Eight etched in history
Seven individual players and a championship team were inducted into the Golden Hawk Hall of Fame Friday night
It was a night of celebration for Wilfrid Laurier University, as six athletes, a builder and a championship team were inducted into the Golden Hawk Hall of Fame. The inductees, who were sworn into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 25, were recognized for their outstanding careers as Hawks and their contributions to the community.
The individual inductees included three football players, two women’s hockey players, a lacrosse player and a builder. Andy Baechler, Nick Cameron and Giancarlo Rapanero were inducted for men’s football, enjoying stellar careers while Andrea Ironside and Lauren Barch , members of the 2005 women’s hockey team were also celebrated. Together, Barch and Ironside made it to Canadian Interuniversity Sport nationals four times after winning the Ontario University Athletics provincial championships.
The last athlete, Kirsten Gessie, was part of a dominating women’s lacrosse team back in the 2005 who went achieved a staggering 44-1 record. The final individual inductee was Paul Giannelia, a builder and the president of Strait Crossing, who contributed to Laurier through infrastructure projects.
Finally, the 2005 men’s football Vanier Cup championship team was inducted. The team won a thrilling game against the Saskatchewan Huskies by a field goal in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to win the second national championship in history.
“Of course it’s a huge honour. There’s so many people that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting either playing with or through coaching or interacted with that are currently in the Hall of Fame already that I respect so much. To be mentioned in the same breath is a huge honour,” Baechler said.
Barch and Ironside were both part of Laurier dynasties that were no strangers to success. Along with their many OUA championships, the pair won three CIS silver medals and a bronze medal. Ironside also recorded career-highs in goals, assists and points with 15, 18 and 33 respectively, ending her career with 122 points. Teammate Barch won four OUA championships during her tenure and finished her career with 109 points in 102 games.
Ironside is honoured to be accepted into the Hall of Fame alongside her teammates.
“It’s such an honour. This experience, these people become your family and to go through this together, and go through your years together, and still have this bond together it’s such an amazing feeling,” she said.
“It’s humbling, to know that everyone that has come before you and you meet that echelon and that criteria.”
Barch said her biggest memory, besides winning championships year after year, was creating a family with her teammates over the years.
“We had a lot of championships. I remember the times we lost a national championship and that experience. I think overall winning OUA’s, creating a team, creating a family, is the biggest experience you can get,” she said.
Ironside couldn’t pick a specific memory to hone in on.
“I can’t pick one. We’ve had so many amazing times. From being on the ice to what happens on the ice to the real future bonding moments. I don’t know,” she said.
“We had a lot of fun.”