Neil Gordon Sanford
Sanford All-Round Sports Star
A graduate of Wolfville High School, Neil Sanford was active in sports at school, at university and for the town. He played football, hockey and basketball at Wolfville High School along side teammates such as William Oliver and Arnold Tedford. At Acadia University, which he entered in 1931, he became one of the mainstays of the football and hockey teams. Making the football team as a freshman, Sanford helped Acadia to the Provincial Intercollegiate Championship. Next fall, the team defeated St Francis Xavier University to win the title once again. In 1934, the team lost the provincial title, but captured the Halifax City League title. He earned his “A” for football each of the four years he played and was named to Fred Kelly’s All-Star 1927-1937 Rugby team.
Sanford was a stand-out in hockey; in 1932 the Acadia yearbook referred to him as “the shooting star of the team and one of the best stick handlers we’ve seen.” During the next season, the Athenaeum reported that Sanford, the “smooth working Garnet and Blue centre played a marvellous game, scoring three goals and passing to McLean for the other two.” In his senior year, he was hockey captain. Sanford was also active on class teams and on the varsity swim team. After obtaining his BA from Acadia in 1935, he returned to complete a BEd in 1936. He taught at several area schools and in the winter of 1938, was the coach for the Wolfville High School hockey team.
Throughout the 1930s, Sanford was active in Wolfville town sports. Playing for the Wolfville Lawn Tennis Club in a 1931 tennis match against the Middleton club, he teamed with Ethel Ingraham in mixed doubles; they won their match. In the Valley League tennis tournament, Sanford won the men’s singles. That same summer he played third base on a Wolfville softball team that defeated teams from Halifax; he also played in Wolfville’s church league. Sanford played organized hockey for Wolfville town teams, including the Sunocos and the Cohorts. In 1939, Sanford and Wallace Barteaux became referees in the Valley Senior Hockey League. Sanford taught school in the Wolfville area until 1943 when he accepted a teaching position in Rothsay, New Brunswick.
(Acadia Athenaeum, April 1933, 72)