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Middleton area sports heroes get spot of wall of fame

The 2004-05 MRHS Monarchs Senior Girls Volleyball NSSAF Division II Champions will be inducted into the Middleton Sports Heritage Wall of Fame Sept. 29 at Macdonald Museum.
The 2004-05 MRHS Monarchs Senior Girls Volleyball NSSAF Division II Champions will be inducted into the Middleton Sports Heritage Wall of Fame Sept. 29 at Macdonald Museum. - Contributed

When the Middleton Sports Heritage Wall of Fame holds its 21st annual induction ceremonies Sept. 29, seven athletes, builders, and teams will be given a place of honour upstairs at the Macdonald Museum.

Those honours go to four athletes including Alex Hanssen, Eileen Ramsay-Prosser, Tim Prosser, and Monique Rafuse. Greg Bower and Tom Ross will be inducted as builders, and the 2004-05 MRHS Monarchs Senior Girls Volleyball NSSAF Division II Champions will be inducted in the team category.

Alex Hanssen was born in Norway but moved to just outside Middleton at a young age. He played hockey, soccer, and tennis in Middleton and won three national junior championships in Norway, plus led Dalhousie University to an AUS championship in 2007. He was a brakeman with Bobsleigh Canada, and later switched to skeleton racing, missing the 2014 Olympics because of an injury. In 2017 he competed on the World Cup circuit.

Tim Prosser is from New Glasgow but was educated in Middleton. He joined Special Olympics in 2004 and excelled in cross country skiing and in 2012 won a gold and two silvers nationally and another gold and a pair of silvers in 2015. Regionally he’s been a 10-time bowling medalist with three golds and seven silvers with his team. He’s also medaled in floor hockey and soccer.

Monique Rafuse was born in Middleton and excelled in basketball, volleyball, track, and badminton. In Grades 10, 11, and 12 she was selected as Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year. She played volleyball at Saint Mary’s University. In 1991-92 she was named to the AUAA All-Star team. In her final year she was named SMU Female Athlete of the Year and was selected to play for the Canadian National Team.

Eileen Ramsay-Prosser was born in Calgary but graduated from MRHS. She was a Special Olympics bowler with numerous medals regionally. She competed provincially in track and field earning several medals, and was a valuable member of gold medal soccer and floor hockey teams. In Cross country skiing she’s won numerous medals, including gold, at the national and world levels.

Greg Bower in the builder category, was born in Middleton and played numerous sports with basketball his favourite. As a teacher at MRHS he’s coached every year for the past 31 years, including track, soccer, boys basketball, girls basketball, and has been athletic director at the school as well as NSSAF district district coordinator. Community sports and recreation has benefitted from Greg’s work as coach of summer soccer, Middleton Tennis Association president, and organizer of the Middleton Girls Spring Basketball League. His girls basketball teams qualified for Provincials all 20 years with him at the helm, winning five gold, four silver, and five bronze, while recording 447 wins, 181 losses, and one tie for an amazing 71%.

Tom Ross is from Halifax but moved to Middleton as a physiotherapist in 1985. Over the past four decades Tom has taken part in more than 200 races ranging from the mile to eight marathons, including the prestigious “Johnny Miles” in New Glasgow. He was generally a “middle of the pack” runner although he did win an occasional award. It is through running that he has made his mark as a builder. In Queens County he organized a two-week running course and their first Terry Fox Run in the 1980s. From 1988 to 2009 he was the organizer for the St. Andrew’s Half Marathon with upwards of 100 runners for 22 years. He founded and organized the Middleton Mile, the prelude to the Heart of the Valley Days Parade down Commercial St. from 1991 to 2005 attracting runners of all ages. For three years in the mid 1990s he helped organize the Highland Hill Run in conjunction with the Highland Games Weekend at Middleton’s Rotary Raceway Park.

The 2004-05 MRHS Monarchs Senior Girls Volleyball NSSAF Division II Champions were coached by Trevor Connell and advanced to the provincial finals over Bridgewater who defeated them at Regionals. That put Middleton against West Kings in the final and their second provincial championship – the first one was 26 years earlier.

The ceremony, that is open to the public, starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes remarks by Sports Heritage Wall of Fame board chair Albert Johnson. Macdonald Museum is located at 21 School Street, Middleton.

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