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2018 Inductees
Jerry Bremner
Rod Fonteyne
Al Clemmer
2006  Sabres Football


 


INDUCTEE 2018 - ATHLETE - Rod Fonteyne


 


Hockey
Western Canada Championship 1958-59
Two Interprovincial Series Titles 1954-55, 1958-59
Two Provincial Championships 1954-55, 1958-59
Five League Scoring Titles
Four  MVP Honours
Twenty-Two League and Conference Titles

Rod Fonteyne is being inducted into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame for his achievements in and contributions to the sport of hockey.  Rod was born in Wetaskiwin and until he was thirteen lived on a farm in the Bear Hills School District.  He and his brothers learned how to skate on a pond.  When the family farm was sold the Fonteyne's moved to Wetaskiwin and the older boys were enrolled in the minor hockey program.  Rod and his brother Val were assigned to a bantam hockey team and began play as paired defensemen.  It was here that his lifelong involvement in hockey began and the sport became Rod’s enduring passion.

Prolific Scorer Tallies up 22 League
and Conference Championships

Throughout his life, Rod's hockey career as a player and player-coach took him to many different towns and cities in Alberta, BC and the US.  His personal hockey achievements and awards are certainly worthy of recognition and his hockey skills helped many teams to championships.

He was a prolific scorer and in his career he won five league scoring titles, was named MVP four times, voted onto All-Star Teams and selected Most Popular Player a number of times.  His most outstanding personal achievement was scoring fifty goals in thirty-nine games with the Red Deer Rustlers in 1958-59.  Teams that Rod played on won twenty-two League and Conference Championships, two Provincial Championships, two Interprovincial Series, and a Western Canada Championship.   Rod played hockey for more than five decades and retired in 1998. Even though he wasn’t playing he was still part of the hockey scene in his home of Fort St. John as he served on the Board of Directors of the Fort St. John Hockey Club until he passed away in 2017.

Wetaskiwin Brothers Make the Team

In 1951 Ralph Pocock enrolled and drove Rod and Val to a Hockey Camp in Calgary.  Scouts from Medicine Hat were at the camp and both boys were invited to attend the Tigers training camp and both made the team as forwards.  Rod played on the Medicine Hat Tigers Junior A Hockey Club for the 1951-52 and 1952-53 season. When he was twenty-one and finished Junior Hockey, Rod began play at the Intermediate Hockey Level with the Ponoka Stampeders of the Central Alberta Intermediate Hockey League (CAHL).  That year (1953-54) the Stampeders won the CAHL and lost to the Trail Smoke Eaters in the Interprovincial Playoffs.  The next season (1954-55) the Stampeders again won the CAHL, the Provincial Intermediate Championship, the Interprovincial play-offs and were runners-up in the Western Canadian Championships.  In 1955 Wetaskiwin Hockey Association Director Al Arner was instrumental in hiring Rod as Supervisor of Hockey in Wetaskiwin as well as the Player-Coach of the Wetaskiwin Colonels.  The Colonels were not competitive that year, however, the forward line of Ron Emmerling, Gerry Kaiser and Rod was the most dominant scoring line in the league.  Rod’s play was outstanding and he was the leading goal scorer of the league, scoring as many as 5-6 goals and 2-3 assists per game.

Rod’s Semi-Pro and Pro Hockey Career began in the 1956-57 season when he played nine games for the Washington Lions of the Eastern Hockey League.  In 1957-58 he played three exhibition games with the Seattle Americans of the Western Pro Hockey League.  When he was cut from the team Rod finished the 1957-58 season with the Red Deer Rustlers of the CAHL and helped the team win the League Championship. In the Western Allan Cup Finals the Rustlers were runners-Up.  In 1958-59 Rod again played for the Rustlers and they won the CAHL Championship, the Provincial Intermediate A Championship, the Interprovincial Series and the Western Canada Intermediate Championship.  That season Rod won the League Scoring Title and was the dominant player on his team scoring fifty goals in thirty-nine games.  However, Rod was injured during the last four games and thus missed out on the try-outs with the Calgary Stampeders of the Western Pro Hockey League.  In 1959-60 Rod played for the Milwaukee Falcons of the International Hockey League.  Rod played fifty-five games with the Falcons, scored fourteen goals, and accrued twenty-eight assists.  In 1960-61 Rod returned to the CAHL and played with the Red Deer Rustlers.

Player Hangs up Skates at the Age of Sixty-Six

1961 saw Rod move to northern BC where he became the player-coach of the Senior Intermediate Fort St. John Flyers Hockey Club of the South Peace River Conference.  It was here that Rod would spend the rest of his life immersed in hockey and become the “Face of the Fort St. John Flyers”.   In 1961-62 under Rod as coach the Flyers won their first league championship.  Rod continued as player-coach for the next eleven years.  During Rod’s tenure as player-coach the team won eleven South Peace Championships and seven All Peace championships.  After Rod stepped down from coaching he continued with the Flyers as a player.  As a Flyer, Rod scored over 300 goals, won three consecutive scoring titles and was awarded two league MVP honors.  After retirement from playing with the Flyers, Rod continued to play Fort St. John Old Timers Hockey and at times he also played with the Wetaskiwin Relics at various National and International tournaments.

50 Goals - 50 Years
Face of Community Hockey

Rod played hockey until he was sixty-six years old, “tying up his skates” in 1998. As well as serving on the Fort St. John Flyers’ Hockey Board of Directors for over fifty years, Rod spent some time as Arena Manager for the Fort St. John Recreation Department. Rod was well-liked and indeed the “Mr. Hockey” in Fort St. John.  He was described by the President of the Senior Flyers as “a great guy with a great smile, always cheerful and a great sense of humour”.

Rod Fonteyne spent his life engaged in a sport he loved.  At times Rod was very close to being on the path to a sustainable pro-hockey career but this did not happen.  However, his hockey career was extraordinary and remarkable and very deserving of recognition.  In Rod’s words: “I have been to a lot of arenas, played with and against a lot of hockey players, been to a lot of cities and town.  I didn’t make a lot of money, but I had a chance to travel and experience a lot of things.  If I had to do it all over again, I probably would.”  We acknowledge Rod Fonteyne’s life-long hockey achievements and his contributions to his community by inducting him into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame.


Read the presentation speech by Sandy Wright
Read the acceptance speech by Rod's brother Val Fonteyne.

 

 






 

 

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