Guelph, Ont., February 20, 2018 – The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors is pleased to announce the names of the 2018 inductees who will be celebrated at a ceremony this May.
This year’s inductees are Bryan DeCorso (athlete), Charles Robert Crowe (veteran athlete) and Rob Pavan (veteran athlete), Dave Scott-Thomas (builder), and in the team category the 2003 Guelph Royals Midget AAA Baseball Team.
The induction ceremony will take place during the annual Kiwanis Sports Celebrity Dinner on Wednesday, May 16 at the Italian Canadian Club. Tickets, available March 5, are $80 per adult and $35 for students 17 years of age and younger.
About the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame
The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that recognizes and honours the achievements of Guelph individuals and teams who have attained prominence and distinction in any field of sport, and who have made a major contribution to the development and advancement of sports in Guelph. Funding is generously provided through the Guelph Kiwanis Club’s annual Sports Celebrity Dinner. The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame was established by the City of Guelph and the Kiwanis Club of Guelph in 1992.
Athlete – Bryan DeCorso
Born in Guelph, Ont., Bryan DeCorso is a Canadian professional golfer. He started in golf with his father, playing at the Victoria Park East course in Guelph. In 1989, he won the Ontario Junior Championship and came in second place at the Canadian Junior Championship. Then, in 1994, he came in second place at the Canadian Amateur Championships. He was also part of the Canadian team to earn 10th place at the World Amateur Championship. DeCorso earned a golf scholarship to Kent State University where he had many achievements, including:
Turned professional: 1995–2013
Web.com Tour: 2004, 2008–13
Canadian Tour: 1996–2005
South American Tour: 1996–97/98
Variety of mini tours: 1996–2013
Male Athlete of the Year, Kent State University
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Scholastic All-America, NCAA All-America
Won NCAA Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship
MAC Player of the Year, MAC Sportsman of the Year
Second place (lost playoff) at Canadian Amateur Championship
Member of Team Canada at World Amateur Championship
Won Ontario Junior Championship, second place (lost playoff), Canadian Junior Championship
Inducted into Kent State Athletic Hall of Fame
Winner, South Georgia Classic, Web.com Tour, 2008
Winner, Morningstar Classic, Canadian Tour, 1996
“Canadian Tour Rookie of the Year”
On-course commentator for Golf Channel, 2001–03
Three holes-in-one, six course records, lowest score 61 (-10)
Veteran Athlete – Charles Robert Crowe
July 17, 1896 was a fine and warm morning when Staff Sgt. Charles R. Crowe set out onto the ranges of Bisley, England with the rest of the Canadian shooting team to do what he had failed to do on his first visit in 1893, bring home the premier shooting trophy of the British Empire, the Rajah of Kolapore’s Challenge Cup. Taking seven shots each over distances of 200, 500, and 600 yards, the Canadian team edged in front of the Great Britain team after the second round but dominated the final 600-yard round to deliver a resounding win. Over the next 30 years Crowe would return to compete in the Kolapore 10 times, winning the Challenge Cup on two further occasions, leading the team in their 1926 victory.
A further visit to Bisley in 1908 saw Crowe compete at the 1908 London Summer Olympics as part of the first recognized Team Canada. There, along with the Canadian military rifle team, he brought home the bronze medal as well as shooting the nation’s second-highest individual score.
Crowe was the epitome of the Edwardian gentleman with not only a strong military heritage but also deep roots in the Guelph community. Taking over his father’s Iron Works business in 1908, he grew the enterprise to be one of the largest employers in Guelph. As the Colonel of the local Wellington Rifles, he devoted time and effort at the town’s rifle range improving the marksmanship of the Guelph boys.
Crowe won many medals and cups during his career as a Dominion Bisley team member. ln 1911, he won the Governor General’s Cup in rifle shooting. In 1933 and 1934 he was elected President of the Dominion Rifle Association, and in 1936, became the president of the Guelph Rifle Association. He won the Governor General’s Prize once and came second on one occasion. He was runner-up in the Grand Aggregate twice and was Champion of the Decade for the 1900s and 1910s. At Bisley, he made both the King’s Prize Final and the Grand Aggregate 57 times.
Crowe was a true renaissance man with a broad range of interests beyond his military and commercial life. As an accomplished musician trained at the Leipzig Conservatory of Music, not only did he possess a fine tenor voice, but he could also play piano, organ and cello. Crowe’s competitive nature extended to the game bantam chickens and Yorkshire canaries he raised, winning considerable recognition at various bird and agricultural shows.
Yet above all, he was a sportsman. When not competing with his marksmanship, he would spend the summers golfing and the winters, curling. In 1918, he was vice-skip of a team from the Guelph Royal City Curling Club that won the Ontario Tankard.
Crowe had six children.
Veteran Athlete – Rob Pavan
Rob Pavan was a professional football player in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and began his career in Guelph within the Guelph Minor Football (Argonaut Pee Wee team). He played a key role in leading his high school team (Bishop MacDonnell High School) to three consecutive District 10 high school football championships (1980, 1981, and 1982) and was twice named Defensive Player of the Year.
University of Guelph
Recruited and played for University of Guelph, 1983–86
First team Ontario University Athletics All-Star, 1984 and 1985
Yates Cup, Churchill Bowl and Vanier Cup Champion, 1984
Canadian Football League (CFL)
Drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 1987
Played two CFL seasons (with Winnipeg and Ottawa Roughriders) on specialty teams and outside linebacker
Forced to retire due to injury, 1989
Returned to University of Guelph to coach defense for six seasons, 1994–99
Won Yates Cup as coach, 1996
Coached defence for Guelph Centennial Spartans High School team through mid-2000s
Coached numerous players that made the CFL (Kyle Walters, Matt Hammer, Chuck Assman, and Sean Spender)
Pavan was the driving force behind the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Guelph District 10 High School Football festival that helped raise $45,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.
Builder – Dave Scott-Thomas
Dave Scott-Thomas has developed one of the premier collegiate programs and the top overall endurance groups in Canada at the University of Guelph and Speed River Track and Field Club. He and his teams have set numerous Ontario University Athletics (OUA)/U Sport records including:
· longest national title win streak in any sport in Canadian intercollegiate history, women’s cross-country 12 years in a row
· more than 50 national championship winning teams in university and club sport
· 30-time U Sport (Canadian University) Coach of the Year
· Three-time Fox 40 Ontario University Athletics Coach of the Year (all sports) recipient
· Ontario High Performance Coach of the Year, 2007
Scott-Thomas has also served as a senior national team coach, representing Canada more than 30 times at international events including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and PanAm Games. He has coached more than 50 national medalists and champions, more than 100 national team members and eight athletes who have represented Canada at the Olympic Games.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Scott-Thomas coached seven members of Canada’s team, including Eric Gillis who had the best finish by an athlete in the men’s marathon since 1976 and Genevieve Lalonde who broke the Canadian record in the steeplechase.
In addition to his coaching, Scott-Thomas has been a driving force in raising the profile of track and field in our community. He founded the Speed River Track and Field Club which under his leadership has become one of the strongest clubs in the country. He also spearheaded the Guelph Track Project, which raised more than $1 million in just over one week to redevelop the track and field facilities at the University of Guelph Alumni Stadium.
Team – 2003 Guelph Royals Midget AAA Baseball Team
If there was ever a fairly-tale season for a baseball team, 2003 was it for the Guelph Midget Royals. After a stellar regular season of play in the Inter County Baseball Association (ICBA), the Royals qualified at the AAA level and advanced to the provincial championships. Under the joint leadership of coaches Rich Moccia and Randy Mitter, the Guelph Products Royals went undefeated in the double knock-out tournament to win the gold medal game and the provincial title.
The Baseball Ontario provincial tournament was comprised of 10 of the best teams from across the province, with the Guelph squad being the only true club team comprised solely of Guelph players. The Royals beat the two-time defending champions, the London Badgers, 6-5 in an exciting come-from-behind win in the final game. With bases loaded in the bottom of the last inning, a rocket hit to right centre field scored three runs to end the contest. Earlier in the tournament, the Royals ousted the Hamilton Wildcats 13-3, Oshawa 6-5 as well as Leaside 6-5, and handed the London team their only other loss in a close 6-4 contest. This 2003 Ontario Baseball Association (OBA) win was the last time a club team would win the highest level (AAA) in the OBA provincial contest. It was a major accomplishment, since most other teams were made up of the best players gathered from across the province, and not necessarily the city they represented. The Guelph team was well known for its strong defence and pitching, with clutch hitters throughout the lineup.
As of their 2018 induction, this midget squad is still the only Guelph team to have ever won the Major Midget AAA Provincial Championship in more than 60 years—a Guelph squad having reached the final only once before in 2001 (per OBA records dating back to 1954). The Midget Royals also came within one game of advancing to the Canadian National Championships, losing a close final to the London Badgers in the Ontario Elimination tournament. “This was a very special group of young men with strong character and heart, who came together to beat the odds, and do something that no other Guelph Midget AAA team had accomplished either before, or since,” said Rich Moccia, the team’s general manager and head coach.
Guelph finished their season with a remarkable .722 winning percentage overall.
2003 season highlights
· OBA Provincial AAA Champions
· ICBA-OBA AAA Qualifier Tournament Champions
· Finalist, National Midget Elimination Tournament
· Finalists, St. Catharines Midget Tournament
· Semi-finals, Sarnia Can-Am International Tournament
· Second place, ICBA regular season
Many of these talented players also went on to win the Junior National title in 2006 with the Guelph Silvercreeks.
Michelle Rickard, Communications Officer
Corporate Communications and Customer Service
City of Guelph