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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Bob Smith, Hockey
Bobby Smith lists the selection as the National Hockey League rookie of the year (Calder Cup) and playing in a Stanley Cup final as his big pro hockey thrills.
And, he added, “I hope to do that one again.”
Smith began his professional career with Minnesota North Stars, who picked him No. 1 in the 1978 junior draft, and didn’t find “being No. 1” an extra burden. But, he pointed out he had a year — his last season with Ottawa ’67s — to prepare himself.
The general consensus even before he stepped on ice for that last junior season was that he had the No. 1 pick in his hip-pocket.
So, said Bobby, “I had to play well.”
Play well, he did, collecting an OHA record 192 points.
“We were just getting things going in Minnesota and I must have played well because I got the rookie award. It was satisfying.”
The young giant with the long reach is now in his fourth season with the perennial cup contenders, the Montreal Canadians. He was swapped for Mark Napier, a refugee from the WHA, and Brian Acton.
Smith, the 1978 Associated Canadian Travellers-Cities of Ottawa and Hull Sportsman’s Dinner, was the second to miss the athlete of the year presentation because of professional duties to be done, (the world tournament).
Otherwise he’d have been there. “That’s for sure,” said Bobby. Smith’s team-mate Doug Wilson, the athlete of the year in 1977 was the other athlete to miss his night.
Smith had his dad, Gerry, stand in for his presentation, and dad was pressed for a detailed accounting for his son. “It sounded like a great night,” said the trophy winner.
Talking about his recognition from Minnesota the night of the banquet, he said: “It’s a unique thing. Last year I was there to represent the best team in Ottawa, the ’67s… but it is difficult to judge, especially with so many sports involved.” Smith is a graduate of a talented sports family. Older brother Dan never lost a game at quarterback under Brian Cole at St. Joseph’s. Sister Marylou is also a talented tennis player.
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (GORD TRIVETT MEMORIAL TROPHY)
Fred Morris, skiing
“I never gave him any consideration”, said former national team ski jumper Rheal Seguin the night back in 1979 when Fred Morris was named sportsman of the year at the ACT-City of Ottawa Sportsman’s Dinner.
“Maybe it’s because ski jumping doesn’t get much attention, but he was a great choice. I jumped competitively for 28 years and if anything had to be done, Fred was always there to do it. Ski jumping is lucky to have him — he kept the sport alive in this area.”
Seven years have gone by since that night which caught Morris completely off guard, – “I had come to see Horst Bulau honored,” explained Morris — about the only thing that has changed is the fact that everyone is seven years older.
The ski jumpers — possibly because they are a breed apart are still having problems, coaching rather than disciplinary. The misbehaviour of the 1976 jumping team in pre-Olympics led to them being sent home and Morris being asked to take charge of the rebuilding.
He’s still doing work of the ski jumping chairman on a volunteer basis, but would like to find a younger man — Morris is 68 — to take over. A younger man, he feels, would have a better rapport with the younger generation of junipers.
He still thoroughly enjoys “working with the kids” after 25 years lending a hand to the national jumping program. His No. 1 thrill was watching Horst Bulau become the first non-European to win the World junior jumping title at Mont St. Anne in 1979. The victory also meant the strategy of rebuilding with juniors was heading in the right direction.
According to his description, the sportsman of the year recognition he received preceded him wherever he wanted to go. It was something like the old song: “She shall have music wherever she goes.” At least it seemed that way for quite some time said the jumping chairman.
He played the role of proud father on the subject of his son, Pat, qualifying as an FIS judge… The elder Morris knew of only four others, Russ Smart, Rheal Seguin, Ray Durocher and Earl Fillman, all from this area.
Archery — Elizabeth Samson
Basketball — Tom Cholock
Badminton — John Czich
Boxing — Ian Clyde
Baseball — Brad Duthie
Broomball — Michel Bisson
Cycling — John Large
Curling — Bill Wagner, Steve Kot, George Ward, John Dotty
Diving — Steve Stutt
Equestrian — Moira Laframboise
Figure Skating — Janet Morrissey
Fencing — Louis Leblanc
Football — Pat Stoqua
Freestyle Skiing — Steve Hambling
Field Hockey — Steve de Rosenroll
Golf — Eric Kaufmanis
Gymnastics — Tricia Walker
Hockey — Bob Smith
Handicap — Rachelle Halpenny
Judo — Tina Takahashi
Lacrosse — Jean Marc Leclair
Motorsport — Bob Armstrong
Orienteering — Sharon Dean
Paddling — Dave Joyce, Ivan Charalambij
Rugby — John McCord
Rowing — Bob Snider
Ringette — Diane Kemp
Soccer — Larry Johnson
Softball — Eion Matheson
Swimming — Peter Botman
Sailing — Rod Woodbury
Shooting — Rachelle Halpenny
Speed Skating — Stephen Graham
Ski Jumping — Horst Bulau
Track and Field — Penny Werthner Bales
Tennis — Marjorie Blackwood
Touch Football — Barry Hughes
Table Tennis — Evert Lindquist
Trap and Skeet — Jacques Chauvet
Volleyball — Myleme Camu
Wrestling — Ray Takahashi
Weightlifting — Marc Cardinal
Outstanding team — Pinecrest Big League Baseball all-stars
The year 1978 was full of surprises if the ACT amateur sportslist is any criterion… Everybody knows Pat Stoqua is one of the top four basketball guards to come out of the Ottawa High School system… So he makes the ACT dinner as a football player, thanks to the Rough Riders who claimed him on the basis of his athletic ability… Ottawa Rowing Club selectors named Bob Snider as their most valuable club performer… Snider has the all-important role as club cox… Gymnastics made certain of a piece of the action picking out Tricia Walker, all of nine years old their leading light… Selectors named Brad Duthie of the Pinecrest Big League baseball all-stars outstanding performer. He was the kingpin to their provincial championship triumph… The handicap athletes came up with a rare double in Rachelle Halpenny as winner in both the handicap and the shooting sections…