McMaster University’s 2011 national championship football team owes a lot to one of the newest inductees to the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Bryce Leggatt played for the Bobby Dawson-coached Marauders team that won three consecutive Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference championships between 1962 and 1964, paving the way for Mac’s elevation to the elite Senior Intercollegiate League in 1967 after he had graduated and been drafted by the Ottawa Rough Riders.
Leggatt died in June of last year, but he left a legacy as a highly respected teacher, principal, basketball and football official, as well as a founder of the Burlington sports hall. His wife Barbara accepted the award.
Without the groundwork he laid, the Marauders likely would never have been part of what has been called the greatest Vanier Cup game in history, a 41-38 victory over the Laval Rouge et Or.
A second inductee, Cathy Phillips, was the goalie for Canada’s first official Women’s World Championship hockey team in 1990. At that time she was considered the best female goalie in the world. The Hockey Hall of Fame now displays her jersey from 1992.
Phillips was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly after winning the gold medal, but has battled back from her illness and spent many years coaching at various levels throughout the world of international women’s ice hockey.
Once a third baseman with the Notre Dame high school Fighting Irish baseball team, Eric Smith graduated from the Humber College broadcasting program and now is the colour man for radio broadcasts of Toronto Raptors NBA games, working alongside play-by-play man Jones.
Smith is celebrating his 25th year with THE FAN 590 radio in Toronto
Marcel Desjardins is a four-time Grey Cup champion, three as assistant general manager of the Montreal Alouettes and one as general manager of the Ottawa Red Blacks, a role he has held for nine years.
Desjardins had two stints as assistant general manager of the Montreal Alouettes, a combined 10 years. In between he was the general manager of the Hamilton Tiger Cats for two seasons.
Wendy Morgan has been the team leader for Canada’s curling team at five straight Paralympic Games, where the team won three gold and two bronze medals.
Morgan also served as the coach for Jennifer Jones’ team that won gold and silver at the world championships, as well as two national championships.
Story by Denis Gibbons