Amherstburg natives inducted into Windsor-Essex Sports Hall of Fame



By Ron Giofu


It was a big night for a number of people in the region’s athletic community, including two people with Amherstburg ties.

The Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame officially welcomed seven individuals, one team and one club at their induction ceremony Friday night at the Ciociaro Club. Among the inductees were Dom Silvaggio in the basketball builder category and Cheryll Damphouse in the golf athlete category.

Silvaggio was honoured for his ongoing coaching legacy at General Amherst High School that includes over 600 victories, 26 championships at the local WECSSAA/ECSSAA level, 13 SWOSSAA (southwestern Ontario) championships and ten straight OFSAA medals with the school’s senior basketball team. Of the ten straight OFSAA medals with the Lady Gens, five of them were gold including four straight provincial titles between 2004-07.

Silvaggio also founded the Amherstburg Basketball Club and headed that for 22 years, teaching both boys and girls the fundamentals of the sport.

In his induction video, Silvaggio credited everyone he has ever coached with, noting Dave Scott, Ross Scott and Mike Nedin got him into coaching. He noted he has coached a long time with Greg Scott and Don Parks with his local coaching peers also including Nicole Rusenstrom, Karl Wightman, Frank Palumbo, Vic DiNardo, Jim Belcher, Dale Prisley, John VandeBovenkamp, Tim Dodds, Amy Bondy and Brad Bondy.

The Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame induction class of 2018.

“Coaching with my son was a big deal to me,” said Silvaggio, as his son Stephen shared the General Amherst sidelines with him and is now the head coach of the Kennedy Clippers senior girls team.

Silvaggio, joined by wife Susan as well as his son Stephen and daughter Kim as well as a group of fellow coaches, family members and former players for the ceremony, said in his induction video that “rewards are not easy” and urged that people “don’t take things for granted.” He also credited his parents for instilling in him his work ethic.

“My family has been amazing,” said Silvaggio. “Without their support, I couldn’t have done this.”

Silvaggio told the RTT after the ceremony that “it’s just awesome. To be here with family, friends and former players means a lot.”

Silvaggio added that he received congratulations from parents from other schools as well as other coaches from around the region.

Cheryll Damphouse was one of the 2018 Windsor-Essex Sports Hall of Fame inductees.

“It’s a special night,” he said.

Silvaggio emphasized that he shares the award with his fellow coaches, including from the elementary and club system.

“They all share a part of it,” he said. “It’s a whole team effort.”

For Damphouse, who was honoured for a golfing career that started as a result of illness when she was in Grade 4. Her talents blossomed as a member of the Kingsville Golf and Country Club as she was club champion nine times and the Essex-Kent District Ladies Champion five times.

Damphouse also won the Ontario Match Play Championship twice and qualified for LPGA tournaments including the DuMaurier Classic, the Lady Stroh’s Tournament and competed in France at the Ladies International Stroke Play Championship. Her biography also notes that she played in the Ladies British Open and was the 1989 Canadian Ladies Amateur Champion.

Domenic Silvaggio (pictured with son Stephen, wife Susan and daughter Kim) was among the honourees at the induction ceremony.

Damphouse was also named twice to the Ontario Senior Ladies’ Provincial team and was a five-time member of the Ontario Ladies Amateur team.

“When I got the call (about being inducted), I was very surprised and very humbled,” she said. “to be inducted with all these wonderful athletes and builders.”

Damphouse added that “it’s quite an honour to be compared to these people I’ve looked up to over the years.”

Noting she didn’t see the honour coming, Damphouse added that anyone who plays sports or who puts their children in sports learns “there is no better environment to grow up in.” The values one learns by learning to compete and to win and lose is important and learned through sports, she said.

Also inducted were Richard Shaw (basketball athlete), J. Paul Reddam (thoroughbred racing builder), Paul Carter (basketball builder), Andy Delmore (hockey athlete) and Don Marrin (wrestling builder). The Tecumseh Baseball Club was also inducted as was the University of Windsor Lancers women’s basketball team from 2011-15. The latter includes Amherstburg’s Korissa Williams, who was unable to attend as she was working Friday night as a member of the Peel Regional Police.


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