Red carpet rolled out for five to enter Mohawk’s Hall of Fame

Mohawk College has added five new members to its Mountaineer Hall of Fame. Former hockey player Ralph Schmidt, skier Mary-Ann Hallewell (Clarke), basketball player Henry Romanowski, badminton champion Dave Reinhart and former touch football and men’s basketball coach Barry Hutton were honoured in ceremonies at the Fennell campus on Friday, May 23.

Left to right: Mary-Ann Hallewell (Clarke), Henry Romanowski, Ralph Schmidt, Barry Hutton, and, accepting on behalf of the late Dave Reinhart, Elaine Reinhart Valentini

Schmidt was a talented and accomplished scorer who led the Mountaineers’ hockey team for three years. A two-time captain and leading scorer, he helped the team to two Ontario Colleges Athletic Association championship appearances in 1971 and 1973. Schmidt was recognized as Men’s Hockey MVP and selected to the OCAA championship all star team in 1973 and had a tryout with the World Hockey Association’s New York franchise that year.

Hallewell flew down OCAA ski courses from 1974-76 in dominating fashion. After achieving five top-two finishes on the OCAA circuit in 1975, which culminated in her selection as Mohawk team MVP and Outstanding Female Freshman, she wrote the record book the following year. In 1976 Hallewell won all three individual OCAA Gold medals in women’s skiing, led the Ontario team with a third place finish at the Ontario-Quebec championships and was again team MVP and Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year.

Romanowski was the fiery leader of back-to-back Mohawk men’s basketball gold medal teams in 1970 and 1971. From his point guard position, he controlled the Mountaineers’ high-powered offense and keyed the tenacious defense that was the trademark of those championship teams. Romanowski was selected Co- MVP in 1970 at Mohawk’s Athletic Banquet and was named to the OCAA Championship All Star team in 1970 and 1971.

Reinhart, who will be inducted posthumously, was a gifted Mohawk athlete who chose to excel in badminton. He captured successive OCAA men’s doubles gold medals in 1982 and 1983 with partner Ron Baribeau and a Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Silver medal in 1983. Reinhart was named team MVP in both these years and Co-Outstanding Male Athlete in 1983. A credit to his athleticism and commitment, he added an OCAA bronze medal (1982) as a member of the Cross Country team and coached Mohawk’s badminton team in 1984.

For Hutton, the words coaching and success are one and the same. Without peer in OCAA touch football, his teams won a medal in every one of his 23 years at the helm, including 15 OCAA gold, five silver and three bronze medals. His coaching achievements and knowledge of this sport were unparalleled in Canada. During Hutton’s tenure with the Mountaineers’ men’s basketball teams, he was twice named OCAA Coach of the year, capturing one OCAA silver and three bronze medals while missing the playoffs only once in his career.

The inductions brought membership in the Mohawk Mountaineer Hall of Fame to 51.