2013 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
TWO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS LEAD THE CLASS OF 2013
Two teams, two athletes and two builders will be enshrined into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax.
“Undefeated,” “underdogs,” “overcame the odds,” and “greatest comeback in Nova Scotia Sport history” are terms used when discussing the two teams that are being inducted.
The 1985 Kentville Wildcats were the first Nova Scotia baseball team to win a National Championship and the 1981 Acadia University Football team went undefeated to win the Canadian College Bowl (now Vanier Cup).
Basketball star and St. Francis Xavier University’s all-time leading scorer, John Hatch and Canadian Welterweight Boxing Champion, Lawrence Hafey round out the Athlete-Team category.
In the Builder category, Tak Kikuchi has ruled the world of gymnastics as a coach, judge, administrator and club developer for over 40 years and Stephen Fairbairn has helped grow snowboarding in the province to the point where Nova Scotia snowboarders have been to four consecutive Olympics since 1998.
Bruce Rainnie, television news host at CBC Charlottetown, an accomplished CBC sport play-by-play man, colour commentator and event host will be master of ceremonies for the 14th time, in what promises to be an evening filled with joyful memories, good laughs, and heartfelt words.
Here is closer look at the Nova Scotia Sport Heroes who will be honoured for their accomplishments at the celebration at Halifax’s World Trade and Convention Centre this fall.
1985 Kentville Wildcats Baseball Team:
This team was the first Nova Scotia senior baseball team to win a National Championship when they hosted the tournament in their own community in August 1985. With 13 local players on the roster, the team rallied from a 6-0 deficit with 2 outs in the eighth inning against powerhouse Ontario to win the final, 7-6, in front of 4,500 hometown fans. It is possibly one of the greatest comeback stories in Nova Scotia Sport history.
The tournament MVP was shared by all the members of the team. Kevin Macleod, Sandy VanBlarcom and George MacLean were Tournament All-Stars, and Ian Mosher was the MVP of the championship game.
It should be noted that relief pitcher Bob Oakley had to pitch out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the ninth.
Players: Chet Boudreau, Kevin Forbes, Hugh Fraser, Dave Harris, George MacLean, Kevin MacLeod, Robbie Mann, Ian Mosher, Monty Mosher, Shawn Mounce, Bob Oakley, Dan Payne, Kevin Poirier, Jeff Rafuse, Sandy VanBlarcom, Barney VanBlarcom, Kirk VanBlarcom, Bill Young, Mark Zwicker
Head Coach: Peter Goucher (player-coach) Coaches: Eddie Gillis, John MacDonald, Jim McEachern, Bruce Ross Batboy: Chris Randall
1981 Acadia University Axemen Football Team:
Going into the Canadian College Bowl (now the Vanier Cup) this team was a 22-point underdog, despite posting a perfect season in Atlantic Canada. The week before the Axemen trounced the Queen’s Golden Gales 40-14 in the Atlantic Bowl. Overcoming the odds, they defeated the defending champion, University of Alberta, 18-12. More than half of this team was homegrown, which was uncommon in this era. They were one of six teams in Nova Scotia history to win the National Championship and one of only 13 teams in CIS history to complete an undefeated season.
That year, Steve Repic was League MVP and College Bowl MVP, Quentin Tynes was Rookie of the Year, Stuart MacLean was Defensive Player of the Year, and John Huard was AUS Coach of the Year. Stuart MacLean, Tom Johnson and Chris Rhora were CIS All-Canadians and John Huard was the CIS Top Coach.
Players: Colum Armstrong, Ron Arsenault, Rod Barton, Alex Callus, Dave Clark, Don Clow, Mike Cox, Stephen Comeau, David Conrad, Steve Crane, John Davies, Darrell Dempster, Mike DeWare, Jim Direnzo, Brian Fraser, Nadder Haddad, David Haley, Alan Hartley, Lee Hodgkins, Tom Johnson, David Joudry, Joseph Joyce, John Knowles, Ross Langley, Bill Little, Scott MacLean, Stuart MacLean, Stephen Margeson, Nick Matejuk, Ron Meech, Stephen Moran, Tony Munden, Larry Priestnall, Steve Repic, Chris Rhora, Donald Roach, Ernesto Salamone, Vincenzo Salamone, Keith Skiffington, Steve Smith, Bob Trainor, Bruce Tufts, Quentin Tynes, Hubert Walsh, George Watkinson, George Wenk, Jim Williams
Coaches: John Huard, David Hirsch, Bill Hurley, Phil Hurley, Wayne MacDonald, Bill McLeod, Dan McNally, Dan Palov, Tony Stewart Trainers: Jim MacLeod, Heather MacGowan Team Physician: David Simms Managers: Mike MacKay, Brian Auger
John Hatch is the all-time leading scorer in St. Francis Xavier University basketball history with 2,968 points in just four seasons between 1980 and 1984. He is a three-time consecutive AUAA Most Valuable Player, three-time consecutive CIS 1st Team All-Canadian, and the only X-Men to ever receive the All-Canadian honour on three occasions. Hatch is also second all-time in rebounding at STFX with 1,478. He represented Canada at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, where his team placed 4th and 6th respectively. John also won gold with Canada at the World University Games and played professionally in Switzerland for 7 years. He is now residing in Switzerland with his wife and family.
Lawrence Hafey was a warrior who fought 73 times as a professional boxer, posting 48-23-2 record. Lawrence won the Canadian Middleweight title in 1975 over Dave Downey. He fought some of the best pound-per-pound boxers of the time, highlighted by a match at Madison Square Garden against three-time World Champion, Wilfred Benitez, in a fight that went the distance. Unlike boxers of today, Lawrence never avoided a fighter, once boxing four bouts in 27 days, winning two and going the distance with two future “World Champions”. He was never stopped in his first 55 professional matches.
Lawrence now lives and works in Fort McMurray, Alberta, but soon will be moving back to his hometown of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
Tak Kikuchi has been a driving force in the sport of gymnastics in Nova Scotia and Canada for over 40 years. He has been a coach, judge, administrator and club developer. As a NCCP Level 4 coach, he has been to two Olympic Games (2004, 2008), five World Championship, two Pan-Am Games and two Commonwealth Games. He has coached Olympians Chris Burley, Richard Ikeda and David Kikuchi. As a judge he has been involved at the provincial, national and international level for over 35 years. He has helped develop three of the gymnastic clubs in Nova Scotia and he is the founding member of Halifax ALTA Gymnastics Club and has been the Club’s Head Coach from 1991 to the present. ALTA Gymnastics is home to current gymnastics phenomenon, Ellie Black.
In 2010, Tak received the Gymnastics Canada Life Membership award, Gymnastics Canada’s most prestigious award, given to a person who has provided long-term services in a significant manner to the sport of gymnastics.
Steve Fairbairn started his snowboard involvement in Nova Scotia in 1990, long before it was considered a real ‘sport’ by anyone. Despite a lack of major ski hills and a relatively short snow season in Nova Scotia, Steve grew the sport and the NS Snowboard Association to the point where Nova Scotian athletes were able to compete in national and international competitions. There has been a NSSA member participating at every Winter Olympics since snowboarding became an event in 1998 (four consecutive Olympics).
At Ski Martock, snowboarding now accounts for 35% of total visits. He started the Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors which went from a few members in 1992 to over 20,000 today.
From the introduction of a new sport, bringing it to the hills of Nova Scotia, to creating National Champions and Olympians, all in only 20 years (18 of which was as a volunteer), and with a resume too long to mention everything, Fairbairn is one of very few sport people in Canada who could say they’ve had such an impact on the initial development of any sport as a coach, administrator, developer and ambassador.
We welcome you to join in recognizing these inspirational individuals on Saturday, November 2nd at Halifax’s World Trade and Convention Centre. Tickets for Induction Night will be available in September at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. The Chronicle Herald will be the presenting sponsor for the event.