David Sykes 

Induction Year: 2016

“You don’t have to be a genius to play quarterback in football but it helps. It helps a lot.
David Sykes was 18 years old and a standout at QEH in Halifax before deciding he would stay close to home and pursue a Commerce degree at Saint Mary’s University.
The year was 1989, coming to the end of a golden era in Huskies football thanks to Chris Flynn. The first two years Sykes was satisfied to fill the role of place kicker and utility player but in January of 1991, following a one on one conversation with head coach Larry Uteck, Sykes knew he would get a shot at replacing ‘The Legend’. Thanks to the offensive co-ordinator, Al Keith, he knew X and O’s like few others and he also had a work ethic few attained before or since. Sykes would start the next three seasons and at times make Saint Mary’s fans forget Flynn. Sykes knew he could never scramble like Flynn but he could read defences and execute with remarkable precision. The Huskies, with Sykes at quarterback, won 25 games and lost only 6. They competed in two Atlantic Bowls and one Vanier Cup. In 1992 Sykes and the Huskies lost to Queen’s in the Vanier Cup; to this day one of the biggest disappointments in the quarterback’s life. A year later, on one of the best Saint Mary’s teams in Sykes’ tenure, the Huskies needed overtime to defeat Acadia in the Conference championship but came up short against Calgary in the Atlantic Bowl.
David Sykes was much more than just a football player. He would win back to back Russ Jackson awards, given to the CIAU player best exemplifying academic achievement, football skill and citizenship; awards that would mean a lot to the Haligonian but a Vanier Cup would have looked nice alongside the Jacksons. At the beginning of his 5th year he would begin the long application process to become a Rhodes Scholar.
Oxford would follow, where he won a ‘Blue’ as captain of the hockey team and still found time to earn a MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
Then it was off to the London School of Economics and a M.Sc. in International Relations. Sykes was living proof that you could combine athletic talent with outstanding academic achievement and still play an active role in your community, Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He was among the first in what would become a long line of scholar-athletes from Saint Mary’s. He made an indelible mark both on and off the field thanks to his genius and good old fashioned hard work.”

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