WATERLOO, ON – This fall, the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawk Hall of Fame will welcome seven new members as part of the 2017 induction class.
The induction ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 29 at the Tannery Event Centre in downtown Kitchener during Wilfrid Laurier University’s annual Homecoming weekend.
Five athletes, one team and one builder will have their names etched into Golden Hawks history during the ceremony. This year’s athlete inductees include women’s basketball guard Renata Adamczyk, women’s curling skip Laura Crocker, men’s basketball wing Kale Harrison, women’s soccer midfielder Heather Malizia and women’s swimmer Whitney Rich. In the team category, the 2003 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championship-winning women’s lacrosse team will be honoure d while in the builder category, Dr. Richard Agro, a former member of the men’s football team, will be inducted for his ongoing support of the program.
Headlining this year’s class are a pair of the all-time great players to play basketball in Laurier’s history in Harrison and Adamczyk.
Harrison enjoyed a stellar five-year career with the purple and gold that resulted in him owning a number of all-time school records, including most points in a season (466 in 2010) and most points in a career with 1918. The four-time OUA All-Star started off his career with one of the most memorable rookie seasons in school history in 2007-08 when he captured both OUA and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Rookie of the Year honours and was subsequently named Laurier’s Rich Newbrough Male Rookie of the Year. In 2010-11, Harrison guided the Hawks to their most wins ever in a single season up to that point as they won 13 games and advanced to the OUA Semi finals, losing a heartbreaking game to the eventual national champions, the Carleton Ravens. For his efforts that year, in which he set the school’s single season scoring record, he became the first men’s basketball player in 35 years to be named an All-Canadian. The Stratford, Ont., native wrapped up his career by receiving back-to-back President’s Awards as the Most Outstanding Male Athlete at Laurier after leading the purple and gold to a 16-6 mark in 2011-12.
Like her counterpart on the men’s team, Adamczyk produced one of the finest careers in Laurier women’s basketball history during her time with the Hawks from 2006 until 2010. A force at both ends of the court, the Greensville, Ont., native was twice named the OUA West Defensive Player of the Year while being named an OUA All-Star on three occasions. She also took home the OUA Joy Bellinger Award in 2010-11 which is presented in recognition of outstanding service to the sport and to th e advancement of university athletics. During her five years at Laurier, she took a team that won five games in her first season to a 15-win campaign in her final season in which Laurier advanced to the CIS Championship, finishing fifth. Her efforts left her as Laurier’s all-time leading rebounder as well as the Hawks career leader in field goal percentage at 47.3, a mark made even more impressive considering she took over 1000 shots in her career. Adamczyk also ranks second in team history for points in a career with 1328.
Crocker becomes the third women’s curler to enter the Hall of Fame after an outstanding four-year career with the purple and gold. After playing on the junior varsity team in her first season, the native of Scarborough, Ont., joined the varsity team in her second year, helping the team win a silver medal at the OUA Championships and a bronze at the CIS Championships. At the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Crocker took over as the team&r squo;s skip and proceeded to guide the Hawks to a two-year domination of university curling, both nationally and internationally. That year, the former national junior champion guided Laurier to an OUA and CIS Championship while earning OUA First Team All-Star and CIS First Team All-Canadian honours. The CIS Championship victory earned the Hawks a berth at the Kariuzawa International Curling event where Crocker led her Laurier rink to a gold medal against some of the top women’s teams in the world to open the 2011-12 season. Upon her return to Canada, Crocker and the Hawks would post a 14-2 record en route to winning back-to-back OUA and CIS Championships and she was once again named a CIS First Team All-Canadian. Following her run of success, Crocker was named was recognized as the Outstanding Woman of Laurier for her contributions in the community, in the classroom and on the ice.
One of just five Laurier women’s soccer players to have scored 20 or more goal s in their career since 2000, Malizia heads into the Hall of Fame as the owner of four OUA medals captured during her five-year career. Joining the Golden Hawks from Burlington, Ont., in 2007, Malizia played an instrumental role in Laurier’s two OUA Championships as well as an OUA silver and bronze medal during her playing days. During this stretch, she was named an OUA West First Team All-Star on three occasions (2008, 2009 and 2010) and a Second Team All-Star in 2011. The 2009 season was one of her finest as a player as she finished the year with eight goals to earn a nod as a CIS Second Team All-Canadian. Playing with some of the best players to ever suit up at Laurier, Malizia was also named her team’s MVP on two occasions, in 2008 and 2009.
Rounding out this year’s induction class, and the fourth woman to enter the Hall of Fame this year, is former swimming star Whitney Rich. Originally from Dorchester, Ont., Rich is the Hawks most decorated swimm er of the past 15 years, having won 14 medals at the OUA Championships, including 10 gold, during her five-year career. A breaststroke specialist, her best season came in 2008-09 when she swept gold in the breaststroke events at the OUA Championships while also winning gold in the 200m individual medley. For her efforts, Rich was honoured as an OUA First Team All-Star in all five of her seasons at Laurier while also earning the OUA’s Dr. Jeno Tihanyi Award in 2009-10 and Award of Distinction in 2010-11. She was also recognized as Laurier’s Rich Newbrough Female Rookie of the Year in 2006-07.
The 2003 women’s lacrosse team, which kick-started a run of six-consecutive OUA Championships for the Golden Hawks, heads into the Hall of Fame 14 years removed from their undefeated season that ended with a gold medal. Led by head coach Lynn Orth, the talented squad registered an unblemished 13-0 record with a lineup that featured four OUA major award winners and t wo first team all-stars.
After completing a perfect regular season at 10-0, in which they outscored their opposition 132-44, Laurier played host to the OUA Championship as the top-ranked team in the province. Facing the two-time defending champions, the Toronto Varsity Blues, in the semifinals, the Hawks roared out to a 5-0 lead and didn’t look back as they posted an 11-7 victory to advance to the gold medal match.
In the finals against the Brock Badgers, Erica Howard stepped up and posted a four-goal effort to push Laurier past the Badgers 6-4 to win the second OUA Championship in program history.
Dr. Agro enters the Hall of Fame in the builders category for his long-time support of Laurier Football. A former player who was a member of the 1966 team that advanced to the College Bowl, he has been actively involved with the “Friends of Golden Hawks Football” program which began the “Friends of Football” Corporate Dinn er, now the “Golden Hawks Football Dinner”. Dr. Agro was also one of the drivers behind the introduction of the “Adopt-a-Hawk” program which has helped provide financial support for football as well as all other Golden Hawk varsity teams. Additionally, he has served on a pair of Head Coach Steering Committees in 2002 and 2012 which helped find the next head coach of the football team. A big proponent of the family concept that exists with the program, Dr. Agro saw two of his sons, David and Andrew, both suit up for the purple and gold and has continuously worked to bring the entire Laurier football family together pre-game at Lucinda House and post-game at Wilf’s.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame dinner on September 29 are available for purchase on the Hall of Fame’s website. For more information on the event, please contact Dawn Simons by phone (519-884-0710 x3888) or by e -mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).