club. At the same time, Steel and Art Lowery formed 19 girls into BC’s first girls’ soccer team.
In an era when sponsors were reluctant to accept girls’ sports, Steel worked with Beatty Floors, who stepped up to sponsor the “Beatty Babes.” When organized leagues began forming, he became the area representative and eventually the vice-chair of the Fraser Valley South Girls Soccer Association.
In 1975, Steel, who had been managing the affairs of the team, stepped up to become head coach when the team lost Lowery. With little soccer background, Steel recruited a technical coach to help both he and the girls develop their respective skills. In 1977, the Babes won the provincial championship.
While the Babes did not win another provincial, they remained a dedicated and committed team until 1984. In addition to coaching, Steel continued to support the club even through a crisis in 1979 when a lack of parent support threatened its existence. Steel patrolled the sidelines for 12 years, supporting his teams and creating in his players a life-long love for soccer.
Team: North Delta Stars — Softball
Coached by Jim Biggan and John Donaldson, the North Delta Stars came together in 1983 and played together until 1990. The team won provincials in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1989, were silver medalists at nationals in 1986, 1988 and 1989, and won the Western Canadian championships in 1984.
From this team, three players played for the junior national team at the ISF Junior Worlds in 1987, and two player earned spots on the senior national team. The core of this team also played soccer together with the SurDel Cyclones, where they won multiple provincial titles and one national title.
Sponsor: The Run Inn — Kevin Ridley
Since 2002, Ridley and The Run Inn have been a part of supporting sport in Delta. The Run Inn (Tsawwassen) is a specialty store that provides shoes and apparel for runners, cyclists, triathletes, soccer players and other sports.
An integral part of The Run Inn philosophy has always been to give back and support community events, through sponsorship or hosting events that have a local charity component to them. The Run Inn’s original fundraiser began over 20 years ago in memory of three of its run group members. As of today, they have raised over $100,000 in support of the BC Cancer Foundation. Ridley and The Run Inn are the lead sponsor for the Point Roberts Jog for a Jug, where they have raised money for both Hannah’s Heroes and more recently KidSport.
Ridley and The Run Inn have continued to support health and fitness by sponsoring events such as the Surrey Marathon, BMO Vancouver Marathon, Vancouver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, Boundary Bay Marathon, Tsawwassen St. Patrick’s Day 5k, Delta Triathlon, Delta Half Marathon and countless others.
Ridley and his team have always found creative ways to support the people of Delta. The Run Inn hosts weekly clinics to help people develop basic and high-level running skills. They have been a part of changing lives through fitness, friendships, experiences, service, kindness and help.
Recognized alongside the inductees will be this year’s Delta Sports Champions. They are:
Youth Athlete: Tomas Bourassa — Tennis
In 2009, a bike accident left nine-year-old Bourassa with a serious spinal cord injury rendering him a paraplegic. During rehabilitation, he was introduced to wheelchair tennis.
Currently the 20th ranked junior in the world and a carded member of the national team, Bourassa had an outstanding year. He reached the finals of both the men’s singles and doubles at the Birmingham National Championships. Bourassa and his partner captured the men’s doubles titles at the Arizona Open and the Baton Rouge Cajun Classic.
He was then selected for the junior squad representing Canada at the BNP Paribus World Team Wheelchair Championships in Italy, where he went undefeated in singles and helped his team qualify for the next world championship.
In addition to many other tournament successes this past year, Bourassa, a student at Seaquam Secondary, became the first wheelchair tennis player to play on a high school team and qualify for provincials.
Youth Athlete: Mary Parsons — Golf
While living in Guam, Parsons started playing golf at the age of 11. Moving to Delta in 2012, Parsons continued her development at Delta Golf Course and then at Mayfair Lakes Golf Club. A part of Team B.C. from 2014 to 2016, Parsons made the Girls Junior America’s Cup team in 2016.
In 2016, Parsons captured four championships including the CN Future Links Pacific Championship and the BC Junior Girls Championship. She finished second at the BC Women’s Amateur and the BC High School AA championships and finished third at the Canadian Girls Championship. As a result, Parsons was nominated as the Sport BC Junior Female Athlete of the Year. Other golf accomplishments include the Golf BC and Canadian Junior Girls Order of Merit and a second-place finish in the Golf BC Amateur Women’s Order of Merit.
Parsons’ success continued in 2017 with victories at the Future Links Pacific Championship and a tie for first place at the BC High School AA Championship. This last accomplishment was the first time a girl finished first in this mixed-gender event. Most recently, she placed second at both the US Women’s Amateur qualifying tournament and the Canadian Junior Girls Championship. She is currently on a golf scholarship, attending the University of Indiana.
Youth Athlete: Grant McDonald — Football
Tsawwassen resident McDonald recently graduated from South Delta Secondary, but not before an impressive football career.
Starting with the South Delta Rams in Grade 9, Grant felt strongly about his ability to exceed in football. Moving to the South Delta Sun Devils, McDonald started both as linebacker and running back. He played an important role in SDSS’s AAA Provincial Championship victory, scoring two touchdowns and being named game MVP. McDonald continued with the Sun Devils despite some injury problems to help the team advance to the provincial semi-finals. For this, he was honoured as SDSS’s Sportsperson of the Year (male).
This fall, McDonald joined the University of Maine Black Bears, where he is slotted to play tight end. While football is in his DNA (his father played at UBC), McDonald has benefited significantly from the teams and coaches that have shaped him. He has learned and continues to live by the notion of developing the whole person and having a strong work ethic.
Youth Athlete: Jayde Robertsen — Volleyball
A graduate of South Delta Secondary, Robertsen was a member of the strong SDSS volleyball team. In 2017, her team won the Delta Cup and she was named a tournament all-star. Robertsen was also named SDSS’s Sportperson of the Year (female). She continued on with club volleyball, helping her Ducks team win the Provincial Club Volleyball Championship. She continued her strong play, being named a first team all-star at the tournament.
For her accomplishments, Robertsen was voted as the number two BC volleyball athlete in the Province’s Top 15 list. She earned a full scholarship to NCAA Division 1 school Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA, where she has managed to earn a spot in the starting six for the Eagles.
Athlete: Keeley Ainge — Softball
Ainge is a Delta Secondary School graduate who participated in many sports throughout her high school career. After playing for many different rep softball teams, Keeley joined the Douglas College Royals in 2014, where she primarily played pitcher.
In 2016, Ainge earned a record of 17-5 with an earned run average of 3.24. She was selected as a North West Athletic Conference (NWAC) first team all-star for conference play and again during the NWAC championship tournament. In 2017, Ainge went 21-4 as a sophomore, repeating her first team all-star status in conference and tournament play. She was selected as NWAC Pitcher of the Year and an All-American.
After her college season, Ainge was selected for Team BC, where she won a gold medal at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
Master Athlete: Scott Stevenson — Pickleball
A longtime resident of North Delta and a teacher at Langley’s Brookswood Secondary, Stevenson has always had a passion for both playing and coaching sports. After being introduced to pickleball, Stevenson rose to the highest USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) level of 5.0 in 2017.
In 2016, Stevenson and his partner Terry Brine won gold medals at the Palm Desert tournament and the Pebble Creek tournament, competing at the 4.5 level in the 60+ age group. That same year, he also won the silver medal at the Pickleball Canada Nationals in the 4.5 level open group.
In 2017, Stevenson earned three gold medals at the US and a silver medal at the International Indoor Pickleball championships (60+). He advanced to the 5.0 level in July 2017 where he continued to have success, earning a bronze medal at the Pickleball Canada Nationals. He is known not only for his skill on the court but also his advocacy and support for pickleball and the larger community.
Volunteer: Jim Matheson — Soccer
Matheson is the consummate community volunteer, doing anything that is required to make soccer in North Delta successful. Whether it is serving on the executive, lining fields, cleaning uniforms or collecting fees, no job is too small.
For more than four decades, the North Delta soccer community has benefited from his service. In the past year alone, Matheson has been an executive member or administrator for three different soccer organizations in North Delta. He is a VP with North Delta Youth Soccer, he was the administrator for the Delta Men’s Soccer Club and he was the chairperson of the Metro Soccer League. If this wasn’t enough, Matheson chaired the South Fraser District discipline committee.
“I have lived soccer all of my life. I do my work because I want to give back the sport, club and community,” Matheson said.
In 2010, Matheson was made an Honorary Life Member of Delta Youth Soccer, and in 2013 he received the Award of Merit from BC Soccer.
Team: Delta Tigers Bantam AAA — Baseball
Despite only starting two years ago, the Delta Tigers bantam AAA baseball team has seen many successes. Led by coach Cam Frick and their impressive coaching staff, the Tigers won back-to-back provincial championships in 2016 and 2017. In addition, Frick was named BC Minor Baseball’s U15 Coach of the Year for 2017.
In the 2016-17 season, the Tigers played 71 games, finishing second in league play. They were selected to represent BC at the 80-team Diamond Nation U16 Blue Chip Prospects tournament in New Jersey.
Coach: Bob Houtman — Softball
A long-time Ladner resident, Houtman has been coaching softball for more than three decades. Like many parents, Houtman began by coaching his daughter’s first-year Squirt team, but unlike many others he continued well past his daughter’s involvement.
Houtman has been a fixture as a coach with Delta Heat Fastpitch. In 2012, his U-16 team claimed the gold medal at nationals, a feat that they would repeat as U-18’s in 2016. In 2015, Houtman’s Heat team earned both a provincial championship and a silver medal at nationals. This past summer, his Heat team won both provincials and nationals at the U-16 level.
Houtman has enjoyed many rewarding years coaching the Delta Heat. His commitment and passion for coaching is evidenced by the years he has coached, the success his teams have had and the impact he has had on generations of players. He believes success comes from being with good people, and acknowledges the many individuals he’s had the pleasure of working with over the years as the reason for his longevity.