The WOAA Mike Weichel Award has been presented to Doug Neil of Wingham
Ty Sebastian from Brussels who played for the Canadian Junior Champion Wiarton Red Devils Fastball club was the WOAA Bursary Award winner.
W. O. A. A. – O.M. “Mike” Weichel Award
This award is presented to those who are recognized and rewarded for their outstanding efforts in minor sports. Awarded to a leader who guides and shapes today’s youth, paves the way for those who will be tomorrow’s citizens.
The nominee grew up on a farm near Tara, playing sports in the area, particularly ball and hockey within the WOAA. As a youth he was a key member of teams from the Tara/Allenford area. He went on to further his education at the University of Waterloo and continued to play fastball with the Allenford senior team. Upon graduating from the University of Waterloo he came to Wingham to began his career as a high school teacher.
In Wingham he married and began raising a family, continuing to play fastball for Allenford and eventually Wingham. He was noted as one of the top right handed pitchers in Ontario and played senior ball for many years with the Kitchener-Waterloo Chymers.
His love and passion for sports and teaching led him to become involved in coaching. He coached ball and hockey at all age levels, from beginners at the tyke level through to senior. His competitiveness and willingness to learn and excel was evident in the many baseball and hockey clinics he attended and eventually led to instructing and leading clinics in ball and hockey.
He became involved in the Ontario Canada Games program and in 1993 was the pitching coach for Team Ontario, in 1997 he was the assistant coach at Brandon Manitoba and in 2001 was the head coach at London, Ontario. In 2005 he applied for and was accepted for the position of pitching coach for the 2005 ISF World Junior Men’s Softball Championship in Sommerside, PEI.
He is known and respected for his teaching and instruction techniques with pitchers, both young and older. He has conducted pitching clinics all over southwestern Ontario, in the United States and has also conducted a clinic in Australia. Even today he spends many hours with young pitchers who have contacted him for personal instruction on the art of pitching. For several years he has conducted a pitching clinic for the WOAA with proceeds from the first three years going to the W.O.A.A. Capital Campaign and now to the minor softball program.
He also has a passion for hockey. He is a former instructor of coaching clinics with the OMHA. He has coached minor hockey at every level. He was assistant coach for many years with the Wingham Junior C Ironmen and for the past few years has been working with them on a consulting basis. He was instrumental in running a hockey school for the junior team and later assisted with the Wingham Minor Hockey School.
Everyone will agree that Doug Neil is a very deserving nominee for the O. M. “Mike” Weichel award. His passion and dedication to working with youth in sports deserves to be recognized.