Former B.C. Lions kicker Duncan O’Mahony, along with longtime basketball official Jim Cervo, are both being inducted into the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame this April. (CFL.ca photo)

Former B.C. Lions kicker Duncan O’Mahony, along with longtime basketball official Jim Cervo, are both being inducted into the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame this April. (CFL.ca photo)

O’Mahony, Cervo to be inducted into Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame

Former CFL kicker, longtime basketball official named as two entrants for 2019

Former Canadian Football League kicker Duncan O’Mahony and basketball officiating legend Jim Cervo are the two official inductees into the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame for 2019.

The duo will be officially inducted at the hall’s annual Celebration of Excellence on Saturday, April 27 at the Legacy Sports Centre. Tickets are $60 for adults and $25 for students, and can be purchased online at abbysportshalloffame.ca/annual-banquet.

Additionally, 11 individuals and six teams will be honoured as Abbotsford Sports Wall of Famers. The Wall of Fame honours athletes in the 14 to 25 age bracket who had outstanding accomplishments in 2018. They will have a plaque on display at the Legacy Sports Centre for one year.

Duncan O’Mahony

O’Mahony fashioned a six-year career in the CFL as a placekicker/punter, suiting up for the Calgary Stampeders (2001-03, 2007) and B.C. Lions (2004-05). He was a Grey Cup champion with the Stampeders as a rookie in 2001, and the following season, he earned CFL West Division all-star honours as a punter and was the team’s nominee for the Top Canadian and Top Special Teams Player awards.

O’Mahony also had some memorable moments for his home-province Lions. Most notably, in the 2004 West Final, he kicked a 48-yard field goal to send the game to overtime, then booted the OT winner from 40 yards out to give B.C. a 27-25 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders and punch their ticket to the Grey Cup. He would be denied a second CFL championship, though, as the Toronto Argonauts prevailed 27-19 despite a pair of O’Mahony field goals.

All told, O’Mahony racked up over 29,000 yards punting, and scored 338 points during his CFL career.

In the years prior, he excelled for the Abbotsford Panthers, earning all-province honours in 1994 and participating in the Senior Bowl. He also suited up for the Abbotsford Air Force junior football squad for three seasons, and was named a CJFL national all-star in 1996. O’Mahony played both soccer and football at the university level – he was part of the 1995 UCFV Cascades men’s soccer squad which won the conference title and took bronze at the CCAA national championships, and he went on to a three-year football stint with the UBC Thunderbirds, earning a pair of CIS national all-star awards in 2000 (first team placekicker, second team punter).

Jim Cervo

Cervo has been a mainstay in the basketball community, both locally and nationally, for 35 years. He began refereeing in 1984, starting with high school games, and would go on to officiate many provincial championships at all tiers, including multiple appearances at the B.C. AAA boys basketball championships at the Agrodome in Vancouver.

Cervo would progress to the college and university levels, and was selected to officiate at ten CCAA and CIS/U SPORTS national championships, working the gold medal game at the majority of these tournaments.

He was also instrumental in the development of several officials’ associations, beginning with the Fraser Valley Basketball Officials Association (FVBOA) which would come to be known as one of the premier refereeing bodies in the province. He also helped to establish a “provincial college panel” of referees to officiate CCAA games throughout B.C., and was a founding member of the Canada West Panel of Officials which manages more than 125 referees for U Sports games from Victoria to Winnipeg. As well, Cervo is designated as a provincial and national evaluator, coaching and training basketball officials for all of B.C. and across Canada.

Eventually, Cervo would get involved at the national level with the Canadian Association of Basketball Officials (CABO) where he served on the executive for nearly a decade as the education officer. In this position, he revamped the national training program for all Canadian officials, writing a new certification manual (NOCP) that would become the standard for officiating across the country. This manual is still in use today. As a member of the CABO executive, Jim worked closely with Canada Basketball and FIBA (the international governing body of basketball) on behalf of the officials in Canada.

Cervo retired from refereeing at the college and university levels in 2018, after almost 30 years. He continues to officiate high school basketball in the Fraser Valley and serves on the B.C. Basketball Officials’ Association executive.

Wall of Fame – Individuals

Connor Byron, rugby – Byron, a Yale Secondary graduate who now plays for the UBC Thunderbirds, was selected to Canada’s U19 boys rugby team which traveled to Ireland last year. He also represented Team B.C. at the national championships.

Mitchell Wolfe, judoWolfe won gold at the Canadian championships in the men’s 66 kg division last June, then represented Canada internationally at the Junior World Championships in the Bahamas, the Pan-Am Championships in Argentina, and at European Cup events in Germany, Portugal, Bosnia, and the Czech Republic. Wolfe is currently a national team member and hones his craft at the National Training Centre in Montreal.

Logan McDonald, football – The Robert Bateman Timberwolves quarterback had a tremendous senior season, earning AA Eastern Conference MVP and AA provincial offensive MVP honours. He led the T-Wolves to the provincial AA championship game, where they fell to the Vernon Panthers.

Tammer Byrne, soccer – The fifth-year centre back with the UFV men’s soccer team had an incredible senior campaign. He guided the Cascades to the Canada West Final Four, and was recognized as a Canada West first team all-star and a U Sports first team All-Canadian.

Joshua Carsience, pole vault – The MEI Eagle soared to gold in the junior boys pole vault at the 2018 B.C. high school championships, clearing 3.40 metres. Carsience would go on to post personal bests en route to silver medals in the U18 division at the BC Athletics Championship Jamboree (3.60m) and at the Legion National Youth Championships (3.90m).

Katie Korstrom, softball – Korstrom excelled at the plate and on the mound, leading the White Rock Renegades to the U16 national championship. Korstrom was named MVP of the championship round, batting .545 with one home run and 17 RBI, along with three wins and 27 strikeouts in six pitching appearances. She subsequently earned selection the junior national team player pool, and attended a Team Canada camp in Florida in January.

Sunny Benning, wrestlingBenning won gold with the W.J. Mouat Hawks at the 2018 B.C. high school championships, finishing atop the men’s 90 kg division. He also won his weight class in the juvenile division at the Western Canada age-class championships, and earned a silver medal at the U19 national championships. He represented Canada at the FILA Pam-Am Cadet Championships in Argentina, finishing fourth, and had a successful start to his university career, winning a Canada West silver medal with the UFV Cascades.

Jaston Dhaliwal, powerlifting – On the heels of a strong 2017 season which saw him earn provincial and Western titles, Dhaliwal had an outstanding 2018. He won a national championship and set a B.C. bench press record in the sub-junior 120 kg class, lifting 129 kg.

Kayden Beauregard, baseball – Beauregard dominated on the diamond for the B.C. Premier Baseball League champion Fraser Valley Cardinals, leading the BCPBL in RBI (40), and finishing second in home runs (six) and third in batting average (.383). For his efforts, he earned a series of awards: League MVP, top offensive player, and first team all-star catcher.

William Tang, biathlonTang brought home a pair of gold medals from the BC Winter Games in Kamloops. He won the mass start boys event, and was part of the gold medal-winning mixed relay team. An Air Cadet with the 861 Silverfox Air Cadet Squadron, Tang added a gold medal at the Cadet Zone Biathlon Competition, held in Whistler in January.

Wall of Fame – Teams

Abbotsford Christian Knights senior boys volleyballThe Knights won the first B.C. AA provincial title in program history last fall, earning a four-set victory over the George Elliot Coyotes in the provincial final. Cole Brandsma was tournament MVP, and Conner Piers and Brendan Visser were second team all-stars.

MEI Eagles junior boys volleyball – The Eagles authored a remarkable season, posting a 50-1 record on their way to the B.C. junior championship. They sealed the title in thrilling fashion, rallying to edge Pacific Academy in five sets in the final. Micah Bucknam picked up tourney MVP honours, and Trey Smith and Hunter Arulpragasam were all-stars.

Abbotsford Christian Knights senior boys and girls track & fieldThe Knights brought home a trio of banners from the B.C. high school championships last June, winning the AA boys, girls and combined titles for the first time in school history. Abby Christian’s dominant campaign also saw them win the B.C. Christian Schools, Abbotsford-Mission, Upper Fraser Valley, and Fraser Valley track and field meets.

UFV Cascades men’s golf – The Cascades turned in a historic performance in 2018, winning the Canadian University/College Championship for the first time. UFV posted a tournament-record team score of 26 under par, with Daniel Campbell winning the men’s individual crown. In the fall, the Cascades won the Pacwest conference title behind another individual gold from Campbell, and they took bronze at the CCAA national championship.

Fraser Valley Cardinals baseballThe Cardinals claimed their second BCPBL championship in three seasons. The team posted a 34-14 record in regular-season play, and swept the Coquitlam Reds in the first round of the playoffs to advance to the Final Five championship round. They went 3-1 in the double-elimination tourney, sealing the title with a 15-3 win over the Langley Blaze.

Abbotsford Skipping SensationsThe Skipping Sensations had an incredible performance at the World Jump Rope Championships in Orlando, Fla. The event brought together 900 athletes from 25 countries, and the eight athletes representing the Abbotsford club captured a combined 27 medals. The team advanced to the Grands event, earning a second-place trophy and setting a new Canadian record in the single rope speed relay.