Antigonish, NS—StFX Athletics was pleased to induct its 21st class into the StFX Sports Hall of Fame Thursday evening at the Schwartz auditorium. Joining the Hall as the 2017 inductees were three athletes: John 'Bunny' Griffin (football), James 'Jim' Shea (football), Leanne MacDonald (women's hockey) and one builder, journalist Gail MacDougall.
John 'Bunny' Griffin (Football, Class of 1962)
John 'Bunny' Griffin was a defensive lineman with the StFX X-Men football team from 1958 through to 1961, starting and playing in every game throughout his four years. The X-Men won Atlantic Bowl championship in each of those seasons and were Eastern Canadian Intermediate champions in 1958. A co-captain and most valuable player with the team in his final season, Bunny was the Atlantic Football Conference (AFC) outstanding lineman of the year in both 1960 and 1961, the first player to receive the award on consecutive occasions and more than once.
James (Jim) Shea (Football, Class of 1967)
Jim Shea suited up for three seasons (1964-66) with the X-Men football team, playing in both the offensive tackle position and linebacker. The top offensive lineman in the Atlantic Football Conference (AFC) in both 1965 and 1966, Jim was the co-captain of the 1966 Vanier Cup national champion X-Men. His team won the Atlantic Bowl championship in each year he played, and he was awarded the 1967 Larkin Trophy as the outstanding StFX male student-athlete of the year.
Leanne MacDonald (Hockey, Class of 2001)
Leanne MacDonald is the first women's hockey player to be inducted into the StFX Sports Hall of Fame and was the first true star of the modern era X-Women program. Playing five seasons on defense, Leanne was a three-time conference champion and received AUAA all-star status on four occasions. She was the first X-Women hockey athlete to receive All-Canadian status as she was named to the first team in both 1999 and 2001. A CIAU tournament all-star in 2000 and the team's most valuable player the following year, Leanne served as captain of the X-Women and was conference most valuable player in 1999.
Gail MacDougall, Journalist
Having recently retired in 2016, journalist Gail MacDougall was the sports editor of the local Casket newspaper for almost 40 years, providing a media presence to almost every sporting event hosted at StFX University. Her photos and stories were often picked up by other news organizations giving StFX Athletics a presence on the provincial and national levels. A recipient of the 2012 Atlantic University Sport media award, Gail was honored by StFX Athletics as their X-Ceptional Award winner in the same year for going 'above and beyond' in her contributions to the department.
A fixture on the X-Men and X-Women sidelines over the years, MacDougall consistently provided excellent coverage of each and every StFX team in great detail from pre-season, in-season and through to the conclusion of playoffs, whether teams were playing at home or on the road. Her professionalism and well-respected news coverage significantly raised the profile of all StFX student-athletes, coaches and teams.
The StFX Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1976 and exists to honor those individuals who have contributed significantly to StFX sports as athletes, teams or as builders. Those chosen inductees have exemplified the spirit and ideals of Xaverian athletics in their professional and community lives. Induction ceremonies take place annually.