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STFX reveals 2023 sports hall of fame class

By Joe Thomson Jun 23, 2023 | 10:43 AM

(Photo by Joe Thomson).

STFX University has announced the 2023 class for their sports hall of fame.

Late 70’s and early 80’s basketball star Varouj Gurunlian leads the class. He earned three AUAA All-Star selections during his career and led the X-Men to an AUAA title in 1981. Gurunlian was also a member of team Canada for eight years and captured a gold medal at the 1980 Commonwealth games. He was also selected to the Olympic roster for the 1980 games in Moscow, but Canada ended up boycotting the games in response to Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan.

Class of 1987 graduate and goal-scorer extraordinaire Tanya (MacMillan) Feltmate is also entering the hall. She was a two-time AUAA All-Star in the mid 80’s and helped the 1986 team secure the university’s first conference title in any women’s sport. It’s Feltmate’s second time being enshrined in the hall of fame, as that 1986 team was immortalized in 2010. It was the first time a STFX women’s team was entered into the hall of fame.

Offensive linemen Tony Grassa joins the class of 2023 inductees after a stellar career n the 70’s and 80’s in which was named an All-Canadian in back-to-back seasons. In 1981 he was recognized as the top lineman in the country. A conference champion in 1978, Grassa never let being undersized keep hm from being one of the most impactful football players in STFX history.

The player inductees are rounded out by Shella (Murrin) Smith, who enters the hall of fame near the top of many statistical categories. She is sixth in most points scored, fourth in points per game, fifth in field goals made, and 11th in rebounds. Smith was named an All-Star on two occasions and was selected as team MVP in 1988 and 1990.

In the builder category, STFX is recognizing Laurence Streete from the class of 1955. Streete enters the hall of fame posthumously after being the first BIPOC athlete in school history. Street only played one season at the varsity level but made a big impact in that short period of time, across multiple sports. In Rugby, he helped STFX beat American schools like Princeton and Brown in tournament play. He then became an All-Star running back for the football team. He also contributed to the hockey as an assistant manager.

The school is also inducting a pair of notable teams this year.

The 1959 men’s basketball and the 1983 men’s football teams are being enshrined thanks in part o their championship seasons. The ‘59 team is recognized as the first champion of the modern Atlantic university conference era. They lost only three games all season.

The ’83 football team was part of ack to back championship season for the program. The team featured a pair of players who have already been inducted into the X hall of fame. Running back don Dempsey, who was named conference MVP that season, was inducted in 2010. Linebacker Pat Jancsy led the conference in interceptions and was inducted in 2008.

This year’s induction ceremony, which is open to the public, is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 6, at 7:00 p.m., at STFX’s Barrick Auditorium in the Brian Mulroney Institute for Government.


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