Longtime football coach, swim club founder, 1982 TRHS Titans to be inducted into Sackville Sports Wall of Fame

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SACKVILLE, N.B. – Three new portraits will soon be added to Sackville’s Sports Wall of Fame.

Included among this year’s inductees is a longtime high school football coach who has dedicated two-and-a-half decades to the sport; a co-founder and head coach of the successful Sackville Swim Club; and a Tantramar Titans football squad that brought home a provincial title for the third straight year after going undefeated all season.

David Burns and Barb Campbell will both be recognized under the builder category while the 1982 TRHS Titans football team will be inducted into the team category. They will all be honoured during a ceremony this coming June that will pay tribute to their outstanding achievements.

 

David Burns

David Burns has been a longtime volunteer coach in the Tantramar community – most notably, he is being recognized for the 20-plus years he has dedicated to the Tantramar Titans football team where he began as an assistant coach in the fall of 1990, took on the reins as head coach from 1994 to 2007, and continues on as assistant coach to this day.

During Burns’ 14-year tenure as head coach, he led the Titans to a 57-29-1 regular season record, where two of those seasons the team went undefeated and had two provincial final appearances. In 1997, the Titans claimed the NBHSFL provincial championship after defeating the Oromocto High School Blues 49-21.

“His dedication and commitment to the high school football program is second to none,” stated Linda LeBlanc in her nomination to the SSWF.

“Dave Burns has positively impacted the lives of many young men in the Tantramar area that were on the edge or in trouble and, through football, encouraged them to become better citizens of the community.”

Burns is estimated to have coached close to 1,000 players, including many that went on to become all-stars or league MVPs.

Derick Fury, who played for the Titans for three-and-a-half years in the mid-1990s then went on to play for the Mounties, said coach Burns positively influenced his players on and off the field.

“He has been, and continues to be a great role model as a person and for developing football players,” Fury wrote in his letter of support for Burns’ nomination.

William Reyno, also a former Titan who went on to the Mounties, echoed Fury’s sentiments.

“A passionate motivator, Coach Burns preaches hard work, mental and physical toughness, teamwork, accountability, integrity, and dedication,” stated Reyno.

Over the years, Burns has also taken on other various coaching roles including with

Football New Brunswick, the Mount Allison summer skills camp, and the Sackville Minor Football spring skills camp. He was won a number of awards for his volunteerism and dedication to the sport.

 

Barbara Campbell

 Spearheading the efforts to get a competitive swim team off the ground in Sackville in the mid-1970s, Barbara Campbell will be honoured as one of the newest members of the Sports Wall of Fame for her outstanding contributions to the sport.

With over 40 letters from past swimmers and their families supporting her nomination, Campbell is obviously well-respected and admired as a mentor and a builder in the community.

“Barbara was an amazing coach, mentor and friend to a generation of Sackville youth and their families,” stated Kirk Ferguson in his nomination.

A successful swimmer herself, Barbara went on to coach and train many successful swimmers who have done well in Atlantic Canada and nationally.

It all began in the summer of 1975 when Campbell, who was coaching women’s varsity swimming at Mount Allison at the time, responded to a request from the town’s recreation director to organize and coach a small group of local swimmers. Thus, the Sackville Swim Club was born.

Within a couple years, Campbell had built the swim team into the largest team in New Brunswick, with kids ranging from 7 to 17. Within the first five years, the Sackville Swim Club won novice and Tier Two provincial championships three times; and over the years has also brought home a slew of regional, provincial, Atlantic and national awards.

“The countless hours that Barbara spent pacing the pool deck and providing constant feedback and unwavering mentoring and support to each and every swim team member were clearly responsible for the swimming success of many Sackville youths,” said Lois Fearon, a former SSC member, in her letter of support.

Campbell was also the founder and director for the Olympic Way Swim Program, which ran from 1976 to 1988 and taught older swimmers to become swimming coaches for the SSC program.

As the swim team continued to grow, Campbell helped spearhead fundraising activities for the club, including the annual swim-a-thon, which still continues today.

“The team spirit she fostered was fantastic and the number of parents that were heavily involved in the Sackville Swim Club is also testament to the positive environment Barbara created as head coach,” stated Ferguson.

The fact that the Sackville Swim Club still continues to this day, 38 years after it was founded, is a testament to the “very strong foundation (Campbell) built in those first 10 years,” said Ferguson.

 

1982 TRHS football Titans

It was a team that, in 1982, had just won their third straight provincial high school championship after going undefeated all season – and for that, they will be recognized as the latest team to be inducted on the Sackville Sports Wall of Fame.

Coached by Chris Porter, Pat Lafford, Mark Bohan, Peter Estabrooks and Dave Jardine, the 1982 TRHS football Titans achieved a feat that had not been seen before or seen since from the little school on the marsh – winning a New Brunswick High School Football League championship for the third year in a row.

The championship game saw the Titans dominate the Harrison Trimble Trojans on the field and on the scoreboard, winning with a 58-6 victory.

The Titans also dominated during the regular season leading up to that game, beating the other teams that year by an average 32-point per game spread.

Led by the likes Peter Hess, Ian MacDonald, Peter Ayer, Rick Turpin, Tim Phinney, Wayne Strandberg and many more, the Titan squad had established a winning tradition –not only three consecutive championships but two perfect seasons with only two defeats in that span.

 

The Sackville Sports Wall of Fame induction ceremony, which will be open to the public, will be held Wednesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Civic Centre. The ceremony will include displays on each of the inductees, a presentation of a commemorative plaque, and the unveiling of carefully-framed portraits, drawn by local artist Sharon Hicks. All are encouraged to attend this special event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organizations: Sackville Swim Club, New Brunswick High School Football League, Oromocto High School Blues

Geographic location: SACKVILLE, Tantramar, New Brunswick Atlantic Canada

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