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Five Added to Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame

Posted: 13 Jun 2011
Source: The Oshawa Express

The 2011 inductees into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame last Wednesday night at the General Motors Centre were Dale Degray, Frank Sobil, Albert James Barnes (represented by his daughter Donna Wiskin), Dr. Margo Mountjoy, and Ross Jones. June 1, 2011 By Wally Donaldson/The Oshawa Express Acceptance speeches arrive in the form of a variety of thoughts, feelings and in so many cases, emotions. Never was this better exemplified than during the recent Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the GM Centre as friends, family, former inductees and interested onlookers paid special homage to five very special athletes and builders. And it was on this night when Oshawa’s newest inductees enlightened a huge gathering about their recollections of competing in their chosen sport while suited up in an Oshawa jersey or perhaps representing the city at a major competition. For Terri Lynn Meisnek, who spoke with clarity and poignantly about her grandfather, Albert James Barnes, she obviously never had the opportunity to see this gifted player, coach, umpire and referee at the peak of his performance. Neither did his daughter, Donna Wiskin, who stood next to Meisnek at the podium. However, those who came to the fore well equipped with Barnes’ data to the Selection Committee and eventually to the Board of Governors, knew and realized the contribution he made in a host of sports until his passing in 2003 in his 88th year. Barnes, fondly referred to as Ab, competed on several levels in hockey, softball and football. He turned to officiating during his later years in hockey, softball and baseball. It was a give in that he would be recognized on this night and Meisner made it clear his induction to the Oshawa shrine was heartfelt among all family members. Be it a hockey slapshot, the wrist motion of a lacrosse stick, the graceful presentation in the synchronized waters or the approach and curl of a bowling ball into the pocket, these inductees were clearly on the mark while acknowledging their respective special moments - with one inductee, perhaps, experiencing a dash more difficulty than some. Although beaming like a Cheshire Cat with family members in the audience, Dale Degray’s heart was on stage, but his thoughts were about a 45-minute drive away while at the same time his Owen Sound Attack were battling St. Michael’s Majors in a key Memorial Cup matchup in Mississauga. “It’s a very emotional time for me,” said Degray, who serves as general manager of the Attack. “Sure, I’m thinking about what’s going on, but this is a heck of an honour to be a part of something like this. Oshawa is a great sports community, so this is where I have to be. Do I wish I was in Mississauga? Yah, a little. But there will always be another hockey game. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.” Degray, groomed in the Oshawa minor hockey system, served his junior tenure with the Oshawa Generals before taking one skate forward to the professional ranks, beginning with the Calgary Flames. The (junior) players are really, really better prepared today than when I played,” he notes. “They’re training all year around. They’re bigger, stronger and faster. The kids I played with may have had a more true drive and be happy just to put on a jersey. That might be an attitude lost in today’s kids. But they are still prepared to play.” Ross Jones, a prolific lacrosse athlete during the 1960s golden days of the Oshawa Green Gaels, appreciates the quality of boxla athletes today, but the feisty approach to each contest has taken a step back, he feels. “The game has changed from when we played,” he smiles. “The fast break running game is still the best and it’s more exciting for the fans. There is a lot of opportunities and potential for kids getting involved in lacrosse. I certainly would prefer that to kids sitting in the house all the time.” Dr. Margo Mountjoy, who knows all about gold and silver medals during her competitive days as an elite synchronized swimmer, eventually turned her attention to team play as a physician with the World Anti-Doping Association and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “I was fortunate enough to attend the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics as a member of the IOC and it was truly inspiring that our Olympians who started as young children with big dreams years ago would further be inspired to do their personal best and apply themselves to something they really enjoy,” said Mountjoy in her speech. Frank Sobil applied himself in two sports, bowling and soccer. And he really did excel on the alley and pitch. It started on a soccer field where Mitchell’s Corner exists to this day. “We really didn’t have a home field, that is until we got permission to use a cow pasture,” he recollects with a huge grin. “Before a home game, it would take three or four of us one or two hours to clean off the home field. Now you know why we won so many home games. You see, soccer can be played almost anywhere.” Sobil also showcased his expertise in 10-pin bowling, beginning as a student of the game in Clearwater, Florida. The family eventually returned to Oshawa where he formed an awesome tandem with Herm Prakken at the 1969 provincials in Kingston. Recent Related Articles Yet another special night for DeGray Oshawa native Dale DeGray, a recent inductee into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame who currently serves as GM of the Owen Sound Attack, will be recog READ The \'duck\' prepares for a big fight night Antonio Carvalho, second from the right, poses with his training team at the Bruckmann Academy of Martial Arts. The fighter will battle Doug Evans READ Gold Cup on the horizon June 8, 2011 Big things are happening at the Oshawa Lawn Bowling Club (OLBC) lately. The club received a $64,700 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation recently. That money went READ

Five added to Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame The 2011 inductees into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame last Wednesday night at the General Motors Centre were, from left, Dale Degray, Frank Sobil, Albert James Barnes (represented by his daughter Donna Wiskin), Dr. Margo Mountjoy, and Ross Jones. June 1, 2011 By Wally Donaldson/The Oshawa Express Acceptance speeches arrive in the form of a variety of thoughts, feelings and in so many cases, emotions. Never was this better exemplified than during the recent Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the GM Centre as friends, family, former inductees and interested onlookers paid special homage to five very special athletes and builders. And it was on this night when Oshawa’s newest inductees enlightened a huge gathering about their recollections of competing in their chosen sport while suited up in an Oshawa jersey or perhaps representing the city at a major competition. For Terri Lynn Meisnek, who spoke with clarity and poignantly about her grandfather, Albert James Barnes, she obviously never had the opportunity to see this gifted player, coach, umpire and referee at the peak of his performance. Neither did his daughter, Donna Wiskin, who stood next to Meisnek at the podium. However, those who came to the fore well equipped with Barnes’ data to the Selection Committee and eventually to the Board of Governors, knew and realized the contribution he made in a host of sports until his passing in 2003 in his 88th year. Barnes, fondly referred to as Ab, competed on several levels in hockey, softball and football. He turned to officiating during his later years in hockey, softball and baseball. It was a give in that he would be recognized on this night and Meisner made it clear his induction to the Oshawa shrine was heartfelt among all family members. Be it a hockey slapshot, the wrist motion of a lacrosse stick, the graceful presentation in the synchronized waters or the approach and curl of a bowling ball into the pocket, these inductees were clearly on the mark while acknowledging their respective special moments - with one inductee, perhaps, experiencing a dash more difficulty than some. Although beaming like a Cheshire Cat with family members in the audience, Dale Degray’s heart was on stage, but his thoughts were about a 45-minute drive away while at the same time his Owen Sound Attack were battling St. Michael’s Majors in a key Memorial Cup matchup in Mississauga. “It’s a very emotional time for me,” said Degray, who serves as general manager of the Attack. “Sure, I’m thinking about what’s going on, but this is a heck of an honour to be a part of something like this. Oshawa is a great sports community, so this is where I have to be. Do I wish I was in Mississauga? Yah, a little. But there will always be another hockey game. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.” Degray, groomed in the Oshawa minor hockey system, served his junior tenure with the Oshawa Generals before taking one skate forward to the professional ranks, beginning with the Calgary Flames. The (junior) players are really, really better prepared today than when I played,” he notes. “They’re training all year around. They’re bigger, stronger and faster. The kids I played with may have had a more true drive and be happy just to put on a jersey. That might be an attitude lost in today’s kids. But they are still prepared to play.” Ross Jones, a prolific lacrosse athlete during the 1960s golden days of the Oshawa Green Gaels, appreciates the quality of boxla athletes today, but the feisty approach to each contest has taken a step back, he feels. “The game has changed from when we played,” he smiles. “The fast break running game is still the best and it’s more exciting for the fans. There is a lot of opportunities and potential for kids getting involved in lacrosse. I certainly would prefer that to kids sitting in the house all the time.” Dr. Margo Mountjoy, who knows all about gold and silver medals during her competitive days as an elite synchronized swimmer, eventually turned her attention to team play as a physician with the World Anti-Doping Association and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “I was fortunate enough to attend the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics as a member of the IOC and it was truly inspiring that our Olympians who started as young children with big dreams years ago would further be inspired to do their personal best and apply themselves to something they really enjoy,” said Mountjoy in her speech. Frank Sobil applied himself in two sports, bowling and soccer. And he really did excel on the alley and pitch. It started on a soccer field where Mitchell’s Corner exists to this day. “We really didn’t have a home field, that is until we got permission to use a cow pasture,” he recollects with a huge grin. “Before a home game, it would take three or four of us one or two hours to clean off the home field. Now you know why we won so many home games. You see, soccer can be played almost anywhere.” Sobil also showcased his expertise in 10-pin bowling, beginning as a student of the game in Clearwater, Florida. The family eventually returned to Oshawa where he formed an awesome tandem with Herm Prakken at the 1969 provincials in Kingston. Recent Related Articles Yet another special night for DeGray Oshawa native Dale DeGray, a recent inductee into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame who currently serves as GM of the Owen Sound Attack, will be recog READ The \'duck\' prepares for a big fight night Antonio Carvalho, second from the right, poses with his training team at the Bruckmann Academy of Martial Arts. The fighter will battle Doug Evans READ Gold Cup on the horizon June 8, 2011 Big things are happening at the Oshawa Lawn Bowling Club (OLBC) lately. The club received a $64,700 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation recently. That money went READ

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