The city of Yorkton and the SJHL Terriers will play host to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Hall Of Fame induction ceremony on November 19th and there will be a distinct local flavor going in during the third annual dinner.
Darrell Spelay, the SJHL's all-time scoring leader with 243-goals and 208-assists, will headline the class that also includes his former coach, Gerry James, as well as builder Gene Krepekevich, and retired broadcaster Terry Struthers.
Spelay played for James during his career that spanded from 1979-1983 and scored at a clip of 1.83 points per game. He's a four time SJHL All-Star and was named the best Yorkton Terrier ever in a recent 35th Anniversary Team selection process. His jersey number six is retired in the rafters of the Farrell Agencies Arena and he was inducted into the Yorkton Sports Hall Of Fame in 2010. He currently runs his own business in Yorkton.
James owned, managed, and coached the Terriers from 1979-1984. He also had coaching stints with Melville, Estevan, and Moose Jaw. A two-sport athlete, James signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at age 17 and played for them from 1952-1963. He was part of four Grey Cups and six Grey Cup appearances. James also won the Schenley Award for Top Canadian in 1954 and 1957. He also played with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1964. As far as hockey is concerned, James played with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1954-1960 and served as a player/coach with the Yorkton Senior Hockey Team from 1964-1977. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall Of Fame in 1981, the Manitoba Hall Of Fame in 1982, Blue Bomber Hall Of Fame in 1999, Saskatchewan Hall Of Fame, and Yorkton Hall Of Fame in 1998.
Krepekevich coached minor hockey and volunteered with the Yorkton Sr Terriers from 1966-1971 and served as Vice President of the Jr Terriers from 1984 to 1986. He was instrumental, perhaps the key player, in saving the team from near bankruptcy during the mid 1980s. He was also an important figure in establishing the Terrier Scholarship Fund for post secondary education in 1986. He served as Terrier President from 1986-1993 and was Vice Chair of the SJHL from 1990-1994. He authored “History Of The Yorkton Terriers: 1972-1997 The Puck Stops Here” which was later placed in the NHL Sports Hall Of Fame. He also co-chaired Yorkton's RBC Cup event in 1999 and still actively volunteers and supports the Yorkton Terriers.
Struthers was the Terrier radio broadcaster on GX94 from 1988-2007, and also served at CFSL in Weyburn from 1983-1988. He was the 2001 winner of the SJHL Media Of The Year, and received special recognition in 2008 from Hockey Canada for his dedication to amateur hockey. He was inducted into the Yorkton Sports Hall Of Fame in 2010. His highlights as a broadcaster included the Centennial Cup in Sudbury ON, RBC Cups in Melfort, Yorkton, and Streetsville, as well as the national Midget AAA championship in Sault Ste. Marie.
The SJHL also announced November 19th will be the SJHL Hall Of Fame Game, when the Humboldt Broncos visit the Terriers.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)