They came. They saw. They conquered. And conquered. And conquered. And conquered. And conquered. And…
Twenty teams from 11 sports won either a provincial or national championship or competed on the international stage while carrying the Hamilton standard. Friday at the Breakfast of Champions the 200-plus participants, along with their coaches and managers were recognized for their athletic achievements in 2006 and presented with Hamilton Championship Medals.
The keynote speaker for the morning affair was Lori Dupuis, a two-time Olympian (1998 silver medalist, 2002 gold medallist) and three-time gold medalist at the World Championships. The Williamstown, Ont. native is recognized as one of the top female hockey players in the world.
Dupuis told the gathering that being an athlete was more than just performing well. It meant believing in yourself and “having the confidence to step up and do it.” But it also meant having respect for other athletes.
She said they should never abandon their athletic dreams but remain determined to be the best. Using her personal challenges as an example, she told the audience about being cut from the women’s national team, 10 months before the Olympics. For a brief moment she thought her goal of winning Olympic gold was gone. Instead, she only became more determined to win her way back onto the national team and her reward was receiving a gold medal at Salt Lake City in 2002.
Walter Gretzky also participated in the ceremony, one of several head table dignitaries. Walter is the father of Wayne Gretzky.
The athletes and teams who were honoured yesterday were:
Hamilton Alexander Park Fastball Atom Selects – Kassy Barton, Celia Du, Kylie Garland, Niki Grover, Lindsey Hall, Adriene Henderson, Sarah Ippolito, Samantha Pearce, Mallory Peirce, Melissa Tatti, Nicole Thompson, coaches Mike Grover, Debbie Garland, Len Ippolito, and Tally Tatti.
Hallwent Region Figure Skating Council – Bryce Davison (with partner Jessica Dubé), Brittany Doleman (with partner Matt Mills), Mercedes Grzenda, Melissa Minken, Adrian Oleksyszak (with partner Bethany Puttkemery), Andrew Doleman (with partner Maja Vermeulen).
East Mountain Team Ontario Cobras Minor Baseball – Dereck Bergstrand, Damon Dicenzo, Darnell Duckett, Travis Flint, Michael Gottschalk, Ryan Green, Josh Hayes, Matt Hill, Steven Hubbs, Eric Johnson, Milli Martinello, Zack Ranta, Cal Smith, John Solazzo, coaches Dean Dicenzo, Tony Blainey, Darin Johnson, John Hashimoto, Robyn White.
Hamilton Bengals Peewee Girls Lacrosse – Brianne Burrough, Meaghan Finlay, Kourtney Krawesky, Kendall May, Meagan Miotto, Sarah Nurse, Kasey Pfau, Carly Ruddy, Grace Sykes, Brooke Watson, coaches Dan Pfau, Roger Nurse, John Kovacich, trainer: Chris May, manager Tammi Kovacich.
Blessed Sacrament Yellow Jackets Bantam Boys Basketball – Jordan Benvenuto, Jeremy Chan, Ben DiDonato, Daniel Kandilas, Kevin Marranca, Kevin Maynard, Philip Palmieri, Chris Vincelli, Brandon Wooldridge, Ben Wright, coaches Rob Palmieri, Marty Maynard.
Ancaster Avalance Bantam B Girls Hockey – Shelby Bordi, Meghann Cox, Kelsey Desnoyers, Alicja Giftopoulos, Sarah Hanna, Pamela Hill, Danielle Howe, Tamara Kajah, Melissa Laufman, Jackie Robinson, Caprice Sanmartin, Rebecca Scherer, Michele Ulman, Meredith Walker, Alex Warrick, manager Peggy Kajah, trainer Jamie Robinson, coaches Mike Desnoyers, Dave Ulman, Damien Cox, and Mark Robinson.
Blessed Sacrament Novice Boys – Joshua Nardini, Carlo Conciatori, Matthew Grace, Darnell Curtin, Domenic Galamini, Austin Hampel, Mark Robinson, Woods Brown, Foster Brown, Sheydon Storer, Tim Morley, Mark Gabriele, coaches John Nardini, Kelly Grace, Gino Conciatori, and Gavin Storer.
Blessed Sacrament Novice Girls Basketball – Emma Buchanan, Erin Burns, Raquel Castro, Emery Firth-Masi, Amira Giannattasio, Hilary Hanaka, Julia Hanaka, Samantha Mosca, Shanien O’Neill, Lisa Patterson-Stallwood, Alanna Simpson, Melissa Tatti, coaches Tally Tatti, Paul Buchanan, and Tony Mosca.
Jumpsations – Mariah Bailey, Jessica Cabral, Melannie Carroll, Erin Jess, Leanne Melloh, Alexandra Newbold, Laura Penko Kaitlyn Simpson, Danielle Smarkala, Taylor Thompson, coaches Shannon Fox, Leanne Melloh, Dayle McCauley, Christina Pereira, and Becky L’Homme.
Hamilton Wrestling Club, McMaster University Team – Sheldon Francis, Stephanie Howorun, Jeremy Johns, Ellen Macro, Dusan Milakara, Mat Miller, Jesse Staats, Keelan Staats, Ashley Warner, manger Howie Leon, coaches Nick Cipriano, Rob Betz, John Dibenedetto, Derm Tilley, Chris Fraser, and Al Pearson.
Hamilton Wildcats #1 Major Midget Boys Basketball – David Boyce-Fappiano, Dennis Boteng, Steve Carter, Spencer Cherwaty, Ryan Christie, Jelani Jeliovsky, Adam Dyment, Dwayne Harvey, Bhavdeep Malhie, Steve Mucowintore, Tyrone Watson, Alex Reis Hewitt, Christian Zelewski, coaches Romeo Fappiano, Sylvia Boyce, Mario Susi, and Dave Hewitt.
Hamilton Celtics Major Atom Girls Basketball – Silvia Spallacci, Jen Jen Abella, Danielle Boiago, Victoria Brown, Sarah Infanti, Olivia Bonomo, Emily Suriani, Lindsey McGowan, Lindsay Moffat, Sabrina Sibbald, Samantha Minicucci, Michelle Best, coaches Bernie Suriani, Greg Best, manager Kathy Bonomo.
Hamilton Hammerheads Athletic Club – Austen Forbes, David Mackie, Isabel Ormond, and Heather Summers.
Hamilton Hoppers Skipping Team – Kelly Swan, Kristin Regis. Sandi Kish, Stephanie Stukas, Heather Halliday, coach Lisa Muldoon, and manager Mary Kish.
Hamilton Olympic Club – Bill Thompson, Alyssa DiCesare, Greg Hayes, George Kerr, Kelly Morrison, and Miguel Wason.
Hamilton Wildcats Juvenile Girls Basketball – Dee Genovese, Casey Boggs, Shamira Kerlew, Megan Campbell, Jill MacDonald, Alex Lamparski, Nicole Gabriele, Joëlle Piché, Alex Springer, Alicia Gies, Amelia Downey, Allie McDonald,
Veronica Berrie, coaches Rick Morton, Lois Boggs, Kevin Duffy, and manager Donna Piché.
Short Track Speed Skating – Hayley Roberts, coach Ernie Overland.
St. Mary’s Rowing Team – Jessica Bill, Kayla Chopp, Rachel D’Agostino, Merrill Flynn, Jennifer Freeman, Brittney Furtado, Whitney Genge, Chiara Genovese, Taryn Goba, Julie Harster, Sara Herronh, Nichole McKay, Katie Millar, Brianne Misner, Emily Moeller, Markianna Mychailyshyn, Nadia Mychailyshyn, Sarah Norman, Victoria O’Connor, Alexandria Rowles, Carly Smith, Jessica Stansfield, Julia Thomson, Anna Tulczynska, Julie VanBerkel, Sarah VanBerkel, Britney Walsh, Erin Walters, Bronte Weatherhead, Jennifer Witt, Nicole Wojcik, coaches Kevin Monaco, Stu Miller, Michelle Head, Erin Scarfone, Emily Waugh, Ralph Rasario.
Transway Bantam Division 3 Ontario Basketball Association – Brigette Bilozir, Aneacia Cummings, Hillary DeWildt, Lauren Lytle, Angeline Mahlstrom, Lana Marcy, Danielle Ormond, Rebbecca Pede, Renata Pucar, Erica Saabas, coaches Don Pede, Allan Marcy, and manager Mark Ormond.
Lawfield Novice Select Thunder – Sam Agro, Grant Amorim, Connor Bramwell, Jesse Brodati, Nathan Bruzzese, Callum Darby, Dylan Green, Austin Harrop, Matthew Hogan, Jake Ide, Connor King, Adam Lodge, Mark Mayer, Dominic Procopio, Grant Thomson, Matthew Timms, Cody Vukosa, coaches Chris Ide, Rob Mayer, Frank Ide, Paul Vukosa, Darryl Bramwell, manager Grant Darby.
Mahoney #9 Bantam Baseball – Brandon Bailey, Raymond Belanger, Steven Des Roche, Adam Haines, Derek Levesque, Isaac MacKenzie, Natasha Oliveira, Shawn Parisee, Coleman Power, Andrew Primmer, Derek Ptolemy, Caitlyn Schwarz, Billy Walsh, coaches Ray Belanger, Harvey Levesque, and Derek Power.
Parkdale Panthers Peewee Hub – Riley Arnel, Quinton Balla, Danny Belitski, Simon Blythe, Dylan DaSilva, Vincent DiCenzo, Adam Francis, Clifford Hewer, Brad Kenner, Scott MacDonald, Patrick McCluskey, Daniel Miceli, Mark Monahan, Cody Raposo, Billy Walsh, Michael Zaccaria, Vinnie Zoccoli, manager Connie Kenner, coaches Jeff Francis, Vince Zoccoli,
Roger Dicenzo, Jerry Raposo, and equipment manager Jimmy Walsh