It is our pleasure to present Ray Bergeron with the Mentor of the Year award. Ray has been a mentor as a coach in our community for generations of athletes. Depending on the season, you may find Ray helping and mentoring at any number of facilities in town but especially at Innisfail Aquatic Centre and the Innisfail Ball Diamonds.
You can point to Ray’s efforts as a force behind a number of teams that have made Innisfail proud. Ray’s history as a coach can be traced back to the Innisfail Mets Baseball team in the early 90s alongside Murray Steeves.
He was a significant player in starting the Innisfail Indians Senior Mens Team in 1996. Over the years, he had many roles within the team and the league that the team played in. He managed, coached and was part of the league’s board. The Indians won 5 league championships between 1996 and 2011.
Ray began coaching softball when his family came of age in the 2010s and has helped as a coach in Innisfail Minor Ball for years.
Most recently, Ray was the head coach of the 2022 Innisfail U15 Hawks Softball team that made Innisfail incredibly proud at Nationals. He coached 36 games over 3 months with many practices in-between to help the Hawks hone their skills on the way to competing for a National Championship. He poured hours into strategizing, creating practice plans, creating line-ups, and helping athletes be their best.
Ray has also given a lot to the Innisfail Hurricanes Water Polo Club. He has served as president for many years and helps that organization thrive.
Ray believes in building confidence while giving critical feedback when necessary. He is described as a supportive, respectful, observant coach who helps his athletes set and work towards their goals. These efforts and this approach helped the Innisfail Hawks to a bronze medal at Nationals and has helped many other Innisfail athletes over the years.
For dedication to Innisfail’s athletes, to helping them strive to be their best, we recognize Ray Bergeron with the Mentor of the Year award!