2016 Hall of Fame
John Bender was an outstanding high school athlete. His ability and passion led him to excel well beyond high school into the ranks of university and the pros.
In his grade 10 year at Three Hills School, 2002/03 John won gold in the Junior Boys Shot put at ASAA Provincials. In grade 11, he moved to Cochrane and there he won an additional three throws medals (2 Shot Put, 1 Discus) at ASAA provincials by the end of Grade 12 as a, member of the Cochrane High School Track and Field team, which won the 3A Championship banner in both his Grade 11 & 12 years.
But it did not stop there. Whilst at Cochrane High School, John also won gold with the Cochrane Cobra’s Tier III Football team in 2003 and 2004, and Basketball Gold with their 3A Boys basketball team in 2004. Collecting 7 Provincial Gold Medals in his ASAA career. John was also part of the Junior National Track team in 2004, and attended the Royal Canadian Legion Youth Track & Field Championships in Kitchener in 2003 and Sudbury in 2004. He placed 3rd in shot put in 2003 (15.15m, becoming an Athletics Alberta Record), John, then had a Shot Put toss of 16.71M in 2004 - winning national Gold at the U17 Track & Field Championships.
John signed a full scholarship to the University of Nevada, Reno. There he played NCAA Division 1 Football (FBS). The Nevada Wolf Pack would play in 5 bowl games during his college career. In his Senior season (2010) Nevada finished the season 13-1, ranked 15th in the Associated Press polls, out of 120 Division 1 NCAA teams
John was a 4 year starter and graduated with a dual major in Marketing and Management.
In the spring of 2010, John was drafted into the CFL by the Calgary Stampeders. After John completed his degree and played his Senior season in the fall of 2010 at Nevada, he moved on to the CFL. John signed a contract with the Calgary Stampeders on May 10, 2011.
Currently, John lives in Calgary and works as a CFP Professional with IG Wealth Management.
Now in her early 30’s, Strathcona High School Alum Megan Metcalfe (Wright) has quite the list of accomplishments under her belt. While at Strathcona High, Megan earned herself 10 ASAA Provincial Medals in two sports: Cross Country and Track & Field. In Cross Country, Megan received 2 Gold Medals, and 1 Silver Medal; In Track & Field, she received 1 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals.
Megan’s achievements didn’t end in high school, she received an athletic scholarship to West Virginia University where she was a 9 time All American, and in her final year, Megan won the prestigious NCAA 5, 000m Championship. After University, Megan went on to represent Canada on the International stage. Megan competed at several IAAF World Indoor Championships, World Cup Events and was a five time national champion (she currently holds the Canadian National Indoor record in the 3000m and the 5000m). In 2007, Megan competed for Canada at the Pan-Am Games where she won the 5, 000m. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Megan achieved a personal best in the 5, 000m in the semi-finals to secure a berth as the first Canadian female athlete to make a 5, 000m Olympic Final.
Currently Megan lives in West Virginia and is a Physical Therapist. In her spare time she still runs with whomever will accompany her and she coaches with a local track club and organizes road races.
‘Megan was a standout athlete with the Strathcona Lords cross-country running and track and field teams.’ ~Craig Harle, Harry Ainlay High~
‘She is well respected by others, always has a positive attitude and has made a difference to a number of organizations she has been involved in.’ ~Ernie Lotz, Strathcona High School~
Marg McCuaig-Boyd was always involved in sports as a high school student athlete and organizer. She coordinated intramurals and had always wanted to coach so she became a teacher, coaching was an important aspect of what she did. Marg coached everything from Volleyball and Basketball to Curling and Track & Field. In addition to her coaching, Marg was instrumental in bringing ASAA Provincial Championships to the North West. She hosted the 2A Boys Volleyball Provincials, 2A Boys Basketball Provincials and Track & Field Provincials (Fairview in 1992 and the 50th in Edmonton in 2008). Marg also hosted numerous zone tournaments at both the junior and senior high levels. These events were always well organized with special attention paid to fair play and sportsmanship.
Marg was a teacher, principal and curriculum facilitator for more than 20 years serving northern Alberta, specifically in the Peace Region. Most of her teaching career was at Fairview High where she dedicated much of her spare time to the athletic program. Marg was also very active in the North West Zone and with ASAA. She was the NW Zone President from 1990 to 1998, ASAA Girls Director of Athletics from 1992-1994, ASAA Vice President in 1997, ASAA President from 1998-1999, ASAA Sportsmanship Commissioner from 2001-2005. As a true servant leader, Marg came back to the Executive Committee as Executive Member at Large starting in 2013 and continued to May 2015 when she was elected into the Alberta Government and became the Minister of Energy.
Marg has sat on several ASAA committees, served as guest speaker at ASAA Provincial Championships, and has made presentations on behalf of ASAA. Marg has also represented ASAA at the School Sport Canada (CSSF) national meetings. One of Marg’s special interests as an Executive Member was the promotion of sportsmanship among athletes, coaches and spectators. In fitting tribute to Marg, the 1A Girls’ Volleyball Sportsmanship Plaque was named named in her honour and is given out to deserving teams each year.
Marg is an innovative cutting edge leader ~ Joyce Loucks
Maurice Richard’s career was consistently one of giving back. His feeling was that if he was going to be involved in school sports, this meant also being involved on the organizational and administrative side. To ensure that school sport remained affordable for his students, he pulled together an excellent fundraising team at his school. His first priority was always the students. At the zone level, Maurice was constantly hosting competitions at all levels and particularly in volleyball, curling and golf, usually as chair. On no less than four times while he was at J.A. Williams High School, Lac La Biche, he chaired ASAA provincials: twice in golf and twice in 3A volleyball. Wanting to ensure an organized and efficient school athletic program, Maurice created an Athletic Handbook for athletes, coaches and parents. Maurice has also been an active official, and he could regularly and can still be seen officiating at local, zone and provincial competitions in volleyball. He also officiated over the years in basketball, curling and track and field.
Over and above his school responsibilities, Maurice let his name stand and served for several other roles, including NE Zone president and ASAA Board member, ASAA Executive Committee member as Boys Athletic Director. When the ASAA introduced the Compliance Officer position, Maurice was the first one appointed to this role overseeing ASAA transfers. Maurice also served on the board of the newly formed Alberta interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, an organization that has expended to be national in scope; he was also an instructor in this program. Maurice was involved with AIAAA as an inaugural board member from Fall 2009-2012.
“His leadership in school athletics is seen in the legacy he leaves behind.” ~ John Paton
Bill began his teaching and coaching career at Senator Riley High School in High River, over 35 years ago. Senator Riley High would later become Highwood High. Bill coached Tier III and IV Football from 1981-2015, and was involved in various capacities on the coaching staff in the positions of Assistant Coach, Defensive Coordinator, Line Coach and Head Coach. He also coached wrestling from 1981-2005. Bill started the Rugby Program at Highwood High in 2007 and will continue to coach the girls team in his final year before retirement.
Bill’s most significant contribution was in the sport of wrestling, which he started coaching in 1981 and continued until 2005. Between girls and boys teams, he won 11 Rural Provincial Championship Banners and 10 Provincial Championship Banners - an amazing feat. The ASAA’s 3A Girls Rural Provincial Championship Trophy has been named in his honour. He was also awarded the Alberta Amateur Wrestling Association’s Coach of the Year in 1991, as well as the Outstanding Achievement Award in 2005.
‘Bill’s thirty five year teaching/coaching career is a testament to his superior skill as an elite coach and his exemplary character as a role model.’ ~ Rob Bennington, colleague~
‘Bill gave us small-town kids a sense of belonging, with a spot on the team for everyone. He was a builder of our character as well as our athleticism.’ ~ Ted Crawford, former student athlete ~
‘Bill was more to me than simply a coach or a teacher, but rather the father figure that I did not have growing up. The lessons I learned are a direct reflection of the man that I today, instilling those same values to my own son…[Bill] is still giving back with his teaching and philosophies and he doesn’t even know it.’ ~ Ted Crawford, former student athlete ~
‘Bill’s ability to develop relationships with student athletes not only inspired many to become champions but also to pursue coaching in wrestling, football and rugby. These coaches are an important part of the legacy that Bill has established across the province. To this day many athletes regard him as a father figure.’ ~Rob Bennington, colleague~
Rick began coaching at in Hanna starting in 1971. He coached and taught at Hanna Jr. High until 1980 when he switched over to J.C. Charyk High School. Rick has coached Cross Country, Golf, Volleyball, Track & Field, Badminton, Football, Basketball and Volleyball - he coached Sr Volleyball until 2001. He was the Defensive Coordinator for the football team from 1995-2008. From 2013 -2015, Rick helped to coach the 6 man football team. Rick continues to coach Sr. Girls Basketball, even though he retired from teaching 12 years ago. Rick has dedicated his life to high school sports. He has taken every opportunity to make himself a better coach by attending every clinic available, even if it meant heading to Montana.
21 Basketball banners hang in the gym at J.C. Charyk School and all are attributable to Rick. Three of those are championship banners from ASAA provincials in 1987/88, 1988/89 and 2001/02. Over several decades, Rick has been to the zone championships countless times and then on to ASAA Provincials more time than most coaches could ever dream of. Before this season, his win column for basketball games totaled 888!
Outside of being a coach, Rick hosted many zone championships and also hosted ASAA provincials four times. As an administrator he has been zone President and regularly represented the zone at ASAA Planning Meetings and the AGM. He has been the recipient of several awards, having won ASAA’s Robert H. Routledge Award in 1994/95, the Most Sportsmanlike Coach award of the ASAA in 2001/02, and the SC Zone Award of Merit in 2002/03. One of Rick’s proudest accomplishments would be that he got to coach all four of his daughters and that each of them ended up playing post-secondary basketball, just like their mom.
Rick’s philosophy is “prepare rural young ladies to compete confidently in anything they take on. Believe in yourself and your preparation. Dare to take a chance in school, college, university, athletics, career and life.”
Lenis is a senior official who has refereed over 20 ASAA Provincial Championships, over 20 Calgary city championships as well many ASAA rural championships and countless ASAA sanctioned high school events across Alberta. Lenis also has shown, by example, to be a definitive representation of what we expect of our officials: honest, clear, spirited, and above all - of the highest level of integrity. Not only is Lenis one of the longest serving wrestling officials in Alberta, he is one of the highest ranked wrestling officials in Canada. He has been a long time promoter of wrestling both in and out of schools and has been instrumental in developing officials here in Alberta and across Canada. Through his actions, Lenis fosters good sportsmanship and has developed an excellent rapport with coaches and other officials. He is very respected within this sport, and equally shows the same respect to others in return. Lenis has won numerous awards including Official of the Year in Alberta four times. He is also an international official, having officiated at World Championships, Pan-Am Games and Commonwealth Games.
‘Lenis is still devoutly dedicated to officiating at the High School events to ensure that they receive the best environment for participation in High School Sport.’
~Michael Drought, AAWOA Secretary/Treasurer~
‘With all these accolades and his status as a top rated official, Lenis still chooses to be highly involved in wrestling at the grass roots level officiating athletes and mentoring officials and coaches at all levels of wrestling.’
~Neil Domstad, ASAA Wrestling Commissioner~
Philippa began volunteering as a track and field official more than 35 years ago when she started hand timing indoor meets in Edmonton and soon after, high school meets and Athletics Alberta competitions. More than 20 years ago she formally registered as an official with Athletics Alberta and for many years has been the coordinator of officials any time an ASAA Championship was hosted in Edmonton or other parts of northern Alberta, notably being the horizontal jumps chief whenever ASAA provincials were held in Edmonton. She is now qualified as level 5 in horizontal jumps and level 3 as an umpire. Unlike most other sports where officials are paid, Philippa has had to find willing volunteers to take on officiating roles for the high school sector; something she does in her selfless and unassuming manner. She ensures that high school meets (not to mention club meets and other championship events) are taken care of, often requiring considerable time on her part to contact and confirm officials, coordinate event placings and fill the inevitable gaps that occur. She is an invaluable asset to the high school track and field community.
Annually Philippa assists with officiating clinics at various levels. As an official, her lists of accomplishments are too many to mention. However, some highlights involve officiating at the following competitions: Universiade 1983, many national championships, 2001 World Championships in Athletics, Canadian legion Championships and much more. She has been recognized for her contributions to officiating by several bodies at provincial and national level. Over the years she has been actively involved with professional associations related to officiating in her sport and is still active on the Athletics Alberta Officials Committee, Edmonton Track and Field Council, liaison for the Edmonton Meet Organizing Committee and the National Officials Committee.
Louise Bleier taught at both Samuel Crowther School and Strathmore High School during her teaching career. Her contributions to school sport throughout her career were multi-faceted, significant, and warranting of induction into the Hall of Fame in the Special Achievement Category. Louise spent 35 years volunteering her time as a school coach and her passion was for girls volleyball. She had countless positive results at zone championships, including 8 of 10 years between 2001 and 2010 where her girls volleyball teams medaled at zones (stats not available for her earlier years, but likely even more impressive). She medaled at provincials with bronze in 1984/85 and silver in 1985/86; fourth in 1996/97 and her team competed in provincials in 2002/03, 2003/04 and 2005/06.
As an administrator, Louise served as Athletic Director at Strathmore High School for 18 years from 1987-2005. In the mid-1990’s she was an integral member of an ASAA Committee that examined the realignment of ASAA Volleyball provincials including an increase of berths for teams. During the same time Louise served two terms as ASAA Girls Volleyball Commissioner/ASAA Board member which started in 1995 and concluded in 2001. Louise’s involvement as an administrator involved countless hosting of ASAA Zone and provincial championship events, thereby ensuring students and coaches were treated to first class event organization. As an advocate for school sport and someone who was always prepared to help when needed, Louise epitomizes all that is good in high school sport.
“Louise Bleier was a coach who was well respected amongst her peers and more importantly by her players”
~ Kyle Larson, Assistant Principal, Strathmore High