Any player or fan may nominate any qualified person to the Manitoba Touch Football Hall of Fame by emailing their nominee to The only restriction is that a player, team or contributor must have played in Manitoba and are in good standing with the league. Players/teams/contributors are not limited to the PIT but may come from any sanctioned touch football organization in Manitoba's history. There is no mandatory retirement period for a nominee, thus active players are eligible to be in the Hall of Fame. Every nomination received will be processed and forwarded to the Selection Committee (TBA). It is important to emphasize that the League President will only vote in the event of a tie. Prior to the election, the only function of the President is to process the nominations as they arrive and to coordinate the annual meeting. The Selection Committee will be comprised of five members wherein quorum will be considered reached if there are three voting members in attendance. Each member of the Hall of Fame Committee will be a volunteer, the membership of which may change yearly. One representative from each category will be awarded annually, with the winner being selected by simple voting majority of the Hall of Fame Committee.

To be considered for selection in the Player's Hall of Fame, a player must have led the league in one or more statistical categories on a minimum of ten different occasions. Those ten occasions may come from any division and include statistical leaders in both indoor and outdoor seasons. Players may also be considered if they have played a minimum of ten years of football (both inside and outside of the PIT) and have reached a level of success (as measured by sportsmanship, productivity, and perseverance) in lieu of leading the league in statistics in ten or more seasons. Players need not play on the same team for the duration of their statistical successes.

2016 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE: Jerome Swarath, The Boozers
Player Bio: In 1979 the Boozers began their football journey in the Canford Touch Football League. Jerome got the call when their QB decided to form his own team in the Winnipeg Centennial Touch Football League (the precursor to the WTFL). With no quarterback, Jerome was elected to "throw the ball" when warming up in the parking lot prior to the Boozers first game. The rest is history. Jerome has played in the WCTFL, the WFTL, the UTFL, Canford and the PIT, making him one of the few (maybe only) player who can say they played in all of Manitoba's Touch Football leagues! Jerome has been at the helm for seven championships (5 Canford, 1 WCTFL, 1 UTFL and is in the championship final to potentially win an 8th this weekend). Those championships have spanned over five decades of football. Jerome has been awarded his teams most valuable player on six separate occasions: 1984, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1992 and 1998. Jerome stated that the honor of being inducted into the Touch Football Hall of Fame definitely was the icing on his football career.
Favorite Memory: "The Overtime" The 1999 Canford Division 1 Championship game at Elmwood high school against The Corporate Raiders. We were tied at the end of regulation play and went into overtime. We lost the toss however our defense came up with a stop. We got the ball on our 35 and marched it down to their 8 yard line where I ran it in for the touchdown and the win.

2017 INDUCTEE: Jim Bell, Eagles/Knights
Player Bio: It has been a tremendous run to play touch football over the course of the last 30 years. I have been so fortunate to play this game with so many wonderful people. Upon reflection, wearing the Eagles jersey for so many of those years was very special, as it is now for the Knights. We have won our share of games and lost some heart breakers as well, but the one highlight that rises above all for me is being able to play this game with some truly classy guys and loyal friends. There are too many to mention however I will give a special shout out to Jake and Henry Kornelsen, who along with me, are original Eagles. Who knew back in the Fall of 1989 that we would still be doing this nearly 30 years later? Jake, nobody ran an "in pattern" like you, virtually unstoppable! Sean Lehmann joined us a few years later and like Jake, your "up and over" has always been money. And, there is no better teammate to be found than Chris Noonan who demonstrates the combination of leadership, teamwork, and athleticism as well as anyone. To my son Trev, what an honor to have played with you.... always loved throwing you that "come backer" on the sideline. I extend my deepest gratitude to all the guys I have had the pleasure to play and compete with as you are a special group. A special thank you to our wives, who have always been there with us. Lastly, thank you to the HOF Selection Committee as this is truly an honour. I do look forward to slinging a few more passes before riding off into the sunset.
Favorite Memory: "The Drive" We were at Tournament of Champions in Ottawa when the Eagles were in their prime. We were in the first division and playing a top 3 or 4 ranked team in the country (Ottawa Magellan). It was a back and forth game and they scored to go up 7 with under 3 minutes. We scrimmaged from deep in our end for the last drive of the game. If my memory is right, we threw at least 3 "in patterns" to Jake on that drive as well as a deep "up and over" pattern to Lehmann. I am sure we had another play or two mixed in but we scored on the last play of the game on ......"the in to Jake" to get us within one point. The referee looked at me and said "Are you going for one to tie it and a tie is like kissing your sister, or do you have the balls to go for two"? We went for two and the call was, an "in and out" to Jake. Well, the corner bit so hard on that in! We made the two-pointer and won the game.

2018 INDUCTEE: Rick Morand, Timberwolves
Player Bio: Rick has had a tremendous run in touch football in a career now spanning over three decades. While individual stats were not kept for a large portion of Rick’s career he was always at or top of the scoring race in the first divisions for years, culminating in winning the WTFL Division 1 scoring race in 1997. In that year, Rick scored an incredible 194 points, the second most in WTFL Division 1 history – all this after successfully recovering from a broken neck suffered while playing tackle football. In the PIT, Rick has twice won the Division 3 scoring title, two Masters scoring titles, and five Masters interception titles, including the all-time record. Rick was also part of the legendary Timberwolves teams who played in the WTFL and Canford top divisions for years. In Canford, the Timberwolves hold the record for most Division 1 championships in Canford football, including a best-ever five-straight Division 1 titles. You can still find Rick ball-hawking on various teams as the leagues resident super-sub, and even though he is pushing 50 years of age, he might still be one of the fastest guys in the league!
Favorite Memory: "The Bet" When Rick was in his prime he was pretty much uncoverable. In a game against a young Nomads team Rick asked which player would be defending him and then betting the team $20.00 that he would score five touchdowns. Four touchdowns later the Timberwolves were driving to score and on the last play of the game from the five-yard line. The Nomads put all six defenders on Rick to prevent the score…which they did! Rick never paid his $20.00. Editors note: Rick with compounding interest, as of 2019, you owe the Nomads $136.97.

2019 INDUCTEE: Jake Kornelsen, Eagles
Player Bio: Jake began playing in 1979 as part of a Winnipeg church league. In 1989, when that league ended, he joined the Winnipeg Touch Football League to play with the Eagles, which eventually became the Knights when the team moved to the Ultimate Touch Football League then the PIT Football League. In those 40 years Jake has led the league in both points and interceptions many times! In an article in the Free Press in the 90’s he was declared the best two-way player in Manitoba touch football. Not only was he a league leader in statistics but also won awards for most sportsmanlike player, which meant as much to him as his other accomplishments. The Eagles/Knights also won their share of titles over the years which was great fun to be a part of.
Favorite Memory: Jake’s best memories are of the friendships he made playing the game of touch football. He has had the pleasure of playing with his brother Henry and his brother-in-law Jim Bell for almost all 40 years. Sean Lehmann has also been a great teammate for almost 25 years. And over the last five years he has had the absolute privilege of playing this game with his two talented sons, Jeremy and Owen. That has been a dream come true. Jake has also had the pleasure of competing against some great touch football players who came from the CFL, like James Murphy and Willard Reaves. He remembers catching numerous “ins” from Jim Bell and hearing these guys muttering under their breath (and sometimes out loud) that they just didn’t know how to cover that. He took great pleasure in totally frustrating defenses.

2020 INDUCTEE: Corey Hanssen, Banditos/6 Gun Justice
Player Bio: I have been so fortunate to be able to play the game I love for such a long time. Touch football changed my life. I have made so many lasting friendships and have been part of so many great teams (in several different leagues) over the last 30 years. I will always cherish the memories of travelling to tournaments across the country with the Banditos, Assassins, Eagles, and the Rebels and playing against the best players in Canada! It was truly an honour to be able to play with legendary quarterbacks like Tim Shea, Jim Bell, Neil Sinclair (strongest arm I have ever seen), Kerry Surinx, and Jon Franklin. It is a shame that some of these guys never played tackle football. My "Glory Days" of touch football were with the Banditos. What a great group of teammates! The chemistry I had with Kerry Surinx was just special! And the championships ... unforgettable! As I get older, I have turned my attention to teaching the younger generations how to play the game. I have coached my son's team in the Football Manitoba flag program for the last 5 years. It took a while, but he has finally caught the football bug. Watch out PIT Football - he is going to be a great one! Corey has amassed a trophy case full of titles during his career including a record five Division 1 titles with 6 Gun Justice in the UTFL, two championships with the Banditos in the WTFL, four Mazur Football League titles, and nine (and counting) PIT Football championships. Additionally, Corey was voted top quarterback in the UTFL on two separate occassions and was the only player to win the UTFL most valuable player award in two consecutive years. Quite a resume!
Favorite Memory: During tackle practices with the St.James Rods, I would often notice a group of adults playing a game that loosely resembled football. The game was wide open and fast! The ball was in the air on every single play! It was a perfect fit for me. I wandered over to the field after one of our practices to inquire about the game and how I could get into the league. The next week I was a member of the Rods touch football team led by Barry Wall and Donny Carson. I was so excited that I found a league where I could play football forever!

2021 INDUCTEE: Kerry Surinx, Banditos/North Bay Panthers
Player Bio: I have so many great memories from my 30 years of playing touch football. I started out playing as a 19-year-old, never thinking the sport would bring me so much enjoyment for many decades! I have played with some incredible football players and people. I’ve even had the opportunity of playing along-side my son, Tyson, which was a truly awesome thing to experience! I remember playing my first year with the Untouchables. I was barely out of high school and had zero experience in the touch game. The plays were called for me, all I had to do was throw. And, to the surprise of no one, I usually ended up choosing the deep route! Over the years, I’ve played on many teams including some amazing years with the Banditos, Yard Apes, Griffons, Outsiders, and others. The Banditos enjoyed some division 1 success but were never able to capture the championship despite having the most talented roster I was ever a part of. In 2015, Jon Franklin asked me if I would play a couple of games with a struggling ‘Free Agents’ team. At the time, I was planning on taking the season off, but he convinced me to give it a shot. Fast forward six seasons, I’m still with the Free Agents, now called the North Bay Panthers, and having a blast! I’m the old timer now but still loving every minute. To date, Kerry has three WTFL championships, two PIT Football championships, and a tonne of touchdown pass leader awards in the WTFL (pre-internet!). Kerry was also a force on offense and defense for the legendary Yardapes teams of yesteryear in Canford.
Favorite Memory: In my years playing, I’ve made some great friendships. Many of the friendships started out as competitors, evolved to teammates, and then to lifelong friendships. Playing with guys like Corey Hanssen has elevated my play (and my stats!) over the years. As a QB, you hope to be lucky enough to have a go-to receiver and Corey has been that to me for many years. I’d like to thank the HOF Selection Committee as this is truly an honour. Thank you to all my former teammates who have made playing touch football an absolute blast for 30 years. Here’s hoping there are a few more years to come!!

2022 INDUCTEE: Jason Cassie, Beerhawks/Fail Mary/North Bay (and every other team in the PIT)
Player Bio:Player Bio: My whole life all I have ever wanted to do was play football. But I lived outside of the city and had parents who owned a small business, so I had no way to get to any of the football clubs, or high school tryouts, so it never happened to me. It wasn’t until my neighbor asked if I would be interested in playing on his touch team in the Canford league (run by hall of famer John Robertson). I said yes, and never looked back. I have had the benefit of playing with and against so many great players. A lot of whom are hall of famers already. And playing with and against many more who will be hall of famers. Jason has already written a HOF resume, with many more records to come! To wit, Jason is a three-time MVP; Winter 2020, Summer 2022, and for the year 2019-2020.
Jason also holds the record for most points scored in a single game with 49. Jason is one of only a select few who has led a division in every statistical category, leading in sacks six times, points five times, interceptions four times, and in touchdown passes twice! Finally, Jay is our resident highlander having amassed the record for games played in the PIT!
Favorite Memory: Some of my favorite memories are making plays against future pro football players and getting absolutely roasted by them as well. LOL! But the best is being able to play with my two kids as they get older. So much fun. So thankful for my incredibly patient wife Angela, and the community of friends I have made over the years. Hopefully for many more years to come.

To be considered for selection in the Team Hall of Fame, a team must have won at minimum five Touch Football championships. Those five championships may come from any division and include championships from both indoor and outdoor seasons. Teams may also be considered if they have played a minimum of ten years of football (both inside and outside of the PIT) and have reached a level of success (as measured by sportsmanship, productivity, and perseverance) in lieu of five championship trophies. In some cases, longstanding teams may change names over the course of their history, thus teams must demonstrate that most players have successfully transitioned from one team to the next to be deemed eligible.

Team Bio: The Eagles got their start by playing in an autumn league run by the WTFL in 1989. We answered an ad in the Free Press and played a 6 game schedule culminating in a championship. Our team then entered the WTFL in 1990 as part of the 1st Division and went 15-2-1, winning the Intermediate Championship. One of the highlights of Year 1 was beating the Assassins the first time we played them. The Eagles played in the WTFL from 1990 to 2009, then went on to play as the Knights in the UTFL from 2010 to 2012, and the PIT Football league beginning in 2013. The Eagles/Knights have 6 WTFL titles (3 elite), 2 UTFL titles, an Intermediate Title at the Regina Tourney, a BB Championship at the Tournament of Champions, and two PIT Football championships!
Favorite Memory: "The Friendships" Our best memories as a team include all the friendships and relationships made over the course of the last 27 years since the Knights/Eagles have been in existence. Also, traveling with our families to countless Regina tournaments and many, many TOC events over the years. On field highlights would include the championships of course, as well as defeating some very high ranking teams in the nation while competing at the TOC's. One thing we are very proud and fortunate to say is the fact that many of us have been able to play this great game with our own sons and nephews and this continues today. The Eagles/Knights appreciate all those who have worn our jerseys over the years and have contributed to our experience. Our team has been fortunate to have not only tremendous athletes and players, but truly people with outstanding character. A special thank you to our wives and family members who have been so loyal and supportive over the years. The Knights look forward to the next chapter both on and off the field!

2017 INDUCTEE: Assassins
Team Bio:The Assassins started playing in 1978 in the Winnipeg Centennial Touch Football League. Many of the early practices were held at Assiniboine Park on the field adjacent to Portage Avenue and in the later years moved to Tec Voc High School. The Assassins traveled to the annual Tournament of Champions in Toronto for the Victoria Day long weekend in May, the Labour Day Tournament in Saskatoon and then Regina, and to Touch Bowl in October. The Assassins won 23 Provincial League Championships (WCTFL and WTFL) and later two coed championships, 26 Labour Day Championships (Elite), six other western tournaments, two Football Canada Touch Bowl Championships (Western), and the 1982 Canadian “A” (Intermediate) Championship. The Assassins also made it to the 2005 Canadian “AA” Elite Division Finals, losing the Ottawa Canadians in the championship on home soil in Winnipeg. Up until that time, this was the best a Manitoba team had ever finished at Nationals.
Favorite Memory: "The Rivalries" First, Bob Dowbiggin running the kick return for the winning TD in the 1982 Canadian A Finals! Second, playing in the Canadian National Championship Tournament in Halifax where the team dressed up and enjoyed the Mardi Gras Halloween street party where we all became the entourage of Macho Man Billy Hasiuk. Third, the intense rivalries we had with teams such as the Combines, Eagles, the Ratz, Avengers, and SunParties where we won our fair share and lost our fair share, and then sitting around having the post-game beverages which allowed us to develop bonds of friendships that are still going strong today. These friendships we made throughout the years across all of Canada have provided such great memories and special bonds that we will always cherish being able to play touch football.

2018 INDUCTEE: Ratz
Team Bio: The Ratz are one of the greatest touch football teams in Manitoba history, advancing to the finals of the Winnipeg Touch Football League Division 1 championship fifteen times between 1976 and 1996, winning the provincial crown five times. Those five championship trophies place the Ratz in some rarified air, finishing second all-time, behind only the Assassins in total number of WTFL championships. The Ratz were lead by Hall of Famers Bill Telford and Rick Morand and featured the likes of Ron Allen, Alfred Giesbrecht, Darren Yewchyn, and Trevor Westwood. The Ratz also had a much storied National Championship career, finishing in the top ten in Canada on multiple occasions during their heyday in the 80s.
Favorite Memory: "The Resurrection" Beside the five titles, the Ratz reformed to play in the inaugural season of the PIT and entered a team in the second division despite having an average age in their 50s and having not played as a team together in over a decade. The result? Another trip to the finals as they stunned Division 2 with their veteran play. While they had lost a step-in speed, they never lost their competitiveness or their skills! An amazing feat.

2019 INDUCTEE: Pallbearers/Snipers
Team Bio: The Snipers started playing in 1985 as the Pallbearers. The Pallbearers played in the WCTFL from 1985 until 2000 and were always a strong high scoring second division team, but despite being in several finals were never able to capture championship glory, aside from a couple of tournament wins. In 2006, the Pallbearers re-branded themselves as the Snipers in the UTFL. Again, without a championship win. The Snipers later joined the PIT league in its inaugural year and found that indoor was the game for them, winning 9 indoor championships (and counting). Since joining the PIT the Snipers have also been able to get younger by adding some 2nd generation talent. This enabled the Snipers to stay competitive and win their first and only outdoor championship in 2017 after 32 years of playing. The only player to play in every season of the Pallbearers/Snipers is QB Roger Pachet. Currently Roger and Shawn hold the most points thrown/caught by a father/son combination in Manitoba touch football history. Al Dearlove, Glenn Nitchie and Roger Pachet are the last remaining members of the original 1985 team that started it all.
Favorite Memory: With about a minute to play in the 2017 championship game at the IGF stadium Shawn Pachet throws a ball up down the sidelines and Cole Krisko comes down with it and runs it in for a touchdown to seal the victory and win the Snipers first outdoor championship. A 14-hour drive to Regina for the Labour Day weekend tournament that took us to almost every small-town bar along the #1. Great times with great guys together after games and practices at Boston Pizza, The Tavern and the Fox and Hounds.

2020 INDUCTEE: Nomads
Team Bio: On behalf of the Nomads, we would like to thank the committee for putting us forward and electing the team to the Hall of Fame. The Nomads were/are a group of passionate football players, who just wanted to play more! The team spun from two sides, YardApes football in Canford, and a small, committed Nomads tackle coaching staff. The YardApes had several players that wanted to play more, and there was a core that was coaching PeeWee football. This whole thing would not have happened without the contributions of Glen Dyck, Kevin Kozuska, Brett Lesperance, Ken Harasyn & Gord Pshebniski. We were extremely fortunate to have the Nomads sponsor us, which gave us over-size gold mesh cut off tackle jerseys and literally our own home field on the corner of Fife & Inkster. We played on arguably the best turf in the city. We recruited heavy, bringing on foundational Nomads Jon Franklin, Kanwal Saran, Darren Leonard, and Jas Atwal in our first year. Along with our core, we were athletic, young, and really enjoyed hanging together. We had players consistantly in the top for points, sacks, and interceptions. The team stayed solid for many years, competing. Special thanks to Glen, the ‘Silver Fox’ for truly being an ageless wonder, on the team from the beginning to end. Also, thanks to Brad Giesbrecht for giving up his knees and any hope of walking past 70 due to some unreal grabs out of the dirt. Overall, the Nomads played for over twenty-five years. The Nomads were the first team to win a Mazur Football League championship in 1996 and were always a top team during the heyday of CANFORD. The Nomads went on to win eight PIT Football championships.
Favorite Memory: In 1999, the team went on its first road trip to Regina for the Annual Tournament. We really didn’t know what to expect, we hadn’t seen any of these teams before. We were a bit undersized, a bit overweight, and a lot partied out when we faced Megalomania in the round robin. We had no idea how we were undefeated at that point. The game went to multiple overtimes, before we held them out of the endzone, then followed up with a score to clinch the win. In the process, the Nomads knocked off one of the top three teams in Canada at the time while simultaneously leading the labour day tournament in elevated blood alcohol levels.

2021 INDUCTEE: Avengers
Team Bio: The Avengers won’t win any awards for longevity; however, they achieved the greatest 10-year run of any team in Manitoba history. The Avengers were formed in 2003 and won the UTFL Division 2 title their first season, and the UTFL Division 1 championship the following year. After knocking off the best in the UTFL, the Avengers began their invasion of the WTFL, the MFL, and the PIT Football record books. Over the course of the next decade, the Avengers won a league record seven Mazur Football League championships, and 10 PIT Football championships. Along the way, the Avengers won an Edmonton Touch Football Tournament, three Regina Labour Day tournaments, an A-side National championship in Toronto (Friendship Cup), and in 2011 the AA Elite Division National Championship in Calgary. The Avengers are the first, and thus far, only National Championship winning team from Manitoba. The Avengers meteoric rise mirrored their incredible downfall as the team disbanded just one year after winning the National title. WTF!?!!? The Avengers permanently split into the Guild of Calamitous Intent and Iced Earth, who became the top two-teams in Manitoba for the next decade. Despite their individual successes, neither team came close to emulating the achievements of the Avengers. The question of "How many more provincial and national championships could this team have won" will unfortunately never be answered.
Favorite Memory: Winning the 2011 National championship, and knocking off all the top teams in Canada. The national championship included a wild 15-point comeback with just seven minutes remaining against the reigning national champion Ottawa Capitals in the quarter-finals, knocking off the top seeded Toronto Spartans in the semi-finals, then defeating the Regina Megalomania with their CFL studded roster in the finals. Shutting down Nicolinos, elevator madness, Avenger house, I’m on a boat, shopping cart hotel spree, drunk cab drivers, Bomber labour day annihilations, hallway races, Solid Gold, lanes gentlemen, airport insanity, GPS follies, crown royal glass battles…and turning the touch football world on its head.

2022 INDUCTEE: Combines
Team Bio: The Combines won Manitoba's first 7-on-7 non-contact football provincial championship in 1977. The Combines went on to win four of the first five Manitoba non-contact provincial championships (1977, 1978, 1980, and 1981), and were finalists in both 1979 and 1982. From a historical perspective, the Combines played in the first six non-contact football provincial championships. An extremely impressive run that has only been accomplished one other time in the history of touch football in Manitoba. The Combines were also instrumental in changing the game of non-contact football. Before 1977, the Winnipeg Centennial Touch Football League (WCTFL) played nine-a-side football, which included a line to block. A decision was made at the end of the 1976 football season to remove the blocking component of the game, reduce the number of players on the field to seven-a-side, and to allow anyone on the offence to be an eligible receiver. Those rule changes revolutionized the game. Those same rules still apply in the modern version of non-contact football. The Combines were pioneers in helping test and develop the true 7v7 game of non-contact football.
Favorite Memory: Traveling to play in multiple Touch Bowls (Western Canadian Championships), winning one, going to Labour Day Tournaments to play and watch the Bombers. Most of all, the camaraderie that was built and the friends that were made along the way. Both on the field and over beers afterward!

To be considered for selection in the Builders category, an individual must have contributed to the game significantly in areas outside of the competitive arena (i.e. administrator, league architect, innovator, instructor, coach etc.). Builders have changed the game for the better and lay the groundwork for the future success of touch football in Manitoba.

2016 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE: John Robertson, Owner/Operator CANFORD Sports
Contributors Bio: John Robertson first started playing touch football in early 60's and founded CANFORD Sports in 1975 as a rec director at inner city Broadway Optimist CC. CANFORD stands for CAN- offer programs/facilities -FOR- the community and -D etermined to establish Winnipeg as the most active city that it could be. CANFORD staged touch tournaments and friendlies in the latter years of 70's and officially started league play in August of 1980 and is now celebrating its 37th season. John played in CANFORD for over a dozen years won 6 championships with the teams 'Southenders 80' 82' 85', 'The Robbies' 87', and 'The Stars' 90',91'. John led CANFORD in scoring five consecutive years and led in interceptions all 12 years played! At aged 40 John set a CANFORD league record with 32 interceptions. John won the Harry Hood Award honoring the best high school football player for performance on the field and within the community and was runner up to Gord Patterson (bomber alumni) as the best Manitoba tackle football player of the 60's. I am often asked about possible regrets like saying NO to the five football scholarships and giving up on my dream of pro football. To that I simply say "Becoming a father at 1, and a single father at 20 raising two boys, led me to doing what God always had planned. Saying no to my pro aspirations and yes to the countless thousands and thousands of amateurs that have graced and embraced CANFORD programs.
Favorite Memory: Why has CANFORD been so special within our great city? The success of CANFORD was formed in my high school years. Friendships formed then are still even stronger today. At St Pauls, we were challenged to be 'men for others, in the service of others'. And I am still working on that, every single day. And I thank God for being able to do just that. And among the many things I hear from those involved in CANFORD, one especially stands out. That being said and often shared by so many was/still is.." CANFORD is more than just a sports league, CANFORD is more like one big family.

2017 INDUCTEE: Cliff Kitchen, Former WTFL President, Current Disciplinarian & Rules Committee Chair, PIT Football
Contributors Bio: Cliff Kitchen started playing in the WCTFL in 1984 with the Chargers. After jumping into the officiating arena, Cliff went to his first National Championship in 1986 as a referee. This Championship was known as Touch Bowl at the time and was run by Football Canada. Early in his career Cliff joined the WCTFL board of directors and started what would be a lengthy tenure growing the sport of Touch Football, including sitting on the Board of Football Manitoba. Cliff was also an integral member of a startup group in the newly formed Manitoba Touch Football Officials Association (MTFOA). Following the creation of the MTFOA, Cliff attended training out east to become a certified touch football clinician to bring his knowledge and experience back to Manitoba's officials. Cliff still runs officiating clinics in the PIT Touch Football league. In 2004, while still heavily involved in the Touch Administration end of things, Cliff became the president of the Winnipeg Touch Football League (WTFL). This was a significant time for touch football, as touch football exploded in popularity with the league growing from under 30 teams to well over 60 in the span of a year or two. But that was not all Cliff had on his plate, on his many trips as a referee and player to the Tournament of Champions (TOC) out east (what was now known as the National championship due to the demise of Touch Bowl in the 90's) Cliff had a vision. That vision was to bring the TOC to Winnipeg, an endeavor he would undertake starting in 2004 with initial discussions with administrators out east in charge of TOC. In 2006, the TOC would make is first foray outside Ontario and Quebec and was held in Winnipeg at the Maple Grove Rugby Park. Since then Cliff has taken on more of a consulting role in the formation of the PIT Football league and running the Officials clinic. Cliff still gets around on the gridiron with various teams and assisting with Officials development and disciplinary procedures for the PIT.
Favorite Memory: The 2006 Tournament of Champions held in Winnipeg. While a daunting task and many issues to deal with, standing on the clubhouse hill overlooking the fields on the first Saturday with the games ongoing is a memory that I will always remember.

2018 INDUCTEE: Darrell Mazur, Former WTFL President, Owner/Operator Mazur Indoor Football League, Creator of the Indoor game in Canada!
Contributors Bio: Darrell Mazur began his Touch Football playing career in 1976, when during a University of Manitoba Bison’s “off-day”, his next-door neighbor asked him to play for Vic Wehrmann’s Furnaceman Flames. During Darrell’s Bison years (1975- 1978), he played with the Bison’s Alumni touch team prior to the start of the University season. In 1980, after seven professional football tryouts, he returned home and was asked to play for the Sante Fe Express, by his former Elmwood High School Quarterback and High school Hall of Fame QB, Bill Petrie. The team finished in the top four in the first division competing with the Assassins, the Combines, and the Rouge River Ratz. During his last year, (1982) with the Express, he, Brad Kelm, Garry Kelm, Bill Hasiuk, and Larry Sarna were asked to join the Assassins in Saskatoon for the annual Labour Day tournament. Not only did the Assassins win the tournament, but Mazur was so impressed and enamored by the tournament that he wanted to bring that type of event back to Winnipeg. This was the impetus needed to motivate Darrell to organize the first of what would be many activities to promote touch football in Manitoba. What resulted was the 1984 Winnipeg/Labatt’s Classic Spring tournament that saw ten teams from Regina, Saskatoon, and rural Manitoba participate, as well as many teams from Winnipeg. At that point, as the tournament director, while serving on the WCTFL executive, he launched a volunteer career with the league through its conclusion in 2017. Darrell’s other successes include: co-founding the Women’s Touch Football League; creating the Mazur’s Indoor Touch Football League, becoming a multi-time President of the WTFL, a Level Five Touch Football Official, and Touch Football Officials Certifier. Darrell is also widely credited to starting indoor touch football, not only in Manitoba, but in Canada. Quite an amazing resume spanning over thirty-five years!
Favorite Memory: As a player my favorite memory was my corner comeback in the Touch Bowl in Ottawa, diving out of bounds but toe tapping to lead the Assassins to victory. Administratively, organizing a Level One touch officials’ clinic and presenting for 120 attendees. In the end, “I love competing and helping people achieve”.

2019 INDUCTEE: Mike Hamulka, Former Owner/Operator UTFL (Ultimate Touch Football League)
Contributors Bio: Mike Hamulka began his touch football career as a player for the Redskins in the Canford League, and continued playing on that team in the UTFL until his retirement in 2012. In 2002, Mike moved to the administrative side of touch football purchasing the UTFL (Ultimate Touch Football League). The UTFL would play most of its games out of the East and North sides of the city, battling the WTFL, which had a monopoly over the South and West parts of Winnipeg for top league in the city. During his tenure as league president the UTFL grew to become the largest league in Manitoba, with over 100 teams at one point. The UTFL was the first league to embrace the multi-team player rule which kick started the rapid expansion of the game in the province. Mike sold the UTFL in 2011, and the league went bankrupt just a year later, further demonstrating the huge role he played in building the league. Mike unfortunately passed away in 2016.
Favorite Memory: Mike could gruff, angry, and downright ornery, but he always as the best intentions in growing the game. At one point, there was nearly a merger of the UTFL and some small start up group called PIT Football! How the history of touch football history may have changed if that merger had occurred!

2020 INDUCTEE: Tricia Wilson, Co-creator of the Women's Touch Football League/One of Manitoba's First Female Officials
Contributors Bio: Tricia Wilson, alongside Nanci Martin, Kathy Blandford and Darrell Mazur started the Woman's touch football in 1984, which eventually amalgamated with the Winnipeg Touch Football league (WTFL). The Women’s league ran from 1984 up until 2017, a remarkable 33 years! Tricia not only was a founder of the Women’s league but also was as great two-way player, competing for both the Heartbreakers and SWAT. Later Tricia jointed the Wasps. The Wasps won five consecutive women’s provincial championships (1983-1987), including finishing fifth in Canada in 1986. That fifth-place finish was the best finish for a women’s team from Manitoba at the National tournament. Tricia Wilson was also one of the first female officials in the province, going on to officiate in the Women’s league, the WTFL, and the Mazur Indoor football league (MFL). Tricia also participated in coaching clinics run with Football Manitoba. These clinics were put on across the province during the Manitoba Summer games back in both 1988 and 1992. The clinics helped introduce a new generation to football and helped bring touch football to parts of the province that hadn’t had an opportunity to play the game. A very impressive resume that paved the way for many female players in the province to play, coach, and officiate in touch and tackle football in Manitoba. A trailblazer for the game if there ever was one! Tricia becomes the first female player to be inducted into the Manitoba Touch Football Hall of Fame!
Favorite Memory: I don’t have one specific memory but the friendships that were made in the years I played were the best. Meeting women from all different athletic levels and ages the bond was amazing.

2021 INDUCTEE: Don Jonas, Founder of the Winnipeg Centennial Touch Football League (WCTFL)
Contributor's Bio: Don Jonas is credited with creating the modern version of touch football in Manitoba. In its inception, touch football was played nine-a-side with blocking. In 1977, as part of the executive of the Winnipeg Centennial Touch Football league (which later changed to the WTFL), Don tweaked the rules to help “open up” the offense by changing the game to seven-a-side and eliminating blocking. This is probably the most significant rule change in Manitoba touch football history. The rest we can say is history! Don of course had some pretty good reasons why he wanted a more offensive game, as he was just finishing his CFL playing career, which included winning the CFL’s most outstanding player award in 1971 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Don was also drafted into the NFL by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1961, but instead played for the Newark Bears of the Continental Football League because they paid better! Don won two continental championships in 1967 and 1968, and three straight most valuable player awards (1966-1968). After leaving touch football, Don went on to have a hall of fame college coaching career at the University of Central Florida.
Favorite Memory: Despite all the accolades, Don probably tells everyone his favorite football memory is playing touch football in Manitoba! (or maybe not!)

2021 INDUCTEE: Tannis Wilson, Founder Winnipeg Women's Flag Football League/Manitoba Fearless/Manitoba Girls Football Association
Player bio: As a player, coach, manager, administrator, executive & builder Tannis has been involved with football in Manitoba for over 30 years, accruing an amazing resume along the way! Tannis started playing touch football at the age of 16, flag football at 39 and tackle football at 40. Tannis’ years playing touch football were played with the St Vital Lady Mustangs, winning a provincial championship in 1988. In the same year, Tannis played at the national championships for the Crimson Tide, where they became the first Manitoba team to win the open division. Tannis was the president of the WTFL for 12 years before starting and playing in and the Winnipeg Women’s Flag Football League in 2006. In 2007, Tannis started the Manitoba Fearless, the first all-women’s tackle football team. She is a former player and currently the president and General Manager. Tannis coached youth football for six years with the St. Vital Mustangs, making it to three provincial championships, winning one. Tannis was a member of the first board of directors for Youth Flag and was the first Master Course Conductor for Flag Football in Manitoba. In 2010, Tannis was the D-line coach for the Canadian Women’s National Tackle Football Team, competing at the first ever IFAF, “Women’s Tackle Football World Championships” in Stockholm Sweden, winning silver. In 2011, Tannis co-founded and became the first commissioner of the Western Women’s Canadian Football League (WWCFL). The WWCFL currently has 9 teams and is the largest women’s tackle program in Canada. 2011 was also the inaugural year for the MGFA (Manitoba Girls Football Association). Tannis is both co-founder and Commissioner of the MGFA. If that wasn’t enough, Tannis was a Football Manitoba board member for 16 years, the MGFA president for 4 years, and in 2012 received the Manitoba Women Entrepreneur of the Year for commitment to community, for her contribution to football and creation of Women's/Girls football. Wow.
Favorite Memory: Everything was done for the love of the game! Tannis’ personal mantra is: Everyone deserves a place to play; breaking stereotypes: one yard, one tackle, one touchdown at a time.

To be considered for selection in the Veterans category a player’s or Team's competitive career must have primarily occurred prior to 2008 (the inaugural year of the PIT Football League), or have been retired from active playing for a minimum of two years. There is no minimum win or statistical criterion to be selected for this category as many statistics were not kept prior to 2008. Players and/or teams from all leagues in Manitoba's History of Touch Football may be considered in the Veterans category as we pay homage to the pioneers of the game of touch football.

2016 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE: Tim Shea, The Assassins
Player Bio: Tim Shea began playing football in 1978 in the Winnipeg Centennial Touch Football League (WCTFL, the precursor to the WTFL). During his five decades of play Tim threw for the legendary Assassins team that won 25 league championships, 26 Labour Day championships (both elite and intermediate), 6 other western tournaments and one National A (intermediate) championship. Tim played 31 years with the Assassins in the WTFL and then one more year in the UTFL in 2010 until the outdoor Assassins were retired. Tim still plays coed indoor football where he has won 2 of this 25 league championships.
Favorite Memory: "The Win" My first league championship in 1979, all the friends and shared memories and experiences.

2017 INDUCTEE: Bill Telford, The Ratz
Player Bio: Bill Telford helped found the Ratz, one of the original teams of the Centennial Touch Football league, and was President of the WCTFL in 1980 and 1981. Originally named the Rouge River Ratz, they became the Winnipeg Winter Ratz a couple of years prior to their first trip to Nationals. Over a 10-year period in the 70s and 80s the top two teams in the Province were the Assassins and the Ratz, with the Ratz winning four Division 1 championships. Bill was the key player for the Ratz as he was a both a keen tactician and had a wonderful touch throwing the ball. He had superb accuracy on his deep passes and Bill was credited as being one of the few quarterbacks that specialized in the mid-range pass, which was a key to his success. The Ratz made a comeback after over a decade in retirement in the Summer of 2009 and remarkably played Division 2 after all the years off from the game. The result: a championship finals appearance! After the game Bill and the Ratz hung up their cleats for good, knowing they could still compete with the best.
Favorite Memory: "The First" In 1985, The Ratz won the intermediate A division at Nationals. This was the first ever intermediate championship at Nationals for a Manitoba team. Since then the Assassins, Eagles, and Avengers have all won the Intermediate championship. The Ratz are part of very rarified company in the Province and were the first to do it!

2018 INDUCTEE: Glen Dyck, Nomads
Player Bio: I never played sports until the age of 18. Then decided to try this sports thing out. I gravitated to football first. Played tackle football (No equipment) with a group of guys that I met while working in the parking lots in 1972. We were the original Boozers. Jerome’s (Another HOF guy) team was the Mean Machine from Longest Yard fame. They were the young guys at 14-15 and we were the old guys at 17-20. In 1978, I decided in my infinite wisdom that, having 0 experience at tackle football, I was going to try out for the Bisons (boy, I had Hutzpah). One obstacle was that I didn’t have a high school diploma to get into university. So, I had to go to adult education for a year to get my diploma. I didn’t make the team, however I lasted 2 training camps. In 1982 I asked the guys from both the Boozers and the Mean Machine if they wanted to go into the WCTFL. They said no. So, I took a group of rag tag guys and formed the Cougars. We went 0-18 and 2-16 the first two years. Then, in 1984, we formed the bandits. We played 5 very competitive years. I then formed the Gators, playing four years and winning my first championship. Then in 1995, I started the Nomads. And for the next 20 years we were a very competitive team in both the WCTFL, CANFORD (as the YardApes), and the PIT, winning eleven championships, including the first ever Mazur Indoor Football league (MFL) championship!
Favorite Memory: "The Camaraderie" The main thing that touch football gave me is a camaraderie that most people who play other sports take for granted. Being able to play and compete with young guys in my final year at the age of 61 was such a treat.

2019 INDUCTEE: Kanwal Saran, Avengers/Nomads
Player Bio: Kanwal began his playing career in 1992 as part of the Winnipeg Touch Football League (WTFL) High School Football Division. Since that time Kanwal has played with some of the most storied franchises in touch football, including: the Nomads, Yardapes, Banditos, Avengers, Guild, Rebels, No D, and the Horde, many of which will most likely make their way into the Hall of Fame in the Teams category! Kanwal was known for his fearless defensive play and ball hawking ability. Kanwal led the WTFL in interceptions in 2005. When Kanwal transitioned to the PIT Football league he continued his dominance leading Division 1 in interceptions four times (2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012). Kanwal is also one of only two players in Manitoba to win both a flag football national championship (The Chiefs/Chefs, 2003) and a touch football national championship (Avengers, 2011). From his beginnings in high school to his national championships Kanwal had one of the most storied touch football careers!
Favorite Memory: Being part of the first (and only) team from Manitoba to win the Touch football National Championships. I have enjoyed touch football immensely and I enjoyed the friends I played with and against. Touch Football has given me friends I will cherish forever.

2020 INDUCTEE: Lee Benoit, B52s/Rebels
Player Bio: Lee Benoit started playing organized touch football in 1968 and retired from touch football in 2003, a career spanning over 35 years. Lee began his touch football career as a wide receiver, winning a provincial championship in the WTFL in 1975 with the Tax Dodgers. From there, Lee formed his own team called the B52s, who were in constant battle for the top team in the province with the Ratz, Asssassins, and Eagles. Lee finished his career playing with the Rebels. Along the way Lee won a Division 1 title, multiple Division 2 titles with both the B52s and Rebels, a Brandon tournament championship, a Touch Bowl National Intermediate championship in Saskatoon, and the Division 1 championship in a tournament held in Minot North Dakota. Quite a legacy of championships! Lee also was on the Board of the WTFL, was Manitoba's first certified Level 5 official, helped form the WTFL/WHSFL partnership in the 1990s, and even used to line fields. There wasn't much that Lee couldn't do!
Favorite Memory: Winning the Division 1 championship in Minot. The night before the final the team went out for dinner...which turned into a drinking debacle, with the championship game set for 10:00am. Players were picked up by security and delivered back to me at the hotel at 5am. At 9:30am the B52s were out at the field, some sleeping in the car, some puking on the field, while our opponents were out warming up. In the team captains huddle, the head official told us, "We didn't have a snowballs chance in hell in winning the final." Their assessment looked to be correct, as after the first quarter we were down 14-0. The team shook off their drunken cobwebs and we won the game on the final play of the game in a massive comeback victory 30-28. Editors note: If you ever play "Orange Peel" defense, it was developed during this tournament for the championship game! No other origin for the defence is correct!

2021 INDUCTEE: Rick Suffield, The Bisons
Player Bio:Rick was a CIS defensive back for McGill before coming to Winnipeg and dominating on the touch football field. Rick played with alumni from the Manitoba Bisons University team, playing for the aptly named "Bisons" touch football team. Rick played in the early years of the Winnipeg Touch Football League (WTFL) prior to the introduction of stats. Players today love to check out their stats nearly in real time...whereas back in the day you waited until the end of a season to view if you had finished in the top 10 in any statistical category. In fact, no stats were collected prior to 1986 - which unfortunately came after the time of Rick's career. So while you won't see his name in any statistical leaders, Rick was one of the most feared defensive backs in the league. Rick's combination of size, speed, and athleticism was unmatched in the early 1980s, which earned him the respect of his teammates and fear from the quarterbacks attempting to throw in his direction. Upon retiring from touch football, Rick Suffield became the head coach of the University of Manitoba Men’s Basketball program and Instructor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management. Rick coached the university team for 21 years and has over 400 wins as well as a 148-44 win/loss record at the high school level and a former National University Coach of the Year award winner! Quite the transition from touch football!

2022 INDUCTEE: Sonya Panchuk, Chargers/Victorious Secret
Player Bio: I started playing football through university intramurals because I would watch my boyfriend’s games and they were constantly short players, so I'd end up playing too. My touch football "career" began because of a newspaper ad for the Mazur Touch football league. I still remember Gavin calling Darrell and asking, “Can my girlfriend play in the league?” The answer was yes, and I never could have predicted what football would have in store for us. The sport of touch football shaped our lives. That boyfriend eventually became my husband and football was something that we shared together and enjoyed separately as well. I'm thankful for football and the countless memories. It truly is all about the relationships formed rather than the sport itself. As I reflect, I still can’t decide what I enjoyed more; being a receiver on the men's teams or quarterbacking for the women's division. I enjoyed playing everywhere (even rushing!). Being a versatile player allowed me to experience provincial tournaments and nationals (Tournament of Champions) with multiple teams from other provinces and even win an international tournament in Florida. The best thing for me about this sport was that it didn’t matter how tall I was, all I had to do was to get open and catch a ball. That was very fun for me. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for me to be giggling down the field as I ran! Across the WTFL, MFL, and PIT, Sonya led men’s divisions in scoring twice, four times in coed/womens, and has been the touchdown pass leader eleven times. During her career, Sonya led the Chargers/Victorious Secret to six provincial women’s championships and multiple Labour Day titles.
Favorite memory: Winning the Regina tournament for the first time. The first time we went to Regina our team didn’t score a single point, ALL tournament. The second year I was determined to score at least 1 point and I remember punting for a single. Knowing where we (and women’s football in Manitoba) came from, winning that tournament felt like such an accomplishment. I remember it was against the Sharks (our archrivals in Regina) and Roxy (best snapper ever) made a huge 3rd down defensive stop. From that point on, it felt like we were unstoppable, and I knew we were going to win. We had all the support from the fans singing, “I’m on a boat”. To this day, I can still feel the excitement and electricity in the air. The best part of it all was the partying after the tournament on Sunday night with all the Winnipeg teams.

To be considered for selection in the Team Captains category a player must have been a team captain for a minimum of 20 seasons of touch football (indoor and outdoor included). Team captains are the unsung heroes of touch and flag football, and this is the first Hall of Fame to pay tribute to the players that go above and beyond for their teams in an administrative capacity.

2016 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE: Randy Stankewich, Detonators, Blue Devils, Rampage
Captain's Bio: From 1982 to 1986 Randy played for the Chargers in CANFORD, from 1987-2008 Randy moved to the WCTFL/WTFL to play with the Detonators/Stallions, Blue Devils (Blue Devils II/Blue Demons), Woodys, and Rampage (Torsion, Piranhas). From 2009 to present, Randy has resided in the PIT captaining Rampage (Rinkside, Wildside), and daKillaBeez at different points. Randy has also captained Darkness, daKilla Beez, Fastus, and in the Mazur Football League and the Masters in the PIT indoor league. Randy has won two CANFORD league championships as well as a CANFORD tournament. In the WTFL, four more league championships banners were won to go along with three tournament championships. Randy also has two indoor championship trophies, one in the Mazur League and one in PIT, and took home a coveted Manitoba Summer Games championship in 1988. To go along with his ten championships, Randy was a top ten scorer in the WCTFL during the 1987 season.
Favorite memory: The great players and people I met not only on teams that I organized but on teams that I played against. A great number are now life-long friends. If I had to pick a season that was the most satisfying for me both from a team and an individual perspective, I would have to say it was the 1987 season. That was the year the Detonators moved from the Canford league to the larger WCTFL. We won the Intermediate B championship that season and formed the basis of a solid team that would stay together for years to come! It is a great honour to be considered for the Hall of Fame and to be in the same class as my co-inductees. I owe a great deal to a large number of teammates over the last 35 years for this honour as well as my wife and family who have always supported me in my labour of love, touch football.

2017 INDUCTEE: Chris Harwood, Cobras
Captain's Bio: Chris started playing with the Cobras in 1998 in the WTFL, taking over as the team captain a few years after that. Chris captained the Cobras originally in the WTFL, moving the team to the UTFL for a couple of seasons, and then to the PIT where the Cobras currently play. Chris was also the captain for the Cobras' first foray into indoor for two seasons (and served as a barely competent quarterback in the process!). The Cobras have shown massive potential many times, making it to the finals in 2014, and then again in 2016, that time winning the Division 8 championship for the first time in team's nineteen-year history. While never leading in stats, Chris has been a high-performing center for many years and is a clutch receiver.
Favorite memory: Hands down it is winning the Championship in 2016 at Investors Group field! We went into the game feeling like we could do it, but we fell way behind early on, trailing 19-0 in the second quarter. However, the Cobras stormed back, and rattled off 34 unanswered points! It was made even sweeter by the presence of some Original Cobras teammates in the stands. It's an honor to be inducted into the Manitoba Touch Football Hall of Fame, something I never would have imagined happening. I've always enjoyed being a Captain, but that's because my teammates have always been good about the "annoying things" - paying on time, letting me know about schedules, etc. I owe my longevity to my family, who have allowed me to make football a priority, and to my teammates, who have consistently refused to take the job from me.

2018 INDUCTEE: Al Bloomfield, Anvils
Captain's Bio: Sean Stiff recruited me to play touch football in 1997. I played sandlot football with friends in the past and it sounded like a good time. I showed up to my first game in jeans and runners. Although it was the bottom division in the WTFL at the time, this was not sandlot football. I bought some cleats. Over the course of the next several years Sean and I played on teams together in both the UTFL and the WTFL. We had the good fortune to win a championship in each league. Then in 2004 we co-founded the Anvils and proceeded to become the team with the longest stretch without a championship in Manitoba touch football history. We did make it to the championship game twice but could not bring home the hardware. Sorry guys. The Anvils had some good years and some rough years, but it has almost always been a good time. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all the core players and people that stuck with us for years. Despite the grind associated with running a team I am happy to have organized the Anvils for these many years.
Favorite Memory:As a player I have ended up on several other teams both indoor and outdoor including Masters and Free Agent teams. I still haven't been on another outdoor championship team but have had more success indoors (8 championships). Some recent personal highlights include returning a kickoff for a touchdown (ok, it was indoor) and intercepting the ball while rushing. I was also ever so close to throwing a touchdown pass...after snapping the ball and then dropping into the backfield. Receiver error!

2019 INDUCTEE: Joey Fryza, Woodies
Captain's Bio: The Woody’s were formed in 1999. A bunch of rag tag young men who loved to watch and play pick up football. We started in Canford, run by John Robertson, who taught my guys all about fair play and sportsmanship. After playing four seasons in Canford and getting our butts whooped by most teams in John’s League (the Yard Apes for example who were stacked at Quarterback with legendary qb’s such as Glen Dyck, Kerry Mohammed, and third stringer Jon Franklin LOL, the Woody’s joined the WTFL in 2003, then the PIT in 2011. We won our first ever summer championship in division 3 during the 2004 outdoor season in division 3 in the WTFL. We played at the old Winnipeg Stadium. It was the Woody’s field of dreams. After winning 3 championships in the WTFL we left for the UTFL. Unfortunately, things did not work out so well. We came back after one season in the UTFL and back to the WTFL in 2010. We won another championship and that would be our final season in the WTFL. Mr. Jon Franklin convinced me that his new shiny Pit football league would be the face of touch football in Manitoba for years to come and the up and coming Woody’s would thrive in his new league. We had already enjoyed some success in the Pit indoor league winning in 2009 and 2011. It was awesome playing at the University of Manitoba soccer. This Franklin guy seemed to put out a great product and true to form we loved the new Pit football league. Who knew playing outdoor with lined fields and three refs most times would be so much fun! The Woody’s first ever Pit football outdoor championship would be against the Rebels at the East side Eagles field in 2011 for the Division 3 title. Smashing the Rebels 34-13 in that game. History repeated itself two years later when the Woody’s defeated the Rebels once again for the div 3 outdoor championship at East Side Eagles field.
Favorite Memory:I have built a lot of great friendships , including Jay Santos, Donovan Martin, Jason Gibbons, Scott Rhodes and Shaun Stewart. Guys that I can count on through thick and thin. Being a team captain comes without many accolades or rewards other than seeing the guys on your team enjoy playing ball and going for drinks or even celebrating a championship. I have enjoyed playing this wonderful sport we have had the privilege of playing in our spare time. What can I say, I enjoy being the leader and running this rag tag crew!

2020 INDUCTEE: Todd Rhoden, Avengers, Aztecs/Iced Earth
Captain's Bio: The first team I captained was the Avengers in 2003. The Avengers started off in the UTFL, winning the Division 2 title in our first year. From there we were fortunate to win championships across many different divisions and competed in tournaments all over Canada. The Avengers went on to win record numbers of championships in both the Mazur Indoor Football league (7 titles) and the PIT Football Elite division (10 titles). Included along the way were championships in the annual Edmonton Touch Football and Labour Day Classic tournaments in Regina. From there, I moved on to create the Aztecs, who later changed their name to Iced Earth, where we grew in the PIT Football league to have a great rivalry over the years with the Guild of Calamitous Intent. Again, we were able to bring home a few more outdoor and indoor championships (8 titles PIT, 2 titles WTFL, 1 title MFL). Being a captain, I was lucky to play with some amazing players and more importantly make some great friends!! Overall, Todd is one of the most successful team captains in Manitoba history, helming not one, but two, of the top teams to ever play in the province. To captain one team to the pinnacle of football in the province is extremely tough, to captain two puts Todd in a league of his own!
Favorite Memory: My favorite memories were those I made while travelling with my teammates to tournaments. The football was great; however, the stories and memories were better. Was incredibly lucky to have played the game for 20 plus years and run some amazing teams!!

2021 INDUCTEE: Troy Thompson, Suckskatchewan
Captain's Bio: I began my playing career playing indoors at the old golf dome in the Mazur Football League. We sucked, and it took several games just to score, never mind win. I met Jerry Hildebrand at this time who had just started the UTFL. Jerry convinced me to bring my team to his league in the summer. Summer came and I didn't have enough guys for a team, so we were amalgamated with another team. Part way through the season the team self-destructed, and Jerry asked me to bring in some more players to keep the team going for the rest of the summer. I have been a team captain ever since. Too many team names to remember but One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer, and Suckskatchewan are a couple of my favourites. Those teams have yet to win an outdoor title (they do have five indoor titles!), but I'm not done playing yet. (Editors Note I: Troy won his coveted outdoor title in 2022!) Troy is also the leagues resident whiskey expert. If you have questions, I can guarantee he has answers!
Favorite Memory: Tough question Every game at the Bombers field has been special, and the team party's can be epic, (Editors Note II: I can attest to that!) but I think the best memory must be a few years ago when we played in the Milt Stegal charity tournament. I got to throw some balls to Milt during the game and lots of chatting with him on the sideline. Awesome experience!

2022 INDUCTEE: John Jonker
Captain's Bio: I was introduced to football in the summer of 1993, playing first for the Nationals in the WTFL, finding a role as a rusher. I was soon recruited by other high school buddies to play with the Barracudas and have played ever since. God blessed me with a little speed and some good defensive teams, and I was able to get quarterback sacks in bunches those early years. We made multiple trips to Regina for Labour Day plus some tournaments in Portage La Prairie. Coca Cola was the first team I was privileged to captain. I'm not sure why, but we had a few different team names over the years. Most notable was Lost in Jonkers. It was my Dad, three brothers, two cousins and some good friends. We moved over to the UTFL, and I tried my talent at quarterback. I'll never forget, about eight games in, waiting for a snap, and hearing Head of Officials Everett Shade yell "What's with all these rushers who think they are quarterbacks?" Needless to say, we had some rough years scoring points. Although we have never won any championships, we have made it to the finals several times. The year we were the closest and things seemed to be destined for a championship I tore my bicep in my throwing arm only a few weeks from playoffs. Our team rallied and made it to the show but came up one score short. I hope to play to the age my Dad did (71) so we still have a couple decades left to get that championship! In addition, to being a team captain for nearly three decades and across four different leagues, John has both a divisional passing and scoring championship to his name. The Jonkers also lead the league in Slurpees drank…by a very wide margin.
Favorite Memory: I've played with some of the most amazing people, met some amazing refs, and dealt with different leagues and the people that make them operate. Seeing how the sport of football draws so many people together week after week and how lifelong friends are made is what brings me back year after year. I have a lot of great memories and I'm hoping for many more to come.

To be considered for selection in the Official’s category, an official must have displayed the leadership, ability, and understanding of the rules to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for the players. The official must have conducted themselves in a professional manner both on and off the field and be recognized and respected by his/her peers as a Head official, back judge or sideline referee. The Officials Hall of Fame has been created as a means of recognizing and honoring those officials who have provided many years of outstanding and dedicated service to our sport.

Official's Bio: Brad Kelm began playing touch football in WCTFL in 1981 and played competitively up until 2008. Brad’s playing career began with the Santa Fey Express. He then joined the Assassins in 1983 and played up until his retirement, winning 23 championships along the way. Brad became a touch football official in 1981 and officiated until 2022 when he unfortunately passed away while in Mexico. Brad is one of just three people in the Province to have both his Level 5 Official and Level 5 National Course Conductor certifications. In an administrative capacity Brad was the Past President of the Manitoba Touch Football Officials Association and served on the WTFL executive for 15 years as both vice president and official’s coordinator. Brad is also the only Manitoba ref to be selected to officiate in multiple AA Finals at Tournament of Champions (National Championships). Finally, Brad was also a key contributor to the start of the PIT Football league, where he served as Head of Officials for a decade. Remarkably, Brad Head officiated every single outdoor game in the PIT’s first year of existence, a record 222 games that summer! Without Brad, there may not be a PIT league and we owe him a debt of gratitude for all his hard work over the years. Brad Kelm will forever be an officiating legend. Brad unfortunately passed away in 2022 having officiated a record 3631 games in the PIT. With the MFL, WTFL, provincial and national tournaments, it is very possible that Brad officiated over 10,000 games. Brad was still an active official at the time of his passing. The league has dedicated the "Brad Kelm Officiating Award" given to the official who referees the most games in a season in his honor. Brad was truly one-of-a-kind and will forever have a lasting impact on the game of touch football.
Favorite Memory: Players shake my hand after the games win or lose and it's one of my favorite things about officiating in the PIT. At Nationals it was a honour and privilege to referee with Dave Williams and Dave Ash in the AA National Championship. Those guys are also HOF worthy officials.

2018 INDUCTEE: Donny Desaulniers
Official's Bio: I began my career playing touch football in the mid 80’s with the Flames & B52. Back then teams had to provide a side judge, which got me interested in officiating. After I was finished playing football, I began officiating full time. I have officiated in four different leagues (PIT Football, the WTFL, the UTFL and MFL), many Labor Day Classic Tournaments, two Western Tournaments, and two national championships, and served as a WTFL board member. I should thank five individuals for helping me through my years of officiating: Lee Benoit, Brad Klem, Darryl Mazur, Cliff Kitchen and Everett Shade. I thank God for giving me the ability and physical motivation for letting me continue doing what I enjoy doing. A big thank you goes out to my wife for giving up many summer nights.
Favourite memory: It was a playoff game sometime in the 90s with the B52s, I scored 14 pts & had 15 catches. I was open, and the quarterback kept throwing it to me because they were watching Rick Litke. We went on to win the championship. For officiating, refereeing with Dave Williams, one of the top officials in Canada. I observed how the players responded to him and I have used that knowledge to further my officiating ability. And, meeting so many players and officials throughout my career that I now call friends.

2019 INDUCTEE: Brent Sliwiany
Official's Bio: Brent began officiating in the Summer of 2012. In that summer Brent was scheduled for about 30 games and ended up officiating 218! Brent was one of the fastest officials to become a head official and quickly became a fan favorite, with many teams requesting Brent to officiate their games. Brent has officiated almost 2500 touch football games, second all-time in PIT history! Brent has officiated multiple top divisions championships and currently officiates all the Winnipeg High School Football flag games. Brent holds the single season records for games officiated in the summer (313), Fall (64), Winter (89), and Spring (55). Brent is an officiating machine!
Favorite Memory: Brent is a favorite of all the teams in the league, with his favorite memory coming in a downpour when a game at River Elm was called due to the rain. With the game called, the teams asked him to join them in a “rain game” which culminated in a loose ball entering in a small lake that had formed in the field. Brent dove in to retrieve the ball, which culminated with all of the players diving so that Brent wasn’t the only one who had to drive home soaked from head to toe!

2020 INDUCTEE: Everett Shade
Official's Bio: I began playing Touch Football in John Robertson’s Canford League with the Campus Cowboys. We were too young to recognize at first just how strong the level of competition was in Manitoba. Our first league game was against Jerome Swarath’s Boozers team and I think it speaks volumes about Touch Football that he remained a friend to me over 20 years later. Over time the Campus Cowboys grew older, got better, and became a multiple winner of Division 2 in the various leagues, went to each other’s weddings, and eventually watched as the players moved on to real life success after football. My start with Touch Football Officiating began when John Robertson sent me to sideline a game featuring Miller Hi Lite in a Division 1 game in 1983. On an unmarked field, with an intense 1st division matchup, no other officials showed. I did the game by myself and when it was over the Miller QB put his arm around my shoulder and said, “if you survived that one you have a long future ahead as a ref”. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to ref with Football Officials that have been respected throughout all of Canada. Darryl Mazur, Brad Kelm, Lee Benoit, Todd Rhoden, Cliff Kitchen, Don Desaulniers, Ken Kornel, Jerry White, and EVERYONE else who made Manitoba Touch Football the best officiated in the nation. I was so fortunate to conduct clinics with Mr. Mazur annually that led to the deepest group of officials per capita in the country. We kept them fun, but we ensured that our province got the best. Everett is one of the only officials who can say they officiated in all the major leagues in Manitoba outdoor history – Canford, the WTFL, the UTFL, and PIT Football! An amazing officiating career spanning over 35 years. Everett had a run as the head official for the WTFL and was the head official in the UTFL for most of the league history.
Favorite Memory: For me it was always about the people. Administrators: John Robertson who was one of the first people invited to my wedding. Ken Kornel who had visions for improving our sport that made me sit back in awe at times. Mike Hamulka who went from one of my roughest opponents to showing me that he loved Football like no one else. TEAM: Besides the Cowboys the absolute best memory was the friends that Lee Benoit and I put together to go to Labour Day in Regina near the end of my playing days. Jeff Kull, Darryl Elyk, Curt Rebizant, Gooch, Kirby Shwaykosky, Scott Rhodes, etc. not only did we win the tournament, but many of us remained friends for life. The people that made me love the game: Ken Vaness, John Koolage, Ed Markowski, Todd Rhoden, Don Desaulniers, Lee Benoit, Mike Cox, Oliver Berezny, Jim Foran, Cam Brown, Tosh Sato, Nish Mehta, the late Grant Watson, Jim Bell, Darryl Elyk, Jerry White, Jerry Hildebrand, and hundreds more of you! More than half of my life was spent, sometimes year-round, learning from you, laughing with you, and celebrating victories of all kinds with you. Thanks to every one of you!

2021 INDUCTEE: Melissa Haluik
Official's Bio: Around 2005 I was introduced to touch football watching my brothers and some friends play. I would often watch games and think to myself, "I could do that." Soon after I was offered the chance to try it out. I started officiating in the UTFL and the WTFL. After those leagues folded, I officiated in the Collective (also folded) and the PIT Football league. In the PIT Football league Melissa has officiated over 1700 games, good for fourth all-time in league history! Melissa is also one of the top flag officials in the province and she is often seen officiating the WHSFL flag games at Garden City. As the top female official in the province, and longest serving, it couldn’t have been easy for her to officiate with all the testosterone in Football, however players know better than to question her rules knowledge! Melissa is quite the pioneer for female officials in Manitoba!
Favorite Memory: Over the years I met a lot of good people both officiating and playing and am happy to call many of them friends to this day. I enjoy helping new teams and teaching them the game that I have grown to love.

2022 INDUCTEE: Shaun Howell
Official's Bio: Shaun Howell reigned terror down on teams with his combination of size, finger wagging, and gregarious personality. Known for both his football acumen and his incredible lounge orders after games, Shaun officiated 557 games PIT Football, good for 24th all-time. Shaun also officiated hundreds more games in the WTFL. Known as the official OG referee, Shaun helped launch the PIT Football league when he agreed to officiate for the league full-time. Shaun and Brad Kelm combined to officiate most of the games in the early years of the PIT, which gave the league instant credibility. Along with Brent Sliwiany and Donny Desaulniers (fellow Hall of Famers), the league had cornered the market on the top officials in the province. Shaun became a nationally certified official, officiating in the Tournament of Champions. Shaun was also a huge advocate for his fellow officials and was the co-founder of the referee’s touch football team. Shaun was one of the few officials who could officiate divisions 1 through to coed and was beloved by all players. Sadly, Shaun passed away in 2022 leaving a huge hole in the PIT officiating crew. His memory will forever live on in those player’s lives he touched and in the Manitoba Touch Football Hall of Fame.
Favorite Memory: Shaun was one of our officials’ trainers and would help mentor new officials. One night, with a game winding down, he left an official whom he was training with only a minute left on the clock, and the game seemingly over. Leaving the training official to mop up the game and do field take down so that he could get to the lounge upstairs for last call. When we looked down at the field, a miraculous comeback occurred, and the game was in overtime. The new official was valiantly trying to officiate overtime without the help of his mentor official. No one ever saw Shaun run as fast as he did back to the field to help…with a beer in one hand and chicken wings in the other! In all seriousness, the league owes Shaun a debt of gratitude. His professionalism on the field, game management, and big personality made him a favorite with all the teams. Without officials like Shaun and Brad Kelm, who also passed in 2022, the PIT may never have grown to the heights we have. We hope Brad and Shaun are officiating some big games in the sky and having some laughs over some beers postgame, just like old times.


Various icons used from the Silk Icons library.