Fantuz leads hall induction group


A host of athletes – both past and present — are set to be honoured by the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame Sept. 22.

A total of six individuals and one team will be inducted into the hall at event to be held at the J.D. Bradley Convention Centre.

Inductees include:

Athlete – Any Fantuz (modern); athlete Mike Woodcock (modern); athlete Beryl (Nurse) Ivey (legend); builder Shelley Simonton; builder Dave Preston; sports administrator Gord Grace; and the 2009 Stafford Curling Team.

The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Induction ceremonies will start at 7:45 p.m.

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The following includes a biography of each inductee:

Andy Fantuz – Athlete – Modern

1997-2002 – Attended John McGregor Secondary School where he played football and basketball for the Panthers. He played for OFSAA ‘AA’ championship basketball teams 2000 and 2001 along with the 2002 team that moved up to ‘AAAA’ and finished fourth at OFSAA. This team was inducted into the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. Andy also played for the Essex County Ravens of the Ontario Varsity Football League.

2002-05 – Andy played four stellar seasons with the Western Mustangs, winning the CIS Rookie of the year award in 2002 with a single-season record 1,300 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

Andy was a four-time CIS All-Canadian, four-time OUA all-star and was named an All-Canadian first-team all-star in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

2004-2005 – Hec Crighton Trophy winner as the best university player in Canada. He finished his university career as OUA and CIS leader with 189 receptions for 4,123 yards and 41 touchdowns.

2006 – Andy represented Eastern Canada in the American East-West Shrine game on Jan. 21, showcasing the best college talent in the United States with invitees from Canada.

2006 – Saskatchewan Roughriders drafted Andy as the third player chosen overall in the CFL draft. Andy attended a tryout with the Detroit Lions before reporting to Saskatchewan. He had 30 catches for 408 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season.

2007 – Andy won his only Grey Cup as he had four catches for 70 yards and one touchdown in Roughriders’ 23-19 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Andy won the Dick Suderman Trophy as the Most Valuable Canadian in the game. Andy was named Canadian Player of the Month for September and finished the season just short of 1,000 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. He was the Roughriders nominee for Most Outstanding Canadian.

2008 – Andy only played in seven games as his season was cut short by a broken fibula.

2009 – Andy had a career-high 67 receptions as the Roughriders returned to the Grey Cup but lost 28-27 to the Montreal Alouettes. Andy had a team-high five catches and a touchdown.

2010 – Andy was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player and set another career record with 87 receptions and 1,380 yards receiving.

2011 – Andy signed a ‘future’ contract with the Chicago Bears and played in two preseason games but was waived in September. He returned to Saskatchewan but an ankle injury limited Andy to only four games.

2012 – Andy signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and had a career-high eight touchdowns in his first year.

2013 – The Tiger-Cats advanced to the Grey Cup against Andy’s former team as the Roughriders won 45-23. Andy led Hamilton with seven receptions and 76 yards.

2014 – Andy played in his fifth and final Grey Cup as he was named the Dick Suderman Trophy winner for the second time as the top Canadian in the game as he caught six passes for 81 yards in a 20-16 loss to the Calgary Stampeders.

2015 – Injuries began taking its toll as Andy was limited to nine games.

2016 – Andy had a career-high 101 receptions and for the topped the 1,000 yards receiving plateau (1,059) but tore his ACL in the final game of the season.

2017 – Andy retired after playing three games with the Tiger-Cats as he finished his career with 8,363 receiving yards on 637 receptions and 44 touchdowns in 148 regular season games, plus another 992 yards on 76 receptions and six touchdowns in 18 playoff games. At the time of his retirement, Andy ranked fourth among Canadians and 18th overall for career receptions in the CFL and was ninth among Canadians and 33rd overall in receiving yards.

Mike Woodcock – Athlete – Modern

1984 – Took up golf seriously at a relatively late, 19 years of age.

1993 – Won the Maple City Country Club men’s championship at 27 years of age.

1994 – Won second straight MCCC championship; Qualified for the U.S. Amateur, the top event in the world for amateur golfers, which was won by an 18-year-old Tiger Woods.

1995 – Won third straight MCCC championship setting a competitive record of five-under 66, a mark which stood for 15 years. Mike has also shot as low as 11-under 61 on three separate occasions in non-competitive rounds.

1995 – Mike qualified for the USGA Mid-Amateur Championship by shooting a 68 at Ironwood Golf Club in Detroit, at the time a competitive course record.

1996 – At age 29, Mike turned pro by winning the Canadian Tour qualifying school (Q-school) tournament in Toronto, making him ineligible to continue his championship streak at Maple City.

1997-2002 – Played on CPGA Tournament – three years with an exempt status and three years in which he had to qualify.

2002-2004 – Played in three tournaments on the Nationwide Tour (one level down from the PGA)

2004-2013 – Played on Great Lakes Golf Tour, winning five tournaments

2016-present – Mike competes in Canadian PGA Senior events and qualifier tournaments for the U.S. Champions Tour (formally called the Senior Tour).

2016 – placed tied for 2nd in the CPGA Senior Championship three strokes behind the winner

2018 – placed 30th in the CPGA Senior Championship out of approximately 78 golfers

Beryl (nee Nurse) Ivey – Athlete – Legend

Born – Dec. 28, 1924 in Chatham to Lt. Col. William Ivan Nurse and Beatrice Heaton

Deceased – Dec. 25, 2007 in Toronto

1935-1936 – Beryl won the Junior division of the Central Public School track meet as a Grade 6 student.

1936-1938 – Beryl won the Intermediate and Senior divisions at the Central school meets in both her Grade 7 and 8 years. Beryl’s running broad jump distance was further than the boys’ winner and her 4 foot, 8-inch winning high jump height remains one of the best performances ever in the history of Chatham elementary school athletics.

1938-1939 – In her Grade 9 year at CCI, Beryl finished second in the Midget division at the Kent County track meet held at Athletic Field (now Fergie Jenkins Field at Rotary Park), the only time she did not win her age division. Beryl went on to win the long jump and placed third in the high jump in the open division at WOSSAA, as there were no age divisions meaning she competed against girls in Grades 9-13. 1939 also marked the first year girls competed in WOSSA track and field, which was ‘boys only’ for 20 years.

1939 – Beryl was a national champion as she won the long jump at 14 feet, 9.5 inches and was third in the 60 metres in the junior division (14-years and younger) at the Canadian Women’s Track and Field Championships in Hamilton.

1939-1940 – Beryl won the Intermediate division (now junior) and set two records at the Kent County track meet in Blenheim. At WOSSA, Beryl won the girls’ open division overall championship and set a record in the 75-yard dash.

1940-41 – In the first year of the new CCI, Beryl, now in Grade 11, set a junior girls record of 16 feet 8.5 inches in the long jump where she was also the Junior division champion. Her record long jump of 16 feet 8.5 inches stood for 53 years until it was broken in 1993. Beryl won the girls open long jump at WOSSA.

1941-1942 – Beryl continued to build her legacy in Grade 12 by winning the Senior division and set more records at the Kent County meet at the Dresden Fairgrounds. Beryl still owned four Kent records in 1956, 15 years after she last competed for CCI.

1942-1943 – Beryl did not get the chance to compete in her Grade 13 year as high school athletics were cancelled for the next three years because of the Second World War.

Shelley Simonton – Builder

1976 – Shelley got into coaching with the Chatham Figure Skating Club and after a short career with Disney on Ice and Stars on Ice, Shelley became a full-time coach. A NCCP Level 3 Certified Coach, Shelley has coached numerous skaters at the National and International level in singles and synchronized skating.

2000 – The greatest accomplishments of Shelley’s 46-year coaching career have come with the Nexxice Synchronized Skating Team, which was created in 2000 with the amalgamation of the Kitchener and Burlington teams. Shelley is the head coach of the senior team and director for the entire Nexxice synchronized skating program which has grown to eight divisions since its formation. Skaters come to Burlington not only from Ontario and Canada but also from the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia to skate in the Nexxice program.

2000-2001 – With the motto of ‘Nexxice Builds Champions,’ Shelley led the senior team to a third-place finish in their Canadian national synchronized skating debut, followed by top-four finishes each of the next five season.

2006-2007 – The Nexxice team finally broke through to win their first Canadian gold medal in – a title they held for the next nine years.

2016 – After a second-place finish in the Canadian Championship, the Nexxice won another two in a row, giving them 11 Canadian championships in 12 years and silver medals again in 2019 and 2020.

Nexxice qualified for 14 consecutive World Championships, finishing ninth in their debut in 2005-2006 in the Czech Republic followed by Bronze medal performances in London, Ont. and Budapest, Hungary the following two years.

Nexxice made history by becoming Canada’s first World Synchronized Skating Championship team in 2008-09 in Zagreb, Croatia – a feat they duplicated in 2014-15 in Hamilton.

In total, Shelley’s Nexxice Synchronized Skating Team have won 11 golds, four silvers and four bronze medals at Canadian championships, two golds, three silvers and four bronzes at World championships.

2013 – Shelley was inducted into the Skate Canada Western Ontario Hall of Fame in the Professional Category in March of 2013.

2017 – Shelley was inducted along with her 2009 World Champion Nexxice team into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.

Shelley has received the Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Award for outstanding achievements in Skating in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017, an award recognizing coaches whose athletes have won medals at World Championships or Olympic Games.

Shelley has also received Ontario Coaching Association awards, Western Ontario coach of the year and Burlington coach of the year awards and in 2015 she was awarded the Skate Canada Competitive Coach of Excellence Award.

Gord Grace – Builder

1990 – Coach of the Year for the London Beefeaters in the Ontario Junior Football League

1991 – Gord became an assistant coach with the Wilfred Laurier University Golden Hawks winning the Yates Cup as OUA football champions, followed by the Vanier Cup as national champions.

1994-1996 – Gord attended the University of Michigan where he earned his Master of Science in Sports Administration. Gord was a Graduate Assistant with the Michigan Wolverines for three seasons including the 1995 Holiday Bowl winning team and was an Athletic Development Coordinator at the university in 1996.

1996-1999 – Gord was head coach of the Mount Allison University Mounties, in Sackville, N.B.

1997 – led the Mounties to the Atlantic Conference Jewett Cup championship in 1997 and was named conference Football Coach Of The Year.

2000-2002 – Gord was Mount Allison University’s Director of Development

2002-2013 – Gord moved close to home to become Athletic Director at the University of Windsor with a mandate to bring the Lancers to the forefront of Canadian University Athletics. Gord successfully developed a comprehensive plan to generate revenue while developing student-athlete recruitment to rebuild the Lancers’ athletic program and creating a winning culture that led to 15 CIS National Championships and 24 OUA Provincial Championships in 11 years as well as two Canadian Overall Athlete of the Year winners and over 500 All-Canadians.

Gord named the International Athletic Director of the Year Award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and Windsor-Essex County Sports Person Executive of the Year in 2012. Among his accomplishments was over $20-million in major renovations for the University of Windsor Stadium, Forge Student Fitness Centre and Athletic Lobby & Office Complex. Gord also establishes the University of Windsor Student Association Student Union’s Athletic Advisory Board to strengthen relationships and develop the Lancer Blue & Gold Scholarship, campaign which generates $350K annually for incoming/returning student-athletes, as well as for the school’s outstanding campus recreation and intramurals programs.

During his time at Windsor, Gord was also heavily involved in numerous provincial, national and international ventures, including:

2005 – Pan-Am Junior Athletic Championships, U of W, Marketing & Fundraising Chair

2008 – Canadian Track Championships & Olympic Trials, U of W, Marketing Co-Chair

2009 – Sport Manager-Team Canada Universiade Games, Belgrade Serbia

2010 – Vancouver Winter Olympics, Hockey Host Services Volunteer

2010-2012-President, Ontario University Athletics Board of Directors

2012 – President Elect of CIS Board of Directors (now U SPORT)

2012 – Member Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport

2013 – Chef de Mission for Team Canada at 26th FISU World University Winter Games, Trentino Italy

Gord left the University of Windsor in 2013 to become Chief Marketing Officer of U SPORT where he secured major media partnerships with Sportnet and Radio Canada and delivered a 100% increase in overall sponsorship in 15 months.


Gord was named President & CEO of Ontario University Athletics as he oversees 20 Ontario universities across 23 sports, involving 500 teams, 10,000 athletes and 40 championship events.

Gord is also currently serving as a director on the Ontario Sports Network and Canadian Council of Provincial & Territorial Sports Federation Boards of Directors.

Dave Preston – Builder

1981-1985 – Dave credits his love for volleyball to his Ursuline College coaches Mary-Jane (Kiraga) Courie and Pat Whelihan. As a Lancers’ player, Dave was an assistant coach with the senior girls team. 1985 – Dave moved to London to attend Oakridge for his Grade 13 year before moving on to play at Western.

1989-1992 – played for the Western University Mustangs Varsity Volleyball team as well as served as head coach for Oakridge Secondary School leading the Oaks to the 1992 OFSAA ‘AAA’ championship.

1993-2002 – Dave was head coach of the Western University Mustangs men’s volleyball team. The Mustangs won six OUA West Division Championships with a record of 89-19.

2002-Present – Dave became the head coach of the McMaster Marauders volleyball team

His Marauders have won 10 championships overall including six consecutive (2012-18) and six National Championship medals during the same period.

Dave has been named Conference Coach of the Year seven times and National Coach of the Year three times.

Dave has also won two World Championships, one World Cup, four FIVB World League titles, two FISU Games and a Junior World Championship.

In 2022, Dave led the Marauders to their 10th Forsyth Cup OUA championship in his 21 years at McMaster and won his seventh OUA West Coach of The Year. McMaster won the USport consolation title.

Dave’s Marauders won back-to-back OUA championships in 2008 and ’09 and again in 2011 before reeling off a record six straight from 2013-18.

McMaster medaled in six straight CIS national championships – silver medals in 2013 and ’16, bronze medals in 2014, ’15, 17′ and ’18.

Dave was named CIS Coach of The Year in the 2007-08 and 2012-13 seasons.

Dave has guided McMaster to a 341-89 won-loss record between the 2002-03 and 2021-22 seasons.

Provincial, National Teams

1991-1993 – Dave was an assistant coach of Team Ontario, winning gold at the 1993 Canada Games.

1995-1997 – Team Ontario head coach, winning gold in the NTCC in 1995 and 1996 and bronze in the 1997 Canada Games.

1997-2004 – Dave was an assistant coach of the men’s National Team as their bronze medal at the 1999 PanAm Games earned an induction into the Volleyball Canada Hall of Fame.

2012-Present – Dave has been head coach of the Canada U21 team winning a silver medal at the NORCECA Championship and finished 10th at Junior World Championships in Turkey.

2019 – Dave was the head coach of FISU Games in Italy and assistant coach of the Canadian Youth National Team

2022 – Dave was named head coach of the Australian men’s national team in April.

2009 Stafford Curling Team

Team Stafford – consisting of skip Robert Stafford, third Ben Curtis, second Mark Patterson and lead Ed DeSchutter – made history in 2009 as the first rink in the 157-year history of the Chatham Granite Club to win a national championship.

Team Stafford won regional and provincial bonspiels and went on to win the inaugural National Dominion Insurance Club Curling Championship in Islington, Ont., in November of 2009.

The team played together for several years and enjoyed their greatest success in 2008-09 when they won the Chatham-Kent Major Curling League and Chatham Granite Club’s Men’s Flight ‘A’ championships along with their historic Dominion national title.

Stafford, Curtis and Patterson, along with a different lead, played in the Ontario Tankard in 2007 as DeSchutter joined the rink the following year.

Representing the Chatham Granite Club, Team Stafford began their march to the Dominion by winning the Southwestern Ontario Regional qualifier.

Next up was the 2009 Dominion Curling Club Championship of Ontario at the Annandale Golf and Curling Club in Ajax Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

Team Stafford went 3-1 in the round-robin to send them to the playoffs, where they won the semifinal and the final in an extra end to win the provincial round and qualify for the National Dominion Championship.

The local rink, now known as Team Ontario, represented the province at the inaugural National Dominion Club Curling Championship at the St. Georges Golf and Curling Club in Islington on Nov. 24-29.

Team Ontario went 6-1 in their pool to advance to the playoffs where they Manitoba in the semifinal and went on to defeat British Columbia in an extra end to win the Dominion championship.

There was no international championship for this level of competition.

Patterson was the only Chatham native on the team as Stafford hailed from Kingsville, Curtis from Belle River and DeSchutter from Forest but all four played for several years in the Major League and represented the Chatham Granite Club in many competitions.


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