Kenny Walcott named to Cape Breton Sport Hall of Fame.
Ken Walcott to be inducted into Cape Breton Sport Hall of Fame on June 3
This story is the first in a series chronicling this year’s inductees into the Cape Breton Sport Hall of Fame.
A standout career on the diamond and the gridiron has earned Ken Walcott a spot in the Cape Breton Sport Hall of Fame.
He’s one of three athletes along with a team and a builder being inducted on June 3 at the annual Cape Breton Sport Heritage Awards at Centre 200.
“When I first got the call, the first thing I thought of was my Little League days going back to the people who invested so much time in us as kids, guys like Kenny Tracey, Vincent Nickelo in particular,” said Walcott, 48, who now lives in Toronto. “It brings back a lot of memories growing up there and especially the people who put so much time into our development.”
Walcott played Little League in Glace Bay. In 1989, he played for Team Nova Scotia at the Canada Games. With the Sydney Sooners of the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League, the outfielder was an all-star in 1990 and 1991, and earned league MVP honours in his second season. In 2003, he was named to Baseball Nova Scotia’s all-century team.
With the Sooners, Walcott would play alongside his brothers, Richie and Sheldon, and cousin, Chester Borden.
“We always played baseball,” said Ken, who praised Sooners manager Jim (Rico) McEachern for the time he put in. “My family, the seven of us, we grew up in Glace Bay and that’s where we started playing baseball. It’s all we did, baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter on the ponds.”
In football, Walcott was first introduced to the sport at Sydney Academy. After a year at Dalhousie University, he transferred to Saint Mary’s where he’d play under legendary coach Larry Uteck with the Huskies. It’s there where his career as a defensive back would take off.
Walcott was a starter in his freshman year in 1988, on a team that won the Atlantic Bowl and competed in the Vanier Cup national championship. He won the student athlete community service award in the Atlantic Universities Athletics Association (AUAA) in 1990, and was also the Atlantic conference nominee for the national Russ Jackson Award. The next year, he was an AUAA all-star and a first team all-Canadian.
“From the first day in camp, (Uteck) took me under his wing,” said Walcott. “He told me that I was going to play at a higher level than this and he kept his promise to develop me to get me there.”
His play in university wouldn’t go unnoticed. Walcott was selected by the Ottawa Rough Riders in the second round, No. 11 overall, in the 1992 Canadian Football League draft.
He’d play four seasons in the CFL, with Ottawa and the Toronto Argonauts.
“Having people to mentor you and to lean on was great,” he said of his first season in Ottawa. “My roommate was a former NFL player and I learned a ton from him.”
Although a foot injury cut Walcott’s football career short, he would join the RCMP where he’s been working for the past two decades. He’s currently a sergeant working the Hamilton/Niagara area. In 2012, he was among a handful of other RCMP officers to escort the Grey Cup during the league’s 100th championship game in Toronto.
Walcott was also busy coaching both football and baseball. While stationed in British Columbia early in his career, he coached the Kamloops Broncos of the Canadian Junior Football League, and served as a player coach with the Kamloops Black Sox baseball team from 2000-05, where he earned all-star honours in 2002.
Walcott will attend the induction ceremony with his fiancé, Jenn, and their kids, Meara and Cole. Tickets for the ceremony are $35 and available by calling Mackie MacIntyre at 902-8712543.
RCMP officer Ken Walcott, middle, helps escort the Grey Cup during the Canadian Football League commissioner’s brunch at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto on Nov. 25, 2012. To the right are then Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen Harper.