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Laurier Announces 2006 Hall of Fame Inductees
WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University’s Golden Hawk Hall of Fame continues to grow with a number of outstanding athletes and individuals to be inducted during Homecoming weekend festivities in September.

Please click on the following link to purchase tickets online for the 2006 Golden Hawk Hall of Fame dinner and reception.

Six athletes, each dominant in their respective sport, along with the entire 1978 football team and a former athletic director and coach will be added to the existing prominent list of heralded graduate student athletes and supporters of Laurier athletics.

PETER BAXTER, Director of Athletics and Recreation, said the 2006 inductees exemplify what the university is all about.

"They were great students, outstanding athletes and role models for others," said Baxter, who will be among a distinguished group highlighting the new additions at a special ceremony in the Laurier Senate and Board Chamber on Friday, September 22.

"Looking back at what these Laurier graduates have accomplished, some pioneers in Laurier sports, is nothing short of excellence in sport."

This years’ inductees include athletes Lisa Backman, Tom Fuke, Pieter Meuleman, Donnie Ruiz, Andre Talbot and Emily Watson. The entire 1978 Laurier football team along with Carl Totzke in the builder category will also be honoured.

The evening will be hosted local sports anchor Randy Steinman. Steinman has worked with CTV Southwestern Ontario since 1989 and has seen many Golden Hawks achieve excellence in their specific sports.

Lisa Backman was a forward on the women’s hockey team from 1997-2000 and a member of the 1998-99 OUA champions. Just before graduating, she added to her accomplishments with another medal – this time an OUA bronze. A three-time OUA all-star, three times also chosen as a provincial MVP, Backman was also selected three times to the CIAU (now CIS) all-star team. And there’s more. Before graduating, she won the President’s Award as the most outstanding female athlete in 2001. She continues to hold the Laurier records for points in a season (52), points in a career (134) and hat tricks in a season (5).

Tom Fuke was a two-time captain of the Laurier swim team. Between 1995 and 2000, Fuke piled up the medals in the pool. Three times he won gold at the OUAA (now OUA) championships, also added one silver and two bronze in his specialty event – the breaststroke. Fuke was named an OUAA all-star three times and Laurier MVP on three occasions. On the academic side, he was also acclaimed as the winner of the Luke Fusco Academic Athletic Achievement Award in 1998. Fuke acquired multiple team records throughout his career in the purple and gold. They included the 200m breaststroke, 400m individual medley, and the 1,500m free style. A former National level swimmer, he twice made the top 10 at the Canadian Senior Championships including an outstanding fifth place in the 200m breaststroke in 1999.

Pieter Meuleman was the goalkeeper for the men’s soccer team in 2000 and 2001. Although his stay with the Golden Hawks was short, he managed to become a key member of two National Championship Teams. In 2000, Meuleman was named Rookie of the Year three times - by the CIS, the West Division of the OUA West as well as by Laurier. Toss in back-to-back honors as a league first team all-star. After Laurier, he went on to represent Team Canada in several tournaments in 2001 - at the Football Confederation Under-20 Youth Tournament in Victoria, B.C; the Chile International Tournament in Santiago; and the FIFA World Youth Championships in Cordoba, Argentina.

Donnie Ruiz played football for the Hawks from 1997 to 2000. Although only playing in three games in his first year, Ruiz earned the starting safety job in his second season as a Golden Hawk. Starting in 1998, Ruiz was named a CIAU first team all-Canadian and OUA first team all-star for three consecutive years. He was also the 1999 OUA Defensive MVP and a member of two teams that competed in the Yates Cup. Ruiz continues to hold the Laurier regular season interception record with 7 in 1998. After Laurier, Ruiz was drafted in the CFL playing for Ottawa and Winnipeg before moving on to his current spot with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Andre Talbot was a wide receiver with Laurier’s football team for four years starting in 1997 and a menace to opposing defensive teams. Chosen a CIAU first team all-Canadian and OUA first team all-star in both 1999 and 2000, Talbot was also a second team OUA all-star – but as a punt-return specialist in 1999. Talbot established records, and continues to hold the OUA record for receptions in a game (19). In the same year, he was named the Team MVP. Twice he played in the Yates Cup and for the past few years, after being drafted in the CFL, plays for the Toronto Argonauts.

Emily Watson was a member of the Golden Hawk women’s field lacrosse team for two seasons. A former Laurier team captain, Watson’s leadership was instrumental in guiding the squad to a OUA league title in 2000. In her rookie season, Watson made the OUA first team all-star squad. The following year, she was named the 2000-2001 OUA West Division MVP and was also given the League Spirit Award. On the home-front, she was Team MVP for both seasons. After Laurier, Watson went on to represent Team Canada at the 2001 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in High Wycombe, England where Canada placed fourth.

From 1944 to 1959, Carl Totzke was a member of the Waterloo College. Starting as a student athlete from 1944 to 1947, and from 1952-1959, Carl was a Coach and the Athletic Director. As the Athletic Director, Totzke expanded from the major sports teams (football, rugby, basketball, hockey and track), to include fencing, bowling, curling, table tennis, volleyball, and golf. The women’s teams were starting to get noticed, as well as intramurals when new facilities became available. Before 1958, Waterloo College was limited in the number of games the various teams could compete in. After Totzke expanded inter-university teams within Waterloo College, they did not have a league to participate in because Western, Toronto, Queen’s and McGill (considered the ‘Big 4’) did not want smaller universities in their league. Totzke played a very significant role in creating both the O.I.A.A. (Ontario Intercollegiate Athletic Association) for men, and for the women, the O.W.I.A.A. (Ontario Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Association).

The 1978 Laurier Golden Hawk Football Team won the Yates Cup, defeating the University of Western Ontario 19-14 in London. Laurier won seven of eight league games losing only to Western – then, the two-time defending Champions. But in the league final, Laurier beat Western 19-14 and advanced to meet the University of British Columbia in the Western Bowl, but lost 25-16. The 1978 team produced several all-Canadians and OUAA all-stars, as well as five players who continued with careers in the CFL. Former team standouts Jim Reid, Jerry Gulyes and Richie Payne have already been inducted to the Golden Hawk Hall of Fame.

Since 1986, when Laurier launched the Golden Hawk Hall of Fame, 105 athletes, 14 builders and 12 teams have been recognized for their brilliant performances on the field, in the gym, pool and rink, as well as their and support of Wilfrid Laurier University Athletics.

Please click here to purchase tickets online for the 2006 Golden Hawk Hall of Fame dinner and reception.
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