SUDBURY DISTRICT SECONDARY SCHOOLS ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

HISTORY OF THE NICKEL DISTRICT SECONDARY SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

 

In the early 1930's there was no need for a District Constitution. J.D. Wallace was Principal of the Sudbury High and Mining and Technical Schools. There was one combined Physical Education Department and the nearest competition was North Bay. Life was simple.

L.E.R. Stephens became Principal of the Mining and Technical School in 1934. Physical Education continued jointly with the High School under Ed Wiley in their 'match-box" gymnasium: Bob McDorinan taught some of Tech's classes and Redmond Kinschular was active in coaching the combined football team. Competition was extended to include Sault Ste. Marie. Life was still very simple.

In 1937, the Technical School broke away and formed its own department under Wilf Bell and Ellis Hazen. The same year Copper Cliff High School was built and their teams played exhibition games with the two city schools.

In 1938 to 1939, Capreol entered to play hockey. There were no problems: a telephone call now and then arranged schedules and play-offs.

The first interscholastic competition was in football: High 32, Tech 3: High 36 Tech 5: a sudden death playoff in six inches of mud resulted in a close score, Tech 7, High 6. The Technical School dressing room was a hut built by Mr. Irvine's boys in the wood-working shop. It had no heat, no lights, no toilets, no showers. High School, gracious in defeat, offered their 2-nozzle shower room to the Tech boys to wash off the mud.

As competition against High School stiffened with the development of teams in Copper Cliff and Tech, it was 4onevitable that disputes would arise. Service Clubs were approached with the prospect of acting as Boards of Reference or arbitrators. Finally the three schools decided to organize an association to settle arguments among themselves.

Joe Costigan of Sudbury High called the first meeting in the fall of 1939 and this was attended by Bill Harrington and Ellis Hazen. Bill was elected President, Joe - Vice-President, and Ellis - Secretary-Treasurer with no bank account.

Thus the Nickel District Secondary School Athletic Association was bom.

The building of the Tech Gymnasium in 1940, know today as the 'C' Gym, coincided with the arrival of Alex MacPherson. Activity increased, meetings were longer, there was more to talk about as Alex poured out ideas from T.S.S.A. and T.D.I.A. The size of the football teams jumped from 6-man to 9-man. Zone defence in basketball became so deadly in High's 'match-box" gymnasium, it was almost outlawed by the Association.

The first Interscholastic Skiing was between Copper Cliff and Tech in 1940. Tech's team ran Slalom in cross-country skiis. The championship was decided in the 15 and under class. Copper Cliff won. Next year it was decided in the 16 year class: Copper Cliff won again.

The third year Copper Cliff won again. One of the first notices of motion to the Association was announced: the championship will be decided by adding the scores of all age groups. This seemed to be the only way to stop the Cliff foursome of Ripley, Kerr, Coo and Morrow.

Bert McClelland's arrival in Copper Cliff heralded the domination of the school hockey league by the INCO 00 n. Bert's early and repeated successes in this sport were later to earn his school the exclusive right to be the only school from the outside district permitted to play in the new Sudbury league.

War years!!!

The Association carried on undaunted by gasoline rationing which prevented outside travelling, shortage of sugar for energy, and poor quality gym shoes of artificial rubber which blackened the floors. Many players cooked their supper when they arrived home from practice: mother was on afternoon shift at the smelter. Men on the staffs with Physical Education certificates thirty years old filled the breech while the coaches were in the Armed Forces.

The post war years brought keen competition as teams fought for the right to enter N.O.S.S.A. play-offs and the Red Feather. The organization of O.F.S.A.A. tournaments from 1948, further stimulated athletic activity.

In 1945 the Kiwanis Club offered financial assistance to the Association for Track and Field. Sacred Heart College dominated this sport in the next few years. Track stars were sent to Canadian Championships. Some reached the Olympics.

The post-war baby boom finally caught up with the association. By the mid 1950's, provision was made for the entries of Lively, Nickel District and St. Charles. They were soon followed by Lockerby, Lasalle, Lo-Ellen and Garson-Falconbridge. Espanola's conversion from a prisoner-of-war camp to a thriving pulp town, Levack's becoming a district school, new sub-divisions growing in Chelmsford and Blezard-Hamner, increased the Association to 15 schools.

The pressure of extended schedules and play-offs forced the association to divide. With 15 conveners and 150 coaches making reports and recommendations, the meetings were becoming unwieldly.

In May of 1967, the N.O.S.S.A. recognized the City of Sudbury and Nickel District as separate district. The same year, the Sudbury High School Board appointed Alex MacPherson, Physical Education Coordinator for seven of the nine schools in the Sudbury System.

In January 1969, the Sudbury Board of Education was formed and this includes all schools formerly in N.D.S.A.A. and the S.S.S.A.A., so now we are one happy family again looking to the future.