“It’s kind of all about winning.”
So said Glen Martin, one of five luminaries inducted into the North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame on Saturday evening.
Of the five new inductees, three are known best for winning championships, although they have many other accomplishments: Martin as a golfer and soccer coach, Shona Shadlock (née Armand) as an archer, and Jack Rochon as a hockey coach. The other two — Gerry Hornett and Matt Ellison — have their share of victories, but were inducted for reaching the pinnacles of their respective sports: football and hockey.
Martin initially made a name for himself as a golfer, winning junior championships at the Cowichan Golf and Country Club four times and at March Meadows three times. He went on to win the Cowichan Golf Club men’s championship four times and the Cowichan Open as an amateur in 1986. He was also picked three times for Vancouver Island’s Winspear Cup team.
He credited sibling rivalry for his success in golf.
“I was so damn competitive, and the reason for that is because of my two brothers, Brian and Barry,” Martin said, although he added that he is now the worst golfer of the three.
He also played soccer at the highest level locally, on juvenile touring teams in Div. 1. As a coach, he has spent the last 12 years guiding Cowichan’s top senior men’s team, reaching the Jackson Cup final seven times and winning four times, winning four Vancouver Island Soccer League titles, and qualifying regularly for the provincial tournament.
“There’s only one reason I’m here for soccer, and it’s because of the players,” he said. “I have no credentials for coaching. I’m very committed. I used to play the game, but I don’t play the game, I don’t do the battles, I don’t come from Victoria and Nanaimo every night, in the rain.”
Shadlock, known as Shona Armand at the time, won the 1989 Canadian field archery championship and took gold at the BC Summer Games in 1990. Also in 1990, she joined the Canadian national team at the world championships in Australia, becoming the first Canadian to win a world title in the junior girls recurve bare bow class. In addition to archery, she competed in softball, figure skating and basketball, and helped Cowichan Secondary win an Island championship in field hockey in 1990.
Shadlock was introduced to archery by her father, and gave him much of the gratitude for her success.
“I could not have done any of this without my mentor and my coach, my father, Jack Armand,” she said.
Rochon coached both hockey and baseball, but had his best results as a peewee hockey coach, guiding the peewee Capitals to a provincial title in 1984, capping off a two-season span in which they won nearly 130 games and lost only four. Rochon’s players continue to hold him in high regard today, and many were in attendance at Saturday’s induction ceremony. After his time as a coach, Rochon worked as a scout in the Western Hockey League, then became a B.C. Hockey Association Level 4 instructor for other coaches.
“That group of boys was the only team to ever come out of Cowichan and win a AAA championship,” Rochon pointed out.
Rochon reflected back on Martin’s comments about hating to lose.
“That is a quality, to hate to lose,” he said. “You have to be respectful of your opposition, but it better hurt to lose.”
Hornett, who died in 2016, was a powerful offensive lineman who got his start with the Cowichan Timbermen and made it all the way to the Canadian Football League. Along the way, he was part of the 1975 Timbermen team that went undefeated in its league, then went on to play at Bakersfield Junior College in California and Simon Fraser University. He was drafted fourth overall in 1979 by the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and played in the CFL until 1987 with Saskatchewan, Calgary and Ottawa. After his playing career, he went on to coach for several years.
Hornett’s longtime friend from Simon Fraser and opponent in the CFL, former BC Lions standout Nick Hebeler, and his sister, Brenda Garrett, inducted Hornett. Hebeler pointed out that Hornett made it to the pro league as a Canadian player in what had traditionally been an import position, and that he had always been proud to call the Cowichan Valley home.
“I know this would have meant a ton,” Hebeler said.
Ellison grew up in the Cowichan Valley and reached the junior ranks with the junior B Kerry Park Islanders, graduating to the Cowichan Valley Capitals junior A team in 1999, where he had a decorated career before being drafted by the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks in 2002 and moving on again to the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels.
Ellison played 43 NHL games with the Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers. Since 2008, he has played in the Kontinental Hockey League, where he currently sits seventh in all-time points. He has also won gold with Team Canada at the 2015 Spengler Cup and silver in the 2016 Deutschland Cup.
Since Ellison is playing overseas, his wife, Kaleena, represented him at the induction ceremony.
“It’s a great honour to be recognized in the same category as the people already on the wall,” he told the Citizen. “The support of my family and community has been amazing the entire time I’ve been playing. It’s an amazing honor to be up there with everyone else.”
This year’s class brings the total number of inductees to 45 since 2008. Their plaques can be seen in the lobby at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre. The Wall of Fame committee currently includes Norm Jackson, Andy Hutchins, Anneke Bruce, Larry Hopwo, Bill Keserich and Don Bodger. A member since the committee’s initial formation a decade ago, longtime Cowichan Secondary School basketball and volleyball coach Ted Webb has announced that he will be stepping down.
Induction videos of the five honourees as created by Kyla Habazin (courtesy of the Municipality of North Cowichan):
Shona (Armand) Shadlock: