Wismer Foundation prepares to announce award finalists

The first was George Knill from Sir Winston Churchill. The second was Antoinette Krusto from Cardinal Newman. The third was Gary Banting from Waterdown. And the fourth is…

Well, you’ll have to wait until September 11 to know this year’s recipient of the Wismer Award for High School Coaching Excellence, an annual award presented by The Wismer Foundation to recognize a coach’s contribution to the all-round development of student athletes. A record 19 nominations were received by the foundation’s selection committee this year and on August 14 that group will make known its five finalists.

Regardless of who makes the short list, all are top notch teachers, and coaches who have made significant contributions to the Hamilton high school coaching scene and the community, notes the selection committee. Those nominated are active coaches for either the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board or the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board.

The award is the legacy of John Wismer, who for 33 years was a talented, innovative and spirited teacher and coach for the Hamilton public school board. He inspired student athletes to do their very best at all times in all facets of life. Those he taught and coached mattered greatly to him, and he cared deeply about their aspirations and well-being. Long after their high school days, he followed their progress and encouraged them to pursue their dreams. He believed in teamwork and community. Above all, he believed winning in both life and sports was special, and that you got there with focus, determination, and commitment.

Those qualities are the common thread for recipients of the coaching excellence award.

Those nominated this year are: Westdale’s Bob Cherwinski, rowing, and David Walters, football; Barton’s Glen Crawford, football, Kim Klodt, volleyball, and John Sharp, hockey; St. Thomas More’s Dino Perri, soccer; and Claudio Silvestri, football; St. Mary’s Jos Nederveen, volleyball, Kevin Monaco, rowing, and Rich Wesolowski, basketball; Dundas Parkside’s Brenda Nelson, basketball; Hamilton District Christian Academy’s Nathan Siebenga, soccer; Bishop Tonnos’ John Tice, rowing; Saltfleet’s Jim Weatherbee, basketball; Delta’s Frank Hayes, football; Sherwood’s Anthony Herrington, hockey; Cardinal Newman’s Marc Kovacs, soccer; Dundas Highland’s Mike Smith, track and field; and Cathedral’s Michele Vesprini, basketball.

Hayes, Herrington, Kovacs, Monaco, Smith, Vesprini, and Wesolowski have been nominated in the past.

The Wismer family said, “We’re pleased with the community’s response to the Wismer Foundation initiatives and we are grateful for the support of our many sponsors and friends”.

Selection Committee member John Michaluk didn’t envy the task of narrowing the candidates. “This year’s nominees are the cream of the crop and it’ll be a challenge for the committee to narrow the field to five finalists”.

The finalists will be introduced on Tuesday, August 14 at 11 a.m. at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

On September 11, at the Carlisle Golf and Country Club in Flamborough where the Wismer Foundation Golf Tournament and Award Presentation Dinner takes place, this year’s High School Coaching Excellence Award will be presented to one of the final five. A few openings remain for both the Golf Tournament and Award Dinner tickets. Major sponsors of the event include McCains, Horne LLP, Royal Bank, Frisina Group, Canadaian Tire, Arrow Games.

In addition to the coaching’s recognition, The Wismer Foundation presents the Wismer Award for Academic and Athletic Excellence. The honour is presented yearly to an outstanding athlete graduating from Barton high school and who is pursuing a post-secondary education at the university or college level.

For additional information please visit the wismerfoundation.org website or call Stacy Wismer at 905 574-3529