ANTIGONISH: StFX Athletics was pleased to induct its twentieth class into the StFX Sports Hall of Fame Thursday evening at the Schwartz auditorium.
Joining the Hall as the 2016 inductees were six athletes: Bob Mincarelli (football), Deanna Corbett-White (basketball/field hockey), Allan MacIsaac (hockey), Lavinia Carreau (cross country), Michelle Murray (cross country/soccer), and Eric Gillis (cross country/track and field); and as well as one builder, Mike Cavanagh (rugby) and two teams: the 1996 X-Men football team and the 2004 X-Men hockey team.
The event marked the first time the event has been held in conjunction with Homecoming weekend at the university.
Robert (Bob) Mincarelli (Football, Class of 1974)
Bob Mincarelli was an outstanding two-way player with the X-Men football team for four seasons, playing defensive back and flanker. He stood out as a three-time Bluenose Football Conference all-star in 1971, 1972, and 1973. Mincarelli was the X-Men team captain in 1973 and earned All-Canadian status in 1971 and 1972. He was also recognized for his exceptional skill on the field in 1971 as the team’s most valuable player. Mincarelli’s illustrious football career continued as he signed on as a wide receiver with the NFL’s New York Giants as a free agent in 1975.
Deanna Corbett-White (Basketball and Field Hockey, Class of 1986)
Deanna Corbett-White was an exceptional dual-sport athlete sharing her talents with the field hockey and basketball teams over four seasons at StFX. She was recognized as the StFX female athlete of the year in 1986 and 1987. Corbett-White was also recognized as the X-Women basketball team’s MVP in 1986 and 1987, playing a major role in the team’s successful playoff drives in those years. The leading scorer in the AUAA conference in 1987, she was honoured as an AUAA first team all-star and was the conference’s Most Valuable Player. On the field hockey pitch, Corbett-White played two years in her final two seasons at StFX and was the teams’ top scorer in 1987.
Allan MacIsaac (Hockey, Class of 1991)
Al MacIsaac, a four-year standout with the X-Men hockey team, tallied 112 career points (54 goals, 58 assists) and 404 penalty minutes. An outstanding hockey player who played both forward and defense, MacIsaac earned most valuable player status in his final three seasons with the X-Men and was recognized as the 1991 StFX male athlete of the year. He led the X-Men in scoring on two occasions and was recognized by the AUAA as an all-star in 1989 and 1991. A 12th round draft pick by the Buffalo Sabres in 1987, Allan continued his illustrious hockey career in the ECHL and AHL. Since 2000, he has been with the NHL Blackhawks senior management team and has celebrated three Stanley Cup victories.
Lavinia Carreau (Cross-Country, Class of 2001)
Lavinia Carreau (nee Gough) blazed a trail of success during her five seasons running with the X-Women. A five-time StFX Runner of the Year, Carreau began her outstanding running career as the AUS rookie of the year in 1996. This was followed with the distinction of AUS Runner of the Year in 1999 and 2000. Carreau led the X-Women to their first ever conference title in 2000 and raced to the individual AUS championship title in 1999 and 2000. A four-time AUS all-star, she was also honoured as a 1999 CIS first team All-Canadian and was an individual silver medalist at the CIS national championship. She also earned second team all-Canadian status in 2000. A competitor at the 2000 World University Cross Country Games, Carreau capped her running success with recognition as the 2000 and 2001 StFX female athlete of the year.
Michelle Murray (Cross-Country and Soccer, Class of 2003)
An exceptional two sport athlete, Michelle Murray (nee Chisholm) shared her talents with the X-Women varsity soccer and cross-country teams during her years at StFX. An outstanding runner, Murray was the team captain with the cross-country t squad in 2001 and 2002. In those years, Murray earned AUS all-star status and was recognized as a CIS first-team All Canadian in 2001. Her outstanding running contributed to the X-Women winning the AUS title in 2002. On the soccer pitch, she was the AUS rookie of the year in 1998. In her second year with the soccer team, Michelle led the conference in scoring and earned distinction as an AUS all-star in her position as a striker in 1999.
Eric Gillis (Cross-Country and Track and Field, Class of 2004 and 2006)
Eric Gillis’s name is synonymous with running excellence at StFX. Over his five seasons with the X-Men, Gillis earned AUS cross-country all-star status in each year, culminating with the ultimate title of CIS individual national champion in 2003. In addition to earning the top distinction as the AUS and CIS runner of the year in 2003, Gillis was also recognized as CIS All-Canadian four times. He competed twice at the World University Cross-Country Games for Canada in 2002 and 2004. The five-time X-Men Runner of the Year, Gillis also earned the distinction as the 2003 and 2004 StFX male athlete of the year. On the indoor track, he was a three-time CIS medalist and 2004 All-Canadian. In 2004, he received the prestigious AUS James Bayer award. Gillis’ phenomenal success as a runner continues as he is currently the Canadian marathon champion with a 10th place finish as the Olympic Games in Rio. Gillis also represented Canada at the Olympics in 2008 and 2012.
Mike Cavanagh (Rugby, Class of 2013)
X-Women Rugby head coach Mike Cavanagh is the winningest rugby coach in CIS history. After his 17th season with the X-Women, the nine-time AUS Coach of the Year had a career coaching record of 122-31-5 which includes regular season, AUS and CIS playoff games. Cavanagh’s regular season coaching record is 81-3-2. He earned the distinction of CIS Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2012, and was the recipient of an honourary X-Ring in 2013 after guiding his team to their fourth CIS national championship title. In addition to winning 16 consecutive AUS conference titles from 1999 to 2014, Coach Cavanagh’s X-Women have taken home the prestigious CIS Monilex trophy in 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2014. Cavanagh has led the X-Women to 14 consecutive first place finishes with only one AUS playoff game loss as his team is consistently ranked in the CIS top 10 each year.
1996 X-Men Football Team
The 1996 X-Men football team were Vanier Cup finalists and remain only the second football team in StFX history to reach the CIS national championship game. Coached by John Stevens, the X-Men played to a first place finish in the AUAA regular season with a 6-2 record. The X-Men went on to claim the Jewett Trophy as AUAA conference champions with a 30-22 win over Mount Allison, then the Atlantic Bowl title with a 13-5 victory over Ottawa. The team came up short against Saskatchewan (12-31) in the Vanier Cup game played in Toronto. The 1996 X-Men squad included 11 AUAA conference all-stars with further recognition of three CIAU All-Canadians in receiver Andre Arlain, defensive lineman Mark Verbeek, and linebacker Paul Frlan who was also earned the distinction of the AUAA defensive player of the year.
Team members include the following players: Murray Appleby, Andre Arlain, Kris Arnold, Jermayne Baldwin, Richard Bergeron, Alex Best, Willy Burgess, Mike Burke, Colin Bush, Kevin Cowell, Derrick Cvitkovich, Shawn Davison, Greg Delaval, Rick Delorme, Christian Demers, Travis Dow, Andrew Dowker, Danny Durand, Jason Elliott, Jason A. Elliott, Ryan Ernst, Daryn Fernandez, Dave Finlay, Paul Frlan, Scott Gardner, Adam Geris, Bob Giffard, Nate Gorham, Dave Grandy, Paul Henry, Ben Hiron, Tim Hunter, Rob Johns, Todd Jones, Mark Kawchuk, Paul Kealey, Mike Kushnir, Ron Lirette, Darin Loucraft, Dan Lumsden, Jacob Marini, Derek Martin, Allyn Marshall, Neil McCallum, Robert McConnell, Rich McKenna, Scott Moreton, Wade Murray, Sean Musselman, Neil Myers, Chris Newberry, John Northcott, Jamie O’Reilly, Mark Pitts, Ryan Poser, Aaron Power, Sean Price, Mike Quinn, Ian Richmond, Philip Reid, Stephen Richards, Mark Royale, Raoul Rozier, Todd Sarty, Steven Slinn, Ryan Smith, Jamie Stacey, Rob Steiner, Jason Stewart, Ryan Thomson, Mark Verbeek, Zoran Vulic, Lee Weismiller, Andrew Williams, head coach John Stevens, assistant coaches Blake Nill, Scott Annand, Terry Chisholm, Mike Stewart, Steve Sumarah, Des Pitts, Kevin Artichuk, Mike D’Addario, Frank Gesztesi, Gord Beatie, Jim Aucoin, Grant McIsaac, Pat Flemming, and Ron Dickie; student therapists Andrea Benoit, Donna MacPhie, Jeff MacKinnon, Lisa Parsons; and manager Mike Dickey.
2004 X-Men Hockey Team
The 2003-2004 X-Men hockey team was the CIS national champions and remain the only team in StFX history to win the University Cup title. Coached by Danny Flynn, the X-Men played to a first place finish in the AUS regular season with a 19-6-3-0 record. After beating St. Thomas 2-1 in the best-of-three semi-final series, the X-Men swept Dalhousie 3-0 in the best-of-five conference final to claim the AUS championship title. At the national championship in Fredericton, the X-Men soundly defeated York (4-0) and Dalhousie (5-0) in round robin action then claimed the CIS national crown with a thrilling 3-2 double overtime victory over the host UNB Varsity Reds. Led by captain and CIS All-Canadian Patrick Grandmaitre, the 2003-2004 hockey team included CIS tournament MVP goaltender Mike Mole and CIS tournament all-star defenceman Mike Martone.
Team members include the following players: Ryan Armstrong, Dwayne Bateman, Ben Berthiaume, Eric Braff, Chris Brannen, Collin Circelli, Alan Dwyer, Omar Ennaffati, Dallas Flaman, Patrick Grandmaitre, Wes Jarvis, Darren McMillan, Stuart MacRae, Mike Martone, Mike Mole, Todd Norman, Graeme Power, Bobby Reed, Blake Robson, Dustin Russell, Mike Smith, Troy Smith, Shawn Snider, Ryan Walsh, Danny White, Ryan White, head coach Danny Flynn, assistant coaches Greg MacDonald, John Kibyuk and Kyle MacIsaac, goalie coach Martin Lavallee, assistant GM Richie Connors, equipment manager Terry Leblanc, assistant equipment manager Marc ‘Tito’ Cote and student therapist Rob Hardy.
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.