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Two more inductees to Luseland's Sports Hall of Honor

Darrell Kraft and Jerry Fischer receive accolades to accompany their recent induction into Luseland's Sports Hall of Honour.

LUSELAND — The Luseland Sports Hall of Honour inducted two new members, Jerry Fischer, and Darrell Kraft.

Jerry Fischer was inducted for being a team builder with the Luseland Senior Mallards. Fischer started as a player for the team from 1976-88 when he then moved to the coaching bench for 2000-04, and again from 2006-12. He served as an executive member for the hockey club for 20 years beginning in the new millennium.

The SWHL named Fischer SWHL Coach of the year for 2003 and 2008. The prestigious SWHL Harvey Somerville Memorial Award was awarded to Fischer in 2010. The team manager role was how Fischer served from 2012 up to the team’s finish.

Darrell Kraft has been inducted also a team builder for the Mallards. Kraft played with the senior men’s hockey team from 2000-11 and was named to SWHL all-star team in 2002, 2004, 2005 and again in 2011. Kraft served as coach and executive member from 2012-20. He was named SWHL Coach of the Year for 2012, 2013, and again in 2015. The Harvey Somerville Memorial award was also presented to Kraft in 2017.

The 20-year contributions of these two men were enormous and impactful, credited for helping build and sustain Luseland’s senior men’s team.

Mayor Kathy Wurz says, “I would just like to say that on behalf of the town we would like to thank both Jerry Fischer and Darrell Kraft for the many years they dedicated their time to the Luseland senior Mallards hockey team. They were both pivotal in building the team and were recognized by the league many times, as coaches of the year and both received the SWHL Harvey Somerville Memorial Award.

“People like Jerry and Darrell are getting harder to find in small, rural communities. Countless hours spent, coaching, recruiting players, fundraising and making our old barn come alive all winter long are things we will forever be grateful for and sad to see come to an end. We hope to see the senior Mallard jerseys once again and respect the legacy that Jerry and Darrell have left behind.”

Sam Somerville, previous board of directors member is one of the founding Sask. West Hockey League members had high praises for both Fischer and Kraft

The town of Luseland has produced more than two dozen elite hockey contributors who are displayed on the community’s sports hall of fame, housed in the arena. In a town of a population of 600, this is a notable achievement.

The drive to recognize local hockey talent began in 2017 and the creation of the wall of fame was unveiled at Canada 150 celebrations held in July of that year. The hall of honour includes players and builders.

Hockey careers that encompass the SJHL, WHL, University, College and semi-pro leagues in the United States are part of the showcase, all having humble beginnings in the Luseland rink.

A previous story on outlines current inductees. Luseland's hockey hall of honor continues to grow -

Each inductee has a photo displayed along with teams they were part of. Residents take pride in their humble hometown connections every time they stroll through this hallowed hall at the arena.

“Jerry was also a founding member of the league. He ensured the Mallards continued to be in the league from day one. If you say Sask. West hockey, you immediately think of Jerry Fischer. He made sure hockey continued and he was one of the most dedicated people to it.”

Somerville adds, “Jerry knew when to put his league hat on and when to put his team hat on for each commitment. He is a real nice guy, a tough competitor but fair.”

In regard to Kraft’s induction, Sommerville includes, “He was a genuine leader, both as a player and as a coach. He did an excellent job of mentoring younger guys on the team and his leadership was a priority. I’d have to say without Darrell, there would have been no Mallards. I also refer to him a tough but fair competitor.”

Current SWHL President, Joe Cey, adds his thoughts saying, “As long as I can remember Jerry and Darrell have been involved with the Luseland senior hockey club. As players, coaches, managers, league governors, the SWHL has benefitted from the dedication and hard work of both
of these men. Jerry and Darrell both worked tirelessly for years to ice a competitive senior team in Luseland, and both did it with little fanfare and attention.”

Cey notes that to keep a senior team both financially viable and competitive in a small town is extremely challenging and these two men were up to that challenge.

“It was on the shoulders of men like Jerry and Darrell that the SWHL was built, and we are grateful for their 20 plus years of work that helped lay the groundwork for a healthy SWHL we have today.”