“For many years you had fire in your heart and determination to get all jobs done.
For many years you had given so much time, hard work and dedication to so many individuals to not only provide the opportunity to become ball players, but was a mentor, leader and parent to all.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being there for us. You’re [sic] outstanding work impacted us so much we are both physical education teachers today. You’re [sic] inspiration is everlasting.”
Those were the kind words hand-written on a card by Dayna and Denise Dewling that the identical twins presented to Pike when he was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association Hall of Fame Saturday night in Corner Brook.
“It was an emotional time for sure,” Pike said Monday from his home in Little Rapids east of Corner Brook.
A native of Grand Falls-Windsor, Pike spent 26 years as the physical education teacher at G. A. Mercer in Corner Brook where he helped groom dozens of male and female volleyball players.
Pike, who retired in 1999 after coaching a year at G. C. Rowe, was a multi-sport athlete in his day, suiting up for Memorial University’s varsity men’s volleyball, cross-country running and wrestling when he was pursuing his degree.
Finton Gaudette, who is known for his continuous support of the sport in the province, said Pike was an inspiration to many coaches who followed in his footsteps and he believes athletes under his wing were fortunate to have a kind and supportive coach to show them the way.
“He was just a great mentor to the kids,” Gaudette said.
Pike was a man of few words, but he was able to motivate his athletes to achieve success. He always looked out for the best interest of his players, but Gaudette was quick to point out that Pike was always willing to offer advice to opposing players or coaches if they were struggling with their game.
Gaudette also knows Pike isn’t one to seek the limelight. It took over six years for Gaudette to finally get Pike to provide him with some information on his coaching career so that he could nominate Pike for the Hall of Fame honour.
“I just did it because I enjoyed working with the kids,” Pike said.
Pike got to reminisce about the past with former players and some of the teachers and coaches from across the island who shared his journey.
He said it was a great feeling to have people tell him that he had a big impact on their life for one reason or another.
He has no regrets for the long hours he spent in the gym helping groom men and women into better athletes and better individuals.
He doesn’t get inside of the musty gyms these days. He spends a fair amount of his time putting his carpentry skills to good use.
His place in the Hall is something that gives him a sense of contentment.
Perhaps, similar to the feeling he had when he saw success unfold in front of him on the volleyball court so many times.