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NLSA Hall of Fame and Annual Awards

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Photo by Trevor Wragg © 2021

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland – The Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association (NLSA) will honour its 2019 and 2020 Hall of Fame and annual award winners November 19 and 20 at the Comfort Inn in St. John’s.

The 2019 inductions will take place on Friday, November 19, while the class of 2020 will be inducted on Saturday, November 20. The ceremonies had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2019 inductees include: Noel Doyle, Shane Dunphy, Leonard “Brud” Edwards, Gordon Grandy, Jon Kelly, Rudy Norman, and Herbert Young.
The 2020 honorees include: Jennifer Andrews, Sarah Arnott, Scott Betts, Sarah Drake, Keith Jackman, Pat Marshall, and Dragan Mirkovic.

Biographies for both groups and a list of annual award winners are below.

2019 award winners (includes teams/players of the decade)

Executive of the Year                                                 Damian Masterson
Volunteer of the Year                                                 Marc Pittman
Senior Male Athlete of the Year                               Felly Elonda, Feildians
Senior Female Athlete of the Year                          Jessie Noseworthy, Holy Cross
Junior Male Athlete of the year                               Owen Sheppard, St. John’s
Junior Female Athlete of the Year                          Lauren Rowe, CBS
Junior Female Official of the Year                          Brooke Andrews
Junior Male Official of the Year                              Alex Nunes
Ross Arlett Award (Official of the Year)                Mike Howlett
Coach of the Year                                                       Mike Oliver, Feildians Jubilee Trophy
Team of the Year                                                        Feildians U17s
Male Team of the Decade                                         Holy Cross
Female Team of the Decade                                     Kirby
Male Player of the Decade                                         Jake Warren
Female Player of the Decade                                     Malorie Harris

2020 award winners

Executive of the Year                                                 Doug Kirby
Volunteer of the Year                                                 Michael Edmunds
Youth Volunteer of the Year                                     Muftah Ghariba
Senior Male Athlete of the Year                               Michael O’Brien, Holy Cross
Senior Female Athlete of the Year                          Holly O’Neill, Holy Cross
Junior Male Athlete of the year                               Taj Exely, Feildians
Junior Female Athlete of the Year                           Isabella Ryan, BPSA & St. John’s
Junior Female Official of the Year                              Chantal McDonald
Junior Male Official of the Year                                  Carver Tithrington
Ross Arlett Award (Official of the Year)                     Dave Liverman
Coach of the Year                                                             Andrew Murphy, CBS
Team of the Year                                                             Feildians U17s

 

2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

Noel Doyle

During a 17-year career with the St. Lawrence Laurentians and his time with the 1985 Canada Games team, Noel Doyle demonstrated that he was an impact player. Whether he was playing as a striker, midfielder or central defender, he had the ability to take control of the game and lead his team to success. This leadership was evident early in his career as he captained his Canada Games team to a 5th place finish.

With the ability to play any central position, Noel played a major role in helping St. Lawrence to win seven Challenge Cup championships in a span of eight years during the 1990’s. His bronze medal at the National Challenge Cup in 1999, was one of the highlights of his career. During his string of Challenge Cup victories, he was recognized with an MVP and a Most Sportsman-Like Player award. In addition to his Challenge Cup success, he was a two-time winner of the Premier’s Cup provincial championship.

 

Shane Dunphy

For nearly 30 years, Shane Dunphy has been striving to preserve and grow the game of soccer on the Burin Peninsula. Whether at the community, regional or provincial level, his involvement has been instrumental in the resurgence of the game in the region.

Recognizing that he had to lead by example, Shane soon found himself involved at every level of the game. Organizing at the grass roots level was his first task as he became President of the Marystown Soccer Association. From there he moved to be President of the Burin Peninsula Soccer Association and then to the board of NLSA. One of his major accomplishments was the return of the BPSA to the Provincial “A” tournaments.

In order to have good teams, you had to have coaches to work with and develop players. Recognizing this, Shane immersed himself in coaching and quickly found himself moving up the coaching ladder, culminating with a Provincial “B” certification and an assistant coach position with the NLSA’s Canada Games team.

For his commitment and dedication to the game at all levels, NLSA has saw fit to recognize him with two of their most prestigious awards, the Executive of the Year and the Volunteer of the Year awards. In addition to these awards, he has received the SportNL and Investors Group Volunteer of the Year awards. Shane has also been inducted into the BPSA Hall of Fame.

  

Leonard “Brud” Edwards

With a soccer career lasting more than 30 years, Brud Edwards demonstrated that he was one of the most skilled and creative players of his era. Recognized for his tenacity on the ball and a work ethic which was second to none, he played a major role in helping the Lawn Shamrocks be one of the teams to beat in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

Although his team wasn’t flush with talent, Brud’s leadership and timely scoring played a major role in keeping the Lawn Shamrocks championship contenders. During that period his Shamrocks won three BPSA championships and one Challenge Cup championship. In addition, he was twice named a Challenge Cup all-star midfielder.

Not willing to retire after his Challenge Cup days, Brud went on to earn five Provincial Masters championships. For his lifetime of soccer excellence, he was inducted into the Burin Peninsula Soccer Hall of Fame.

 

Gordon Grandy

Considered the premier goalkeeper of the 1950’s and 60’s, Gordon Grandy displayed the attributes which earned him the title of ‘one of the best’. Noted for his exceptional quickness, agility, and sure hands, his fearless approach to defending his goal kept opposing shooters second guessing themselves. While considered a team leader and motivator for his Grand Bank Gee Bees, he was also an innovator.

Long before kicking long balls up the pitch became passé, Gordon was distributing the ball to his backs and midfield, allowing them to keep possession and mount coordinated attacks. His MVP recognition, outstanding goalkeeping, innovation and team leadership were major reasons why his team won a number of Burin Peninsula championships and three consecutive provincial championships in the 1960’s.

The success of his Grand Bank Gee Bees in the early 1960’s, was in part due to Gordon’s efforts. For their accomplishments in the 1960’s, the Grand Bank Gee Bees were named the NLSA Team of the Decade.

 

Jonathan (Jon) Kelly

Jon Kelly was one of those rare players who, by just being there, made his opponents second guess their options. Although he had a quiet yet powerful approach to the game, he displayed game intelligence which allowed his strength, speed and skill to shut down opposing players and destroy many attacks.

Although he experienced success at the youth level, it was his play as a senior player which made him stand out. A stalwart in the back line with Memorial University, he earned AUS first and second team all-star recognition, along with a team MVP award. In addition, his athletic and academic achievements earned him election to Memorial’s Athletic Honor Society.

Although injury shortened his career, Jon was able to establish himself as one of the premier Challenge Cup defenders as he led Mount Pearl to its only Challenge Cup championship. During his career, he earned all-star recognition on eight occasions, five of which were consecutive. In addition, he was recognized with a Top Defender award and was named NLSA Senior Player of the Year. He is also a member of the Mount Pearl Soccer Hall of Fame.

 

Rudy Norman

Every generation a player seems to stand well above the rest. During his 23 years of Challenge Cup competition and his five years of university play, Rudy Norman’s accomplishments certainly verify that he was one of the best.

During his lengthy career, Rudy was a 14-time Provincial Challenge Cup champion, the most by any individual and a three-time National Challenge Cup medalist, winning a silver and two bronze medals. Individually, he was a seven-time Challenge Cup Top Scorer and a three-time Challenge Cup MVP in addition to being selected 14 times as a Challenge Cup all-star.

His value to the St. Lawrence Laurentians over the years has been recognized 10 times with the team’s Most Dedicated Player award. For his outstanding play at Nationals, he has been a three- time recipient of the Gerard Quirke Award.

To recognize his outstanding achievements, Rudy was named the NLSA Player of the Decade (2000 – 2010) and inducted into the Burin Peninsula Soccer Hall of Fame.

 

Herbert Young

In a career that spanned 50 years, Herbert Young not only displayed the qualities of an elite player, he also demonstrated the qualities necessary to take a leadership role to help in the formation, of a new four team Corner Brook league in 1963. He also played a major role in the formation of one of the new teams, the West Side Monarchs, a team he later went on to coach for a number of years.

In his 16 years as a player competing in the provincial championships, he demonstrated that he possessed the skill sets to compete against the top teams from St. John’s and the Burin Peninsula. From his central defender’s position, he was a major factor in leading his Corner Brook team to the provincial championship in 1952 and 1956. During his time in the Corner Brook league, he was named a Top defender and an MVP. In addition, he was a perennial All-Star to play against visiting war ships from the British and Canadian navies. 

 

2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

 

Jennifer Andrews

From her early years of youth soccer, Jennifer Andrews displayed the traits of true grit, determination, courage, sportsmanship, fair play and a no surrender attitude. These characteristics were her trademarks in keeping her teams upbeat and striving to be the best they could be. Her leadership and drive played a major role in Mt. Pearl being the dominant age group team in provincial soccer during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

At the university level, Jennifer once again led by example as she helped her Acadia University team to contend for an AUS (AUAA) championship. Her play during her university career earned her three AUS and two US (CIAU) All Canadian All-Star awards along with AUS Top Scorer and MVP awards. Acadia University also named her Athlete of the Year.

Jennifer has also been inducted into the Mount Pearl Soccer Association and the Mount Pearl Sports Alliance Halls of Fame.

 

Sarah Arnott

With a career spanning more than 25 years, Sarah Arnott was known to be a player who could get things done. Technically skilled and with a bit of an “edge” to her game, she was often asked to play multiple positions and to captain her team. Her multiple skill sets were a contributing factor in her various age group teams’ success at the Provincial and Atlantic level.

Her success at the university level earned her AUS (AUAA) and US (CIAU) All-Star recognition along with Memorial University’s, Athletic Honor Society Award. Her 24 goals for the Seahawks, has her in the top five goal scorers for the Memorial Seahawks.

At the provincial senior level, she is a three-time Jubilee Trophy winner and a two-time Provincial Intermediate champion. Sarah’s play from 2000 – 2009 was recognized by being one of the finalists for the NLSA Women’s Player of the Decade.

 

Scott Betts

For over 30 years, Scott Betts has impacted the growth and development of soccer at all levels of play. Since his arrival from Ontario in the late 1980s, Scott has been a provincial coach with the NLSA, Head Coach with Memorial University, served as technical director for both Mount Pearl and St. John’s, and has coached Jubilee Trophy and Challenge Cup teams to provincial championships.

Scott’s keen eye and patient approach has helped many youth players reach their potential and find success at the university and senior level. His many youth teams at the club and provincial level have also been blessed with both provincial and Atlantic championships.

Jumping from youth to senior teams and back again is not an easy task. Scott’s record of a provincial Challenge Cup championship, eight Jubilee Trophy championships, two AUS and three Jubilee Trophy Coach of the Year awards, certainly suggests that he has mastered the ability to move from one to the other.

 

Sarah Drake

Early in her soccer career, Sarah Drake demonstrated that she was going to be a player of record and establish herself as one of the province’s outstanding female players. As a youth player, playing in the Burin Peninsula Senior Women’s league, she began to demonstrate her talents as she was a Top Scorer and named MVP on four occasions.

While playing for Cape Breton University, her exceptional talents earned her recognition as an Atlantic and Canadian University MVP and First Team All-Star. In addition, she was an AUS Top Scorer and Rookie of the Year. Her outstanding accomplishments were recognized by the NLSA as she was named NLSA Youth Player of the Year and twice named NLSA Senior Player of the Year.

The highlight of her career was in 2003, when she was named to the Team Canada University Soccer team to represent Canada at the World University Games in Seoul, South Korea. Sarah has also been inducted into the Burin Peninsula Soccer Hall of Fame.

 

Keith Jackman

During his 32 years between the uprights, Keith Jackman has experienced or stopped some of the best shooters from this province and many from other provinces across Canada. Recognized as an exceptional shot stopper, his positioning and leadership skills were major factors why he was considered the best of his era. His performance in goal throughout the 1990s and well into the 2000s earned him respect from both teammates and opponents. His St. Lawrence teams of that era were so impressed with his abilities and leadership, that he was named team MVP on five occasions.

Throughout his career, Keith has won eight provincial Challenge Cup and seven provincial Master’s championships. In addition, he has a National Challenge Cup Bronze Medal and two Eastern Canadian Masters Gold and one Silver medal.

Keith is also part of the 1990s St. Lawrence Team which was chosen the NLSA Team of the Decade. He is also a member of the St. Lawrence Soccer Hall of Fame.

 

Pat Marshall

Despite his teenage years, Pat Marshall displayed the calmness of a veteran player as he started to establish himself as an impact player in both the St. John’s Junior and Senior leagues of the 1950s and 1960s. In an era where kick and run was the style of play, he started to open eyes with his slick passing and ball possession techniques. His ability to execute under pressure, particularly when taking a penalty, earned him the title of “Mr. Penalty Shot.”

Given the honor of team captain by his teammates, he didn’t disappoint. Newspapers of the day said he was a classy midfielder, a perfect gentleman with the intensity and fight of a tiger when challenging for the ball. His overall play and leadership over his career earned his St. Pat’s team four St. John’s Senior championships and one provincial senior championship in a period five years.

During his career, Pat was a perennial league All-Star, a league MVP, a Most Gentlemanly and Effective Player and a yearly contender for the scoring title. His value to his St. Pat’s team has been clearly recognized by the number of times his teammates chose him as their Most Valuable Player.

Dragan Mirkovic

Having played professional soccer in Croatia prior to coming to our province, Dragan’s early years playing Challenge Cup, amazed everyone with his ability to finish and express himself. Not knowing what he meant by those terms, but we quickly found out.

When NLSA offered the position of Technical Director to him in 1999, Dragan quickly immersed himself in all aspects of player and coaching development as he set his sights on changing the culture of soccer in Newfoundland and Labrador. Over the next twenty plus years, the results speak for themselves.

The initiation of the National Training Center (NTC) program in the early 2000s for promising young players has led to the partnership with the Vancouver White Caps which extends to 2026. He was a lead force in expanding our provincial teams’ program from three teams to as many as 12. Some might say that his greatest contribution was in the area of coaching development, where many of our coaches were encouraged and supported to achieve Provincial B and National level certification. His efforts to support women in coaching has resulted in many of our female coaches attaining these certification levels. At one point, our province had 6 of the 26 National B coaches in Canada.

Although coaching development speaks for itself, his success behind the bench also speaks volumes as many of his youth teams captured medals of all colors at Atlantic championships. His women’s teams have won the Jubilee Trophy four times and many of the young players in our programs went on to attain scholarships at various universities across North America.

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