Legendary Canadian champions from 1973 will be the first team to be inducted in Orillia shrine; this year’s class will be recognized at May 4 gala at Hawk Ridge.

A two-sport athlete, two legendary builders and one of the city’s iconic hockey teams will be inducted into the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame in May.

Chad Thompson, who starred in both the Ontario Hockey League and National Lacrosse League, longtime high school coach Ian MacMillan, renowned baseball coach Dean Heliotis and the Allan Cup champion Orillia Terriers will be inducted into the city’s sports shrine this year.

It’s the first time a team will be inducted, says Roy Micks, the chair of the Orillia Sport Council, which oversees the hall of fame.

“There have been some fantastic teams throughout the years in Orillia and we felt it was time to recognize them,” said Micks, who noted the committee that oversees the induction process worked hard to create tough but fair criteria for eligibility in the team category.

The Terriers were the cream of the crop when it came to senior hockey in the province in the mid-1970s at a time when the level of play was just below the American Hockey League. Orillia captured the historic Allan Cup, emblematic of Canadian hockey supremacy, on home ice on May 13, 1973.

In the athlete category, Thompson, who grew up in Orillia playing both lacrosse and hockey, went on to play parts of five seasons in the NLL, after playing five seasons in the OHL with the Barrie Colts, London Knights and Oshawa Generals.

During his time as a defenceman in the OHL, he played more than 200 regular season games, he scored 23 goals, added 41 assists and amassed almost 200 minutes in penalties. In the NLL, he played for Toronto, San Jose, Philadelphia and Orlando, tallying 64 points in 49 games as a defensive specialist.

MacMillan was a legend at Orillia and District Collegiate Vocational Institute, where he was the school’s track and field coach and basketball coach from 1964 to 1996. He also helmed the Orillia Track Club for more than 15 years.

When he first arrived at ODCVI, he was the school’s football coach — from 1964 to 1966 — and he also coached cross-country running at the school from 1967 to 1981.

His basketball teams won more than 1,100 games, while his track and cross-country athletes won countless medals at regional and provincial competitions. He earned the prestigious OFSAA Pete Beach Award in 1996 and was also recognized with the Government of Canada Celebration ‘88 Medal. The Ian MacMillan Scholarship is still handed out annually at ODCVI’s successor, Orillia Secondary School.

Heliotis’s name is synonymous with baseball in Orillia. From 1965 until 2008, he coached at various levels including mosquito, peewee, bantam, midget and junior and also helmed the Orillia Majors for several years. He helped generations of players learn to play and love the sport; in 1988, a diamond at McKinnell Square Park was named in his honour.

Original Article By: Orillia Matters Staff
Site: Orillia Matters
Date: March 18, 2024
Link to Original: Link to Orillia Matters
Photo: Supplied Photos / Orillia Matters