Laurier athletics announces the class of 2018 for Golden Hawk Hall of Fame

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Graphic by Kash Patel

Nine new athletes will officially be inducted into the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawk Hall of Fame on Sept. 28 at the Tannery Event Centre, located in Kitchener.

The inductees, featuring one builder, two teams and six athletes, will forever become a part of Laurier history.

The six athletes include swimmer David Hughes, women’s soccer player Ali McKee, women’s volleyball player Danielle Walker, men’s hockey players Ryan Daniels and Jean-Michel Rizk, and women’s curler Sarah Wilkes.

Wilkes described her experiences at Laurier and how her university curling career acted as a stepping stone for her in a recent interview.

“Athletics were part of the reason that Laurier was my top choice of university to come to. All the success wasn’t something that I knew was going to happen or thought was going to happen. But it was something I was striving for and as we started to do well with our curling team and curling program, it was a really exciting time to be at Laurier,” she said.

“I was fortunate to be there through all of that. I am so grateful for the experiences [Laurier] provided because of the games we played and the situations we were put in. It was a great stepping stone for going forward after my university career.”

Wilkes was part of three national championship winning curling teams during her time with the Hawks, becoming the only Laurier athlete ever to accomplish such a feat.

“The opportunities that we had to compete at international events have helped me the most. After winning those university national championships when we got to go to Japan or Italy, we were fortunate enough to participate internationally,” she added.

Danielle Walker was named an OUA First Team All Star four times during her time at Laurier. Walker improved her level of play every single year with the Hawks and she will go down as one the best women’s volleyball players in Laurier’s history.

“They were just amazing experiences and I learned so much competing for Canada at those two international events. It’s something that you can’t really replicate. You can train for it but it only hits you when you get there and you’re actually wearing the maple leaf on your back; it’s an experience that I’ll never forget.”

Jean-Michel Rizk and Ryan Daniels were key parts of the Laurier men’s hockey program during their tenures with the Hawks.

Rizk amassed 130 points over his four-year university career and Daniels put up a 0.921 career save percentage, along with being named the OUA-West Most Valuable player on two different occasions.

David Hughes is a four-time Golden Hawk Team MVP. The Waterloo native won three medals at the OUA championships during his Laurier swimming career.

Danielle Walker was named an OUA First Team All Star four times during her time at Laurier. Walker improved her level of play every single year with the Hawks and she will go down as one the best women’s volleyball players in Laurier’s history.

Ali McKee was a leader on the 2008 and 2010 OUA championship winning women’s soccer teams. McKee racked up 21 goals in her four-year Golden Hawk career.

The two teams being inducted are the 2007-08 men’s and women’s curling teams.

Both teams captured national championships and put up great performances throughout the year.

Finally, current Laurier women’s lacrosse head coach Lynn Orth will also become a part of the Golden Hawk Hall of Fame as a builder. Orth has now been in charge of the women’s lacrosse team for 19 years, an impressive achievement, to say the least.

During her time at Laurier, Orth has engineered eight provincial championship winning teams.

It is another outstanding set of inductees for the Golden Hawk Hall of Fame in 2018, and the nominations of the nine candidates is a testament to the excellence of every single athletics program at Laurier.

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