Wilfrid Laurier University 2019 athletic Hall of Fame has eight new members

On June 5, eight more members were added to the Wilfrid Laurier University 2019 athletic Hall of Fame, including five athletes, one “[team] builder” and the 2008 men’s and women’s soccer teams.

The first individual included is Candice Styles, who, among other titles, was named the 2014 Laurier Athlete of the Year, two-time OUA all-star (2012/2013 and 2013/2014) and was part of three OUA Women’s hockey champion teams (2009/2010, 2011/2012 and 2013/2014).

The second individual, Fiona Lester, was part of two OUA women’s hockey champion teams (2009/2010 and 2011/2012), received the Outstanding Women of Laurier Award in 2012/2013, and was given the title of OUA Academic All-Canadian four times during her athletic career.

The third individual, Hannah Burnett, was named the Team Most Valuable Player in 2010/2011 and 2012/2013, was part of two OUA women’s lacrosse champion teams (2008 and 2010) and was named an OUA All-Star four times during her athletic career.

The fourth individual, Chris Ackie, played defensive back for the Golden Hawks’ football team from 2011-2014, was named the 2011/2012 Team Rookie of the Year and OUA All-Star twice (2013 and 2014).

The fifth individual, Ryan Panas, was named OUA All-Star for men’s baseball in 2008, 2010 and 2011, received the 2011/2012 Team Most Valuable Player award and had a five-year baseball career which included over 100 hits.

The sixth individual, Gary Jeffries, head coach for a number of Laurier athletic teams, led seven football teams to the championships: four OUAA championships (1972, ‘73, ‘78 and ‘87), two OUA championships (2004 and 2005) and one CIS championship (2005). His coaching career has spanned over twenty-four years, and includes four OUA Men’s Football Coach of the Year awards (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2009).

The 2008 men’s and women’s soccer teams were inducted due to impressive season conclusions, including a 1-0 victory for the Men’s team against the York Lions in the OUA Final, and a penalty kick victory for the Women’s team against the Ottawa Gee-Gees for their first Ontario championship since 1995.

According to the Laurier Athletics website, the Hall of Fame was created in 1986 to “[recognize] and [honour] former Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo Lutheran University and Waterloo College individuals, athletes and teams who have made outstanding contributions to the varsity athletic programs. Since 1986, over 190 athletes and builders as well as 25 teams have been inducted.”

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