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Softball player and executive wins Thomson Family Award

Lisa Hotte has been a competitive softball player for at least 36 years.

Lisa Hotte has been named the 2023 recipient of the Thomson Family Award for contribution to fastball. 

Lisa Hotte has been a competitive softball player for at least 36 years in the North Bay area. 

She played in the women’s fastball league for many years, then became the league president to prevent the league from folding. 

Hotte started playing fastball in the NBMGSA (North Bay Minor Girls Softball Association) at the age of 12 with the Bonfield Countryside Animal Inn team. They were a very competitive team, and she believes they won the championship for four consecutive years. She also played for the Selects team, and when she was 16 the NBMGSA asked her and several others to move up to play in the Ladies’ GMFA (Gateway Minor Fastball Association).

Playing against star athletes like Denise Vendetti, Nancy Sauvé, Karen Faubert was quite the eye-opener as Hotte’s teams “got their butts kicked” for many years. When she was 18, she joined the executive of the LGMFA and remained on the executive until the league joined the NBMGSA. 

Lisa was not only a player, but she also coached one team and was the convener of the open division. Lisa organized this division to balance young (18+) and older (50+) players to play together and make it work so all could participate and play competitive softball.
Lisa has gone on to almost singlehandedly operate the North Bay Minor Girls Softball Association.

She started as a coach/convener and moved to vice president, with tasks such as scheduling games for the entire league, organizing league tournaments, while at the same time playing and coaching her own team!

Lisa also took over sponsorship and treasurer when those league executive positions became vacant.

Currently Lisa is the Association President. 

“Lisa plays ball, runs teams and associations, not just for herself nor is she looking for praise from anyone, she would rather not be mentioned (if you asked her)," said Richard Michauville, a long-time area softball coach.  

"She does all of this for everyone else, girls young and old, she loves softball, and loves watching people play it. I truly believe our league would struggle to survive if it weren't for Lisa's hard work and love for the game. In our house league, Lisa is a great mentor for many of our players, the girls look up to Lisa and watch her every move it seems. I had the opportunity to coach Lisa in a ladies' softball tournament in Brampton (2019).  It was a broad experience for me as a coach to work with her (we lost in a final that no one believed we would be in)! She is a natural leader on and off the field for her teammates.”
Lisa is a Bonfield native who began teaching in 2000 at École Élémentaire Catholique Lorrain. She started teaching at Algonquin in 2005 and has been there ever since. She is currently head of the Physical Education and Sports department at ESCA and serves on the NDA executive. She has convened and/or assisted with many NOSSA Championships and two OFSAA events (serving as the convenor for one).

Currently, she coaches junior girls’ basketball, grade 8 boys’ basketball, and track and field. She has also coached girls’ volleyball and continues to help when required.

When asked about special mentions, she immediately responded that her mom and dad were her greatest inspirations.

“Both are athletes, both played fastball, both were pitchers," she said.  

"My mom coached me from the ripe age of 12 and continued to coach until her retirement in 2012. Interestingly, she was also a player/coach with an incredible batting average.  My uncle Ken Besner was also an inspiration. He remains, in my opinion, the very best pitcher North Bay has ever seen.”

Her hobbies include playing fastball, golfing, fishing, camping, hiking, cooking, playing guitar, coaching her kids’ basketball and soccer teams.  And, last but probably first, when asked about “any thank you’s”  her immediate response is, “my kids Mérik and Malie for sharing me”.
Lisa will receive her award from the North Bay Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 11 at the Davedi Club.