Year Inducted: 1980
Ray Sommerville began his athletic career in the early ’50s at St. Lawrence High School and was one of the young basketball and football stars.
In 1954, Ray was a star offensive end for the SLHS Saints, losing to to Brockville in the EOSSA finals (7-6).
In 1955, Ray made the transition from end to quarterback and led SLHS to its first EOSSA Football Championship.
Ray followed his high school career with a visit to the Ottawa Rough Rider training camp. He then played three games with the Cornwall Emards of the Quebec Football League and then headed for St. Xavier University. As a freshman, Ray took over at quarterback for Don Loney’s X-Men and led them to the Eastern Canada Intermediate Championship with a 27-26 win over Lakeshore Flyers in Montreal. Quoting the Montreal Gazette..”the full credit for the offense must go to Ray Sommerville, a 21 year old Cornwall Ontario quarterback”
The X-Men played Shearwater in Halifax, winning the Purdy Cup,(59-14).
In 1959, St. Xavier with Ray again at the helm, won the Atlantic Conference, going undefeated. For the second straight year they won the Purdy Cup. In the Atlantic Bowl game, they defeated the University of Guelph (26-14). In this game, Sommerville, a fine two way player, playing with an injured thumb, turned in a standout performance from the safety position. Ray was runner-up for the team MVP this year.
1960 was a repeat performance, with the X-Men defeating Ottawa University in the Atlantic Bowl (21-6). Once again Sommerville’s versatlity on both offense and defense came to the fore. Quoting from the St. John Telegraph Journal…”paced by second half heroics of Ray Sommerville, Xavier fought from behind to crush Ottawa 21-6″. In this game, Ray scored two touchdowns and made a key interception.
In 1961, St. Xavier defeated McMaster 14-0 in the Atlantic Bowl. Sommerville now captain of the X-Men was voted the team MVP by the student body.