WATERLOO, Ont. (April 4, 2016) – Men’s curling skip Aaron Squires and women’s soccer forward Nicole Lyon were named the recipients of the 2015-16 President’s Award as the Wilfrid Laurier Department of Athletics and Recreation hosted their annual athletic banquet on Monday evening at the Wilfrid Laurier Athletic Complex.
The President’s Award, which was one of 11 major awards handed out at the banquet, is awarded annually to the most outstanding athletic performance from a male and female athlete over the past year.
Squires, a fifth year native of St. Thomas, Ont., led the men’s curling team to arguably their best season in school history. Over the course of 2015-16, the Hawks posted a remarkable 20-2 record, including a perfect 9-0 run at the OUA Championships where Laurier captured their second straight conference banner. At the conference championships, Squires curled an impressive 91 percent en route to being named an OUA First Team All-Star. Squires would carry that strong play into the CIS Championships as the Hawks reached the gold medal match for the second straight year. After losing to Alberta a year ago, Squires and Laurier exacted a measure of revenge on the Golden Bears as they captured gold with a thrilling 7-4 victory. Following the event, Squires was honoured as a CIS First Team All-Canadian for the third straight year after shooting 82 percent for the week.
Meanwhile, Lyon, a second year native of Kitchener, Ont., had an outstanding sophomore season for the purple and gold as she finished tied for second in both the OUA and the CIS with an impressive 13 goals to her name. Possessing a powerful shot, accurate passing skills and the ability to shield the ball from the opposition, Lyon was responsible for sending Laurier through to the CIS Championship as she scored the game-winning goal in the OUA Semifinals against Ottawa, the second playoff goal of her career. For her performance this year, Lyon was recognized as both an OUA West Division First Team All-Star as well as a CIS Second Team All-Canadian.
The Rich Newbrough Rookie of the Year Award, handed out annually for the most outstanding athletic performance from a male and female rookie, was awarded to women’s soccer’s Gagan Parhar of Surrey, B.C., and men’s basketball’s Simon Mikre of Scarborough, Ont.
Parhar, a forward for the purple and gold, had a very strong freshman campaign for the purple and gold. She finished second on the team in goal scoring with seven goals, and 14th overall in the OUA, while starting 15 of the Hawks’ 16 games. What made her numbers even more impressive were that six of the seven goals she scored this season were game-winning goals as she played a direct role in helping Laurier earn half of their victories in 2015. Subsequently, she was recognized as the OUA West Division Rookie of the Year.
As for Mikre, Laurier’s starting point guard this past year, he was a difference maker all season for the Golden Hawks. Playing the fifth most minutes of any player in the OUA at 658, he averaged 7.3 points per game as he shot 37 percent from the field. More impressively, he doled out 101 assists, tying him for second-most in the conference as he became just the third Laurier player to ever record more than 100 assists in a single season. For his efforts, he was named to the OUA All-Rookie team.
The Luke Fusco Academic Athletic Achievement Award, which honours the male and female athlete who best combines academic and athletic achievement, was awarded to Kwaku Boateng of Milton, Ont., from men’s football and Jacky Normandeau of Uxbridge, Ont., from women’s soccer and hockey.
Boateng, a third year business major, has a cumulative GPA of 10.04 after posting a 9.0 GPA in the fall. A defensive lineman for the purple and gold, Boateng was named the OUA JP Metras Award winner in 2015 as the top standup lineman in the conference. In eight games this season, he recorded 18 tackles and four sacks, the later tying him for eighth overall in the OUA. Following the season, he was also honoured as an OUA First Team All-Star and a CIS Second Team All-Canadian.
Taking home the female award was Normandeau, a third year biology major who posted an 11.8 GPA in the fall to raise her cumulative GPA to 11.56. A defender for both Laurier’s soccer and hockey teams, Normandeau had an impressive year for the Hawks on the pitch as she was named an OUA Second Team All-Star after scoring five times in 16 games. She also helped women’s soccer captured an OUA silver medal. She would go on to play 19 games for women’s hockey, recording two assists and was recently named the Outstanding Woman of Laurier.
The Fred Nichols Community Service Leadership Award, recognizing the male and female student-athlete or student-leader who gives back to the community through volunteer commitments and/or fundraising efforts, was handed out to Courtney Bruce of Orillia, Ont., and Robert Cini of Mississauga, Ont.
Bruce, a fifth year forward on the women’s basketball team, has been an active volunteer throughout her time with the Golden Hawks. This year alone, she volunteered with the Succeed Clean program, which educates students about appearance and performance enhancing drugs, while also supporting her fellow varsity athletes through the varsity learning cluster program. In the local community, Bruce was also active as an executive with the Laurier Lettermen club, and also volunteered her time with local school and basketball clubs.
Meanwhile Cini, a third year scrum half with the men’s rugby team, served as Vice President of the Lettermen club this year. He was an active participant and facilitator of the club’s visits to Grand River Hospital and was active in bringing local schools on to campus. He provided great leadership to the Holiday with the Hawks program and helped execute the club’s largest fundraising project, their annual Powderpuff football tournament.
The Glenn Carroll Team of the Year Award was presented to men’s curling after the team captured both the OUA and CIS Championships in 2015-16. The Hawks were a dominant force against their competition as they posted an overall record of 20-2 while outscoring their opposition 169-65. When they need it most, Laurier put together their most complete game of the season in capturing the CIS gold medal with a 7-4 win over the Alberta Golden Bears. With that victory, Laurier also qualified to represent Canada at the 2017 FISU Winter Games to be hosted next year in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Laurier Athletics and Recreation also recognized six individuals for their contributions to the department and varsity teams over the past year.
The Marty Wamsley Student Trainer of the Year Award was awarded to Stephanie Romero from the men’s and women’s soccer teams. A trainer with the teams for the past two season, she has constantly demonstrated her commitment and passion over her time in the role.
The Earl C. Shelley Unsung Hero Award was handed out to Steph Klein, who served this past season as the equipment manager for both the men’s and women’s hockey teams. As a member of the women’s hockey team’s staff for the past three years, this year she took on additional responsibilities with the men’s program as she made sure both teams were ready to hit the ice each and every night.
The Tuffy Knight Award, which recognizes a person not affiliated with the university, for their untiring efforts over an extended period of time, was given to Peter Izzio. A member of the Football Corporate Dinner committee for the past 17 years, he has been an active fundraiser for both the team, as well as the entire department, by supporting other initiatives including the Quarterback Club luncheon as well as the Laurier Golf Classic.
The Chuck Classen Award of Excellence for Team Managers was awarded to men’s basketball’s Daniella Orsi for the second straight year. A critical member of the team’s staff, her duties over the course of this past season included organizing team meals and rooming lists, assisting at practice, organizing team events and preparing the team for all road trips.
The Dean E. Brandon Award, awarded to the female contributing most to Athletics, went to Courtney Collard. Over the past two years, she has served in a number of different capacities within the department, including Events and Sponsorship Assistant, the Clubs Coordinator and headed up the newly-introduced Student Engagement Team this season.
The Bill Haggstrom Trophy, awarded to the male contributing most to Athletics, was given to Greg Nyhof. A member of the men’s football team, Greg has been an integral member of the operations of the Athletic Complex over the past two years, serving as the department’s Fitness Centre Coordinator while also volunteering for the Succeed Clean program, which educates students about appearance and performance-enhancing drugs.
Also honoured on Monday night were each team’s Most Valuable Players and Rookie’s of the Year.
Most Valuable Players
Baseball - Andrew Ziedins
Men’s Basketball - Will Coulthard
Women’s Basketball - Courtney Bruce
Cheerleading - Marley Gray
Men’s Cross Country - Adam Cornwall
Women’s Cross Country - Serena Gill
Men’s Curling - Aaron Squires
Women’s Curling - Chelsea Brandwood
Football - Dillon Campbell
Men’s Golf - Austin Ryan
Women’s Golf - Jamie Wood
Men’s Hockey - Derek Schoenmakers
Women’s Hockey - Jessie Hurrell
Women’s Lacrosse - Maddy Curtis
Men’s Middle Distance - Adam Cornwall
Women’s Middle Distance - Bettina Boucher
Men’s Rugby - Mitchell Shiels
Women’s Rugby - Jennifer Gilmour
Men’s Soccer - Tahrik Rodriques
Women’s Soccer - Suzanne Boroumand
Men’s Swimming - Andrew Beaton-Williamson
Women’s Swimming - Kate Vanderbeek
Rookie’s of the Year
Baseball - Ryley Davenport
Men’s Basketball - Simon Mikre
Women’s Basketball - IRENA RYNKIEWICZ
Cheerleading - Kennedy Senra
Men’s Cross Country - Brendan Masters
Women’s Cross Country - Emma Segato
Men’s Curling - Jordie Lyon-Hatcher
Women’s Curling - Kaitlin Jewer
Football - Kurleigh Gittens Jr.
Men’s Golf - Ben Whiteside
Men’s Hockey - Christian Mroczkowski
Women’s Hockey - Madison MacCulloch
Women’s Lacrosse - Emily Ferguson
Men’s Middle Distance - Simon Gonsalves
Women’s Middle Distance - Claire Fleming
Men’s Rugby - Jackson Smith
Women’s Rugby - Abby Stacey
Men’s Soccer - Gurjinder Garcha
Women’s Soccer - Ashley Almeida
Men’s Swimming - Max Hughes
Women’s Swimming - Bayley Dalbec