Dean Arsene and Courtney Inman are the two newest inductees into the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame.
Professional hockey player Arsene and cross-country/track running star Inman will be officially enshrined at the annual Hall of Fame banquet on April 30 at the Legacy Sports Centre.
Arsene, an Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association product, carved out an accomplished 13-year pro career despite never having been drafted – either by the Western Hockey League, or the National Hockey League.
The rugged defenceman became one of the most decorated American Hockey League players of the past decade. He won Calder Cup championships in 2006 and 2009 with the Hershey Bears, and wore the captain’s ‘C’ for five franchises: Hershey (2006-08), the Springfield Falcons (2009-10), the Peoria Rivermen (2010-11), the Portland Pirates (2011-12) and his hometown Abbotsford Heat (2013-14). Five team captaincies are believed to be an AHL record. Arsene also wore the ‘C’ during his junior days with the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, and helped the team win the WHL championship in 1999-2000.
Arsene earned his way to the NHL, playing for 13 games with the Edmonton Oilers during the 2009-10 season.
Inman is set to be honoured for a second time by the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame – she was a member of its 2003 Wall of Fame, which honours up-and-coming athletes for outstanding performances in a given calendar year.
Inman was a track and field standout during her high school days at W.J. Mouat Secondary, winning the gold medal in the 800 metres at the B.C. high school championships in both her Grade 11 and 12 years. She also won silver at the Canadian Junior Nationals in 1997 and 1998, and earned the right to represent Canada internationally. She competed at the Pan Am Junior Championships in 1997 and the World Junior Track Championships in France in 1998, making it to the semifinals at the latter event.
Inman would go on to earn a track scholarship to the University of Washington, where she garnered All-American honours following a fourth-place finish in the 1500m at the 2003 NCAA Div. 1 championships. Following university graduation, Inman continued her running career as a carded athlete with Athletics Canada, and was part of the Canadian women’s relay squad which won a bronze medal at the 2004 IAAF World Cross-Country Championships. It was Canada’s first-ever medal at the IAAF cross-country meet.
In addition to adding Arsene and Inman to the Hall of Fame as permanent inductees, five teams and 13 individual athletes will be recognized as Wall of Famers. The Wall of Fame honours athletes in the 14 to 25 age bracket who had outstanding accomplishments in 2015. They will have a plaque on display at Legacy Sports Centre for one year.
Team honourees for 2015 are: Abbotsford Traditional senior boys wrestling, Yale Secondary senior boys basketball, MEI senior boys and senior girls volleyball, UFV men’s golf and MEI senior boys golf.
Individuals being recognized include: football player Chase Claypool, rugby athlete Nakisa Levale, rugby athlete Tiffany Picketts, hockey player Noah Juulsen, volleyball player Ashley Huberts, wrestler Navdeep Toor, basketball player Jauquin Bennett-Boire, softball player Callum Pilgrim, gymnast Cohen Kiers, gymnast Dawson Friesen, water polo athlete Eric Martel, water polo athlete Emily Aikema, and water polo athlete Brianna Utas.
The public is invited to join in the celebration of these outstanding athletes at the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame banquet on April 30. Tickets are $60 each or $450 for a table of eight, and can be purchased at Hub Motor Service (33839 Essendene Ave.).
For more information on the hall, visit abbysportshalloffame.ca.