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'70s Bears football star inducted into North Bay HOF

Mario Spina has been elected to the North Bay Sports Hall of Fame for his contribution to the sports of football and basketball
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Mario Spina has been elected to the North Bay Sports Hall of Fame for his contribution to the sports of football and basketball.

Spina’s football career began at Scollard Hall where he was a member of three NDA championship teams in 1972, 1974 and 1975. Spina was known as an explosive running back who also returned punts and served as the team’s placekicker. In 1974 Spina scored 11 touchdowns and added 19 converts and 1 field goal during NDA competition. In the NOSSA semifinal and final he scored a total of four touchdowns and six converts.

In the 1975 NDA Championship game, Spina scored two touchdowns and kicked one convert. His football career had many highlights, none bigger than the numbers he compiled in Scollard’s 44-0 victory over Chippewa. In that game Spina rushed for 259 yards on seven carries, including a 105-yard touchdown run. He scored three touchdowns and kicked two converts all in the first half of the game.

Spina also excelled at basketball and was named Scollard’s Basketball MVP in 1974-75 and was named the NDA Basketball MVP that same year. Spina was named an all-city guard in 1975.

In total, Spina was Scollard Athlete of the Year in 1974-75 and 1975-76, Football MVP in 1974-75 and MVP and Best Backfielder in 1975-76.

Spina went on to play for the North Bay Ti-Cats from 1976-78 and was named the League’s Rookie of the Year in 1976 and was named to the NFC’S All-star team as a running back and punt returner in the same year.

Spina attended Concordia University in Quebec and was named male Freshman Athlete of the Year in 1977.

In that year, Spina scored four touchdowns, rushed for 263 yards on 48 carriers (5.5 yds/carry), 21 punt returns for 223 yards (10.6 average),13 kick-off returns for 248 yds (19.1 average) and punted 64 times for 2201 yards (34.4 average). Amongst his many accomplishments he also holds the school record for the longest punt return (95 yards) and most yards punt returning in a single season (223).

Spina won the Mike Mitchell Memorial award for his contribution to football in 1974.

For his achievements in the sport of football, Mario Spina will be inducted into the North Bay Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 14th at the Davedi Club.

Tickets are still available by contacting one of the following Executive Members: Dave Saad 705-472-7041, Larry Tougas 705-303-8104 or any Hall of Fame Board Member. Tickets are also available at the Davedi Club by calling 705-474-4190.

Those interested in searching for past inductees are invited to explore the North Bay Sports

Hall of Fame website at http://www.northbaysportshalloffame.ca

 

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