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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 8, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, January 8, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 23 Cardston resident member of Alberta Amateur Sports Hall of Fame Willard Brooks has spent lifetime in sports Capitals shocked vaunted Bruins By GAKKY ALLISON Herald Sports Writer The name of Willani Brooks has been synonymous with sports in Cardston and area for nearly CO of his 72 years. Willard Brooks of Cardston, has been involved in all aspects of the sporting world throughout his long, illustrious career. He has been an active participant, a coach and instructor and still continues to serve in sporting circle today as an administrator. Besides being actively engaged in the upcoming Canada Winter Games as the man in charge of officials for the boxing, he is also a member of the selection committee for the Alberta Amateur Sports Hall of Fame. He took that job on in f 972, the year after he himself was in- ducted into the Hall of Fame in the'Sportsman category during special ceremonies held in Edmonton. Born on January in the state of Washington, Willard emigrated with his family to Woolford in February of 1913 and has called Southern Alberta home ever since. In 1923 Willard participated in the first Cardston Amateur Athletic Association track and field meet on May 2. He won the senior aggregate points-trophy at the fourth annual meet in 1926 and was a member of Cardston's senior 440 relay team that won the provincial championship, duplicating the feat of the 1924 relay squad. Besides track and field, where he specialized in sprints, relays and the long jump, Willard also loved baseball. He played junior, intermediate and senior ball, mainly with the Cardston Maple Leafs, but also with teams from Hillspring, Woolford and' Aetna, for over 21 years, through the 1920s to the 1940s. League and district championships were common place for Willard and his various teams, but it wasn't until 1928 that the pitcher infielder's many hours on the ball diamond payed off with a provincial championship. Willard, who also played some outfield in his day, was with the Cardston Maple Leafs when they captured the Alberta Intermediate championship over Carstairs in 1928. He was still playing with the Maple Leafs in 1935, first base at the time, when they repeated as provincial champions, defeating Rockyford. "I would have to say those two provincial championships in baseball and the provincial titles with the relay team were my biggest thrill as an active Willard said. Another thrill Willard recalls occurred in a baseball game August in Lethbridge when he was playing with Hillspr- ing and they were meeting the Lethbridge Miners: Hillspring won the game 14 -10, with leadoff hitter Willard Brooks coming up with five hits, one a home run. He scored four runs, and as the catcher was responsible for 17 put outs, two assists and no errors. Hillspring went on to the provincial finals that year, but lost out to Innisfail. "Today I get a great thrill watching my sons. I would say I get as big a kick seeing them succeed, or some of the teams I. coached win, as I did with my own Willard said. Willard and his wife Bernice May, who were married in the Alberta Temple Sept. have six children, two daughters and four sons. Laura May is married to Dale LeBaron, an LDS Church Seminary School instructor and Kathryn is the wife of Cardston school teacher Bill Richards. Willard Jr. teaches at the Raymond High school; Ben is the athletic coordinator at the Lethbridge Community College; Dennis is currently on an LDS mission in France; and Eric plays on the Cardston Cougar high school basketball team. WILLARD BROOKS The Brooks' have 24 grandchildren. Willard retired from the teaching profession in 1970, a job he had held since 1925 except for a five year stint in the Royal Canadian Air Force, but not before he left his mark as a coach and instructor of many of Cardston's baseball, Softball and track and field teams. "Participation in sports was different back in my playing and early coaching Willard said. "There weren't so many diversions then, like television and cars. Sports like track and field flourished then. The boys had dedication; we'd often ride to the next town on horseback in order to play. It was fashionable to compete in 'manish' games like track or baseball." On today's vast minor sport programs, Willard has some interesting thoughts. "I don't think minor sports programs produce individuals, but rather mediocre overall athletes. I' think minor sports programs are okay, but in order for a youth to succeed he has to be self motivated. In my case, as a youth, I just simply wanted to play the game, that was my motivation." Baseball Was Willard's favorite sport, mainly because he was better at it than any other. He was a triple threat on the field, he could run, field and hit. "I learned to play ball with just a working glove, not a baseball glove. The work glove took the sting out of the ball but it didn't have all the webbing they have now to help catch the ball. Today the glove does a lot of the work, not the man." As to whether the athletes in Willard's heyday were any better than the ones today, Willard stated, "that is a hard thing to judge other than in measurable'competitions, like track where you run against the clock. But because measurable records are being broken one must conclude all athletes are getting better. But the thrill of seeing a modern athlete compete is no greater than watching an athlete from my era." Willard has been on the sports scene for well over half a century in Southern Alberta so his selections as some of the better athletes in the past 60 years must hold some credibility. "If I had to name the best all around athlete that I've seen it would be Mark McKenzie from Mountain View, who was active during the 1950s and 1960s. "The best basketballers would be a toss up. Mark'would be in the running, but I would lean towards Tommy Karren or the Tollestrups, Phil and Tim. In boxing it would undoubtedly be Hugh Sloan, while Albert Cahoon of Cardston is one of the top baseball pitchers I've seen. Slim Haynes was good, but I didn't see him play that often. "In track and field I'd have to choose my son Ben. He com- peted in the British Empire Games at Vancouver in the long jump, representing Canada. And when he attended BYU he was chosen as the top track and field athlete the proud father stated. Besides Ben, Willard also singled out distance runner- Cameron Dickson, who competed in the Boston Marathon a number of times and Doral Pilling, a javelin thrower who com- peted in the British Empire Games and held the Canadian javelin record at one time, as two of the better track stars in Southern Alberta. Track was the hardest sport as far as tension was concerned for Willard. "There is nothing like the tension that builds up prior to a 100 yard dash. It is more overwhelming than any other event or sport, as split second timing is needed in order to win. When that gun sounds the adrenalin is really pumping." The offices Willard has held in sports organizations range from numerous local, district and provincial jobs to offices in the LDS Church athletic programs. He is, and has always been, active in his Church and his community, and not necessarily just in the sport facets of either. He is currently an elected member of the Cardston school board and has recently been honored by the LDS Church when he and son Ben were asked to appear at the headtable of the seventh annual LDS Father and Son Athletic Awards Banquet. Awards are nothing new, or strange, for Willard. Besides the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame he has been honored by many organizations, and was recently named Cardston's all time all star first baseman at a 1973 old time Cardston baseball players reunion. Willard remains active today in sport's circles, besides his administrative duties. He still finds time for a little golf now and then and can be seen at almost any basketball game in Southern Alberta involv- ing Ben's LCC Kodiaks which he coaches, or Eric's Cardston Cougars. Sport has been good to Willard Brooks over the years, but sport is getting by far the biggest piece of the pie because Willard Brooks has been extremely good for sports in Southern Alberta. His credentials go back over 60 years. By GLENN COLE The Canadian Press The high-flying Boston Bruins rolled into the Capital Centre at Landover, Md., Tuesday night and took on Washington Capitals, consis- tent losers this National Hockey League season. The Bruins, who had road wins over Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota North Stars late last week, met a club that had managed only two goals in its last three games and had been blanked in its last two outings. The Bruins had smashed the Capitals 10-4 and 12-1 in Boston earlier in the season, arid expected another suc- cessful night. But the Capitals battled to a 3-3 tie, and the shocked Bruins' players didn't want to talk about it. In other action, California Seals surprised St. Louis Blues 3-2 and New York Islanders downed Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3. The Capitals came from be- hind three times to gain their CALIFORNIA 3 ST. LOUIS 2 First period: 1. SI. Louts. Plante 14 (linger. Merrick) 2. St. Louis. Lefley 13 (Unger. Hess) Penalties Stewart Sacharuk, MacAdam Neilson Second period: 3. California. Johnston 9 (Ahern. J. Stewart! 4. California, MacAdam 10 (J. Stewarl. Weir) Penalties Gassoll Letley Williams Third period: 5. California. Ahern 2 (Patey. j. Stewart) Penalties None. Shots on goal by California 5 8 St. Louis 16 16 WASHINGTON 3 BOSTON 3 First parlod: 1. Boston, Savard 11 (O'Reilly, Forbes) 2. Washington. Marson 1 (Laframboise) Penalties Anderson Savard Smith Bloom Second period: 3. Boston, Shep- pard 12 (Schmautz) 4. Washington, Marson 8 Cowick) Penalties O'Reilly Smith Third period: 5. Boston, Marcotle 18 (Hodge, Esposito) 6. Washington, Laframboise 6 (Marson) Penalties Mohns McKechnie Kryskow Marcotte Shots on goal by Boston 21 10 Washington 4 8 Attendance draw with the Bruins before fans. Washington's Mike Marson registered his second two-goal performance of his intital NHL season but Peter Laframboise got the game- tying goal at of the third period. Ron Low, beaten for nine goals in the Caps' 10-0 loss to Montreal Saturday night, was outstanding in the Washington net after starting goalie Michel Belhumeur left the game midway through the first period with a pulled mus- cle in his side. The two goalies combined for 41 saves. The Bruins banned reporters from their dressing room after the game. "They're in a bad said coach Don Cherry. "They're very tired. They just feel very bad in there. "We didn't play our hitting game. It showed. When we hit, we win." Speedskating association set to go The first Southern Alberta Speedskating Association was recently formed with Tony Stannard as the president. The association is interested in promoting Speedskating throughout Southern Alberta, with Canada's only artificial oval providing prospective speedskaters with the oppor- tunity to excel. The club is hopeful of spon- soring Learn to Skate clinics and coaches clinics in cooperation with the City of Lethbridge Community Ser- vices Department and the Alberta Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation. Speedskaters- and persons interested in learning the sport are asked to contact Tony Stannard at 327-2523 for further information. HIGA'S MEN'S WEAR SUITS Values to 1 GROUP 1 GROUP 1 GROUP Values to S50 S75 SHIRTS AND SWEATERS 30% t. Price LEATHER JACKETS AND CLOTH JACKETS 30% OFF CURLING SHOES and GLOVES SPORT COATS Values to u an all 30% off HIGA'S MEN'S WEAR All Sales Final and Cash 406 -13 St. N. No Rilunds or .Exchanges, Alterations Extra Phone 327-761 o SLACKS Values to 'b CASUAL SLACKS Values to S20 S3 Bargain Tables! VALUES TO Slacks Wear ;