Adorning Father Stan MacDonald’s walls in his home at Mockler Hall are an impressive collection of photos, clothing and objects, all with one similarity: StFX Athletics.
The term 'super fan' is one that would be the dictionary definition of Stan MacDonald, StFX’s loveable bundle of enthusiasm for the blue and white.
His effusive passion for sport was fueled by his roots in Glace Bay NS., where he grew up. Stan referred to the town as being tough as nails, as it was a place ripe with coal miners.
During his student days here at StFX, Stan was a member of the rugby team, even captaining it in his 4th year, which was also the final year of varsity rugby at StFX (Football replaced it the following year).
After his graduation from StFX in 1954, He embarked on a career as a priest, which took him around the country. On the reasoning behind his decision to become a priest, he remarked:
“I was not a good student. I carried on too much. I never learned time management and I was ready for a party any time. And after my graduation, I realized I needed to smarten up. I knew I couldn’t go on the way I was going on and figured that setting myself on a path to eventual priesthood would be the best way for me to do it. I loved to work with young people and being a priest enabled me to do that.”
Commenting on his famous ‘GO X GO’ chant:
“After I returned to StFX (2007), I would attend games and always hoped that fans would get behind our teams with more energy. I tried ‘Let’s go X’ and countless others but nothing seemed to stick. One night I tried ‘GO X GO’ spontaneously and people started to respond to it. That’s where it started.”
If he had to choose a favorite memory of being a fan here, he mentioned the 2004 Men’s Hockey National Championship.
“I was working in a parish in Calgary, and the national championships were in Fredericton. I was able to fly out there to watch the games and StFX just so happened to be in the championship game against host UNB. We went into one overtime, then a second overtime. There, we took a penalty and we were getting peppered on our end. Finally, the penalty ended and the player who got the penalty was able to skate out and blast a winning goal! It was great redemption.”
Father Stan is a fixture at all varsity events, as he gives his support to every team StFX has. He was especially blown away by the toughness of the women’s rugby team this year, as they captured the bronze in horrific weather in Alberta.
He also had the tremendous opportunity of bringing the championship cup into the StFX locker room during the AUS championship for hockey last year. The tradition was one solely for coaches, but Coach Brad Peddle decided that Stan deserved to carry it in.
During a brief time interviewing him, his phone rang at least a couple times. He is quite the popular individual. He also has an uncanny ability, be it a game ten years ago or a brief encounter with a student, to remember names of individuals. This is just one of a host of reasons why Stan is referred to as StFX’s greatest fan.
Countless years of support for StFX, be it male or female sport and his unbridled passion for athletics led him to being honoured with the 2013 StFX X-Ceptional Award, given to those who go above and beyond their responsibilities and contribute in a positive manner to StFX athletics.
The next time you're watching an athletic event here at StFX, be sure to keep your ears open for the ‘GO X GO’ chant. It will instantly make you rise from your seat to help cheer on the blue and white.