The Capreol Hawks
Capreol’s various sports teams have worn a lot of different names over the community’s 100+ year history. Men and women, boys and girls, all have donned their uniforms and represented their hometown with pride. But, just as not every team can be a winner, not every name made a lasting impact. Some club monikers came and went in a single season (who remembers the Capreol Caps?), while other labels—like the Capreol Mazzuca’s or the Capreol High School Ravens—lasted decades. Among any list of the most iconic team names in Capreol’s history space must be made for the Hawks.
Many consider the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks sweater to be the handsomest in professional hockey. You’d be hard-pressed to find argument in Capreol. And that was before Doug Mohns, one of our town’s favourite sons, signed with the team for the 1965-66 season. Capreol adopted the Blackhawks colours and logo as our own not long after and, having done so, wore the red, black, and white jersey with distinction ever since.
From the youngest kids, still too young to tie their own skates, through to several championship calibre teenage teams, the Capreol Hawks have stepped on the ice dressed for success…only to exceed expectations. Two clubs in particular, the Capreol Midget Hawks and the Capreol Jr. Hawks stand out for their incredible achievements on behalf of our town. But who better to tell that story than the man himself, Marshall Edwards—a central figure in much of our town’s sports success?
(For those not fortunate enough to know the man, you truly missed out on someone special. He continued contributing to Capreol well into his 80s, volunteering at the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum & Heritage Centre as a tour guide—offering lively, first-hand accounts of the railroad—until his death in 2018. He wrote the following for Capreol Online and we reprint it with thanks to the late Gary Biesinger and his sports expert Alex Nepitt.)
Story by: Marshall R Edwards General Manager and Owner of the Capreol Hawks Midget “B”, Junior “B” and Junior “A” teams.
In 1966, I approached the Capreol Minor Hockey Association who were having difficulty in getting the team together and getting a coach. I said I would coach them and with the help of Al Carisse, we ran the team for two years. Then in 1967, I approached Bob Mazzuca to see if he would sponsor us and he said he would. The team then became the Capreol Mazzuca Hawks. Along with my brother Bob Edwards, we registered the team in the NOHA as the Capreol Hawks. It was at this time I required a new coach and trainers. I saw Philip DelPapa and asked him if he would take over as head coach and he said he would. Another thing I needed was a person who was a fund raiser, so I asked Andy Dufresne and he said he would help us. The job of trainers went to Garnet Freeland and Bruce Miles.
In 1966, we won the Ontario Midget “B” Championship then again in 1969. The following year in 1970, we won the League Championship.
In 1970, I started the Capreol Junior “B” Hawks with my brother Bob and handed the job over to Bruce Miles who became manager. He got Norm Giroux and Jim Cappadocia to coach them. They won another Ontario Championship in1971.
I don’t remember the exact date, but around this time the Capreol Minor Hockey Association President Ed Lusk, approached me and asked if Capreol Minor Hockey could use our name. I said that it would be nice to see all the teams called the Capreol Hawks.
Bruce Miles, who now was sponsoring and running the Midget Hawks, went on to win another Ontario Championship in 1976 as the Capreol Hawks. It took over 20 years for Capreol to win another Midget Hockey Championship. It should be noted that no other Midget Team in the entire province has won that many championships; for a town as small as Capreol.
My brother moved to Montreal. I then sought the services of Andy Haritakis along with Dave Kilgour, Terry Lawson, Keir Kitchen and not be forgotten, Al LeRoy, to help in running the Junior “A” Hawks. The last couple of years, Denise McKinnon and Lynn Menard assisted in operating the Hawks. The reason I had to give up running the Hawks, was due to health problems in 1986.
Another Capreol Team, the Capreol Red Wings, also won the all Ontario Intermediate “C” Hockey Championship with Bob Edwards as Manager along with Stu Thomas as Coach and Player.
Midget Hawks 77-78 season:
Regular Season – 20 wins,7 losses, 3 ties – for first place.
In the play-offs defeated Valley East two straight.
In the finals defeated Garson in five games.
Won Silver Stick Tournament – Sudbury
Won Silver Stick Tournament – Sarnia
Won Golden Puck Tournament – North Bay
First place in the league.
Dean Gelinas won scoring title
NOHA Midget B title in Haleybury first agme 5-2, secondgane 8-4.