Category Archives: Wrestling

LARRY SMITH

Larry Smith’s qualifications for the Sports Hall of Fame can come under any of the
following headings: Boxing, wrestling, softball, baseball, football, track and field, bowling and coaching.

A very astute business man, he has often been known as “Square Deal Larry”. His
idea of a square deal is to trade you a pork chop for a pig and the pork chop would probably be a shoulder cut.

Larry did not come into athletic prominence until around the age of 16 due to the
fact that he was an only son and was more than urged to lead a sheltered life. He played a pretty good football game with

Collingwood Collegiate under the coaching of the late Lou Stapleton, earned a letter in Track & Field and made quite an impression in the Coronation Meet at Owen Sound by winning the 100 and 220 yard sprint in a pair of great duels with Eddie Sergeant, the well-known former M.P.P. for Grey. He finished his secondary school education at Glebe Collegiate in Ottawa At Glebe, he took up boxing and wrestling and went to the finals in both these sports in the Ottawa Valley championships.
Incidentally, he lost out in the boxing final to the late Johnny Quilty of St. Patricks College. Quilty later became a hockey star with the Montreal Canadiens.

At the Aggie College in Guelph, he played football and made the college track and
field team in the sprints and relay races. Along came WWII and Larry enlisted with the 541 st Parachute Regiment. He won the light heavyweight boxing title at Fort Bragg and found in several important military boxing tournaments at Camp MacKall, Fort Jackson, Camp Gordon and Fort Benning.

He was selected to represent Airborne Command in the All American Army Golden
Gloves at Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1943. He won three bouts and lost in the final. During his active duty in Europe, he made sixty parachute jumps and took part in the bloody battle of Arnheim. While in the army of occupation in Germany and Austria, Larry took part in several wrestling bouts with Captain Vern Smith, former American Amateur Union and American Intercollegiate champion. He won points in the General Patton Third Army Track and Field Meet and ran the anchor leg on
the 506th Regiment Relay team in Munich.

After the war, Smith returned to Collingwood, where he pitched softball for the
Collingwood Legion softball team. The Legion team won the Blue Mountain League title in 1949, the Legion District title and went to the Ontario final. In 1950, he played centre filed for the Collingwood Intermediate baseball team and won the Georgian Bay League batting championship. This team also went to the provincial final.

He took up 5-pin bowling after he settled down to business as  the owner and
operator of the Collingwood Bowling Lanes and had a 250 average for 6 straight years. His best effort was a 256 average and a 975 triple in Senior play. He also won the Legion District Singles title at Newmarket.

Larry coached the Collingwood Collegiate Senior Football team in 1947, acted as
wrestling and boxing instructor for the Collingwood Sea Cadet Corps and supervised a bowling school for Grade School children.

Collingwood fans got a chance to Larry in action when he challenged the Masked Marvel, who was then giving wrestling exhibitions with the Kings Brothers Circus. With the assistance of a thick coating of olive oil and the referee (long-time friend Don Jeffrey) Smith beat the Masked Marvel, much to the delight of the hometown fans.

RALPH SNEYD

Ralph was born in Vancouver BC in January of 1945 and spent his early years of school competition moving from Montreal, Daytona Beach Fla., Port Hope and Toronto.

He participated on several championship teams in high school and represented
his school at the Ontario Athletic Leadership Camp where he was introduced to
the sport of amateur wrestling. He competed in wrestling’s early years as a
high school and university sport. In 1969 he started his teaching career in
North York’s, Northview Heights SS where he began his coaching career and
convened and won several Team Championships with three Canadian Champions and
six OFSAA medalists.

Ralph moved to Collingwood in 1976 and began the Collingwood Wrestling Club that saw just fewer than 3,000 members in its 30 year operation. His high school wrestlers collected 26 OFSSA medals and 51 GBSSA Championships. The club continued to compete in Canadian Amateur events and won 18 Ontario Team Championships and 7 Canadian team titles. 147 wrestlers won Ontario Amateur Wrestling Medals and sixty two of them winning Canadian medals. Three of his wrestlers went on to win silver and bronze medals in World Championships. Fourteen former wrestlers of the program are now coaching wrestling in other programs across Canada. Ralph was the Team Leader for several Ontario teams who all won Gold at the National Championships. He coached Canadian teams at World Championships in France,
Hungary and Washington DC.

He hosted 148 wrestling tournaments including 9 OFSAA Championships, 16 Ontario
Championships, 7 Canadian Championships including 4 in Collingwood and the
World Youth Wrestling Championships held in Collingwood in 1987. He retired
from teaching in 2000 but still is involved with the sport of Wrestling in Ontario and committees such as the Multiuse Committee in Collingwood.

– President of Central Ontario Wrestling 1979-1992 and member of OAWA Board of Directors

-Member of OFSSA Sports Advisory Committee for Wrestling 1983-1998

-Founded Wrestling Drawmasters Association ofCanada in 1988

– Wrote all 3 OFSSA Rulebooks on Wrestling

– Was a co-founder of Ontario Youth Wrestling and Canadian Youth Wrestling and
chaired the committee for 12 years.

– Established Simcoe County Elementary School Wrestling program for boys and girls

-Assisted in the development of Women’s Wrestling as an OFSSA and Amateur Olympic Sport

– Chaired committees in Ontario, National or World sporting events held in Collingwood 1989-2003

– Founder and Chair of the Federation of Collingwood Sports Inc (transportation support to sports teams)

– Creator of the Black and Gold Society to honour outstanding alumni at CCI and first Chairperson

Understandably, Ralph has been recognized with numerous awards for his dedication. Some of these include:

– Ontario Special Achievement Award 1988

– FILA Gold Star 1987 (the sport of wrestling’s highest international award)

– Ontario Coach of the Year Awards 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1994

– Inductee Canadian Wrestling Sport Hall of Fame 1998

– OFSSA Leadership in School Sport Award 1992

– Simcoe County Excellence in Education Award 2003

– Order of Collingwood 1987 and Companion to the Order of Collingwood 2004

 

STEVE SAMMONS

In 1981, Steve captured his first Cadet provincial championship in the 84 lb. weight class.  He would go on to win eight consecutive provincial titles and six Canadian Cadet championships in whatever weight class he grew into, which topped off at the 112 lb. mark.

In 1982, he returned from the World Championships in Los Angeles with a silver medal, and then a fourth at the same competition in 1984.  Sammons is also the only wrestler in Georgian Bay Secondary School Association history to win the regional high school title in all five years he competed.  He went on to win two OFSAA championships in Grades 12 & 13.

His career was far from over after high school, however, as he went on to win on CIAU gold medal and two OUAA titles for York University in the late 1980’s.

He was a member of Canada’s national team and placed third in the 52 kg. Weight class at the 1988 Olympic trial for the Games in Seoul, Korea, but a recurring shoulder injury would later put a premature end to his career.

Steve Sammons was inducted into the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame, in June 1994.