The community of Cochrane is well known for its has many amazing athletes and now a few are being inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Local Jeff Avery has always wanted to stop by the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in Red Deer and today (June 1) he will have a good reason.
Avery along with other fellow teammates of the 1989 and 1990 Calgary Colts Junior Football Club are being recognized as the only teams to win back to back National Championships.
Playing on the 1989 team, Avery was shocked when he learned the news. "When I saw the article and the emails came out saying we got accepted to the Hall of Fame, I never would have dreamed I would be in a place like that. It's a pretty good honour and pretty cool to see."
Avery played for the Calgary Colts out of high school and says he remembers the day when the new head coach, Keith Kendall, rallied the team. "He told us 'we're going to turn this program around and if you guys stick with me for the next four or five years, we will win a Canadian Bowl.' Sure enough in my fourth year there, we ended up winning a Candian Bowl and we were the first team in Alberta to win that award. The following team did it too, so we did back to back years and it's never been won again by an Alberta team."
In 1989, the Colts who finished fourth in the regular season beat both Regina and Saskatoon in the playoffs before defeating the Burlington Tiger Cats 23-6 at McMahon Stadium. The following year, the Colts placed second in the regular season before wiping out the Surrey Rams in Vancouver and the Thunder Bay Giants in Winnipeg. The Colts then managed a triumphant 50-15 win over the host Windsor AKO to claim their second consecutive Canadian Bowl.
The Alberta Sports Hall Of Fame has managed to track down a good number of players from both teams and tomorrow the old ballplayers will reunite. Avery shares a special ceremony will take place at 12:30 pm. "It will be good to see some old faces and reminisce about the old times."
A press conference will be held and Avery and teammates will learn where their special place of recognition will be in the hall. A banquet will occur in the evening where inductees will receive a plaque and ring for their outstanding efforts.
Alongside the Colts, a number of high profile athletes such as Theo Flurry, Cindy Klassen and Dave King are also being recognized and Avery is excited to meet them. "It's almost like we're not worthy to be there when you see the names of the people going in, I don't hold myself in that high stature."
Avery has kept in touch with quite a few old teammates and remains close with other Cochrane inductees, Rob McNab and Steve Dallison.
The official announcement of 2018's induction occurred on February 26th and over 600 North American athletes are expected at tomorrow's banquet.