Concordia Thunder Athletics Celebrates 2015-16 SeasonPosted on: Apr 7, 2016
On Tuesday April 5th, the Concordia Thunder Athletics community celebrated this past year's achievements and outstanding performances at the 2015-16 Thunder Athletics Awards Banquet. The banquet was held in the Robert Tegler Student Centre and was attended by over 170 Thunder Athletes, Coaches and Concordia Dignitaries.
Kicking off the evening, the Men's Soccer team and Head Coach Ian Skitch took to the stage where first year Defender Erik Archimowitz was named the Rookie of the Year. Next up, second year Midfielder and two-sport athlete Avian Prince was selected as the Most Improved Player. Team Captain Jose Villanueva started off a string of award wins as this season's Outstanding Scholastic Athlete for Men's Soccer. Jose remained at the podium to collect the Most Valuable Player trophy along with a pair of parchments as an ACAC All-Conference and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian Athlete. Two of the team's veteran ironmen – Serhiy Adamyk and James Sousa – were honoured as Graduates.
On the Women's Soccer side, Head Coach Franco Imbrogno started things off by naming Goaltender Selina Verkland as this season's Rookie of the Year. The Most Improved Athlete award went to second year Midfielder Alexandra Manzanillo. For the second year in a row, Maggie Boras took Outstanding Scholastic Athlete honours while third year defensive stalwart Kaitlyn Diduck was named as the Most Valuable Player. In an embarrassment of riches, no less than five Thunder ladies received acknowledgement as ACAC All-Conference athletes – Jaida Stasiuk, Laura D'Andrea, Maggie Boras, Brynn deVries, and Selina Verkland. Boras, Devries and Verkland were also recognized as CCAA Academic All-Canadians. Rounding out the evening, fourth year Forward Alexa McGillivray was honoured as the team's lone Graduate.
The Women's Basketball team and Coach Robbie Valpreda began their portion of the evening naming first year stand out Sofia Lucadello as their Rookie of the Year. Next up, second year athlete – and first year Concordian – Ann Stewart was selected as both the Most Improved and the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete. Another veteran athlete – but in just her first season in a Thunder uniform – Nakita Newman was feted as the Most Valuable Player. Two of the evening's earlier winners were brought back to the podium with Sofia Lucadello being recognized as the ACAC Rookie of the Year while Nakita Newman took home the parchment as an ACAC All-Conference selectee.
Next up, it was the tall men's turn on the dais. For the second year in a row, third year Guard Brett Jakubec was named as the Most Improved Player. The Most Dedicated Athlete award went to 5th year veteran 'Mr. Thunder Basketball' Nathaniel Wojcicki. First year Guard Bevan Purnell earned the team's Outstanding Scholastic Athlete award while the team's top point-getter Jason Jones Jr. was named as the team's Most Valuable Player and also received recognition as an ACAC All-Conference Athlete. In his fifth and final year of competition, Nathaniel Wojcicki was celebrated as the team's lone Graduate.
Cross-Country Running and Indoor Track
With Indoor Track now firmly established as a full-fledged ACAC sport, the XCR/IT teams boasted yet another large number of winners on this night. First up, it was the ladies team that took to the stage with Head Coach Matt Norminton naming last season's Female Athlete of the Year Rachael Smillie as his Most Improved Athlete. Third year veteran Shelby Edgar was selected as the Most Dedicated Athlete while perennial all-star Marriya Jenkins collected her FIFTH consecutive Most Valuable Athlete trophy. Jenkins then proceeded to add to her status as the most decorated athlete in Concordia Thunder history collecting two more parchments as an ACAC All-Conference and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian athlete and a crystal trophy as a CCAA All-Canadian. In her final appearance at the podium, Jenkins was joined by teammate Kristina Dong as both were feted as Graduates.
Next up, it was the men's turn to take the stage with Kenton Sportak starting off, taking the hardware as the Most Improved Athlete. Co-Captain and fourth year veteran Kevin Chambers collected his second consecutive Most Dedicated Athlete title as well as his second consecutive Outstanding Scholastic Athlete certificate. With his record-breaking, multi-Gold Medal season, fifth year veteran Kirk Sundt was unquestionably the Most Valuable Athlete. Sundt – along with team mate Sportak – were both lauded as ACAC All-Conference athletes and as co-winners of the ACAC Player of the Year designation. Sundt continued to rack up the accolades, being recognized as a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian. The 'running men' closed out their portion of the evening acknowledging their Graduates, Kevin Chambers and Ben Thomas.
After saying good-bye to the core of his record-breaking 2014-15 team last Spring, Thunder Badminton Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine showed prodigious recruiting skill in the off season and put the 2015-16 edition of the Thunder right back up on the medal podium. Leading off the parade of winners was second year player Alex Stewart, who was named as this season's Most Improved Athlete. One of the few remaining team veterans, Lindsay Ross took home the hardware as the Most Dedicated Athlete. Then it was time for the 'Takeisha Wang show', with the rookie phenom being celebrated as the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete, the Most Valuable Player, the ACAC Player of the Year and – along with Women's Doubles partner Rachael Smillie – an ACAC All-Conference athlete. Rookie Calvin Siu also received acknowledgement for his All-Conference selection. Wang rounded out her incredible season, receiving honours as both a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian. Badminton wrapped up their time on the dais with the acknowledgement of Graduates Alysha Dyck and Lindsay Ross.
Boasting a full Men's team again this season, Thunder Golf named second year player Connor Beeston as the team's Most Dedicated Athlete. Fifth year veteran and two-sport athlete Beau Ferbey was named as the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete while fourth year Graduate Brendan Algeo was named as the team's Most Valuable Player.
Led to the stage by first year Coach Travis Jones, the Thunder Curling team wasted no time in naming Jessica Panchyshyn (the team's only rookie athlete) not surprisingly, as the Rookie of the Year! Next up to the podium was fourth year 'versatile veteran' Jason Ferster who receive kudos as the team's Outstanding Scholastic Athlete. Second year athlete Adrienne Maschmeyer took home the hardware for Most Valuable Athlete and stayed at the podium to receive accolades as the ACAC Player of the Year for Skipping her squad to the ACAC Mixed Team Gold Medal. Thunder Curling closed out the evening with Jason Ferster – along with fellow fourth year player Konnor Wood – receiving recognition as ACAC All-Conference Athletes.
With their players literally hanging off the stairs at the end of the stage, Thunder Athletics' largest contingent of athletes 'took the face-off' on their portion of the evening with Hockey team Head Coach Dan Glegloff naming Defenseman David Randall as the Rookie of the Year. Next up, the puck bounced to third year Defenseman and former two-sport athlete Connor Reinson as he was selected as the Most Improved Player. For the second time that night, fifth year veteran Defensemen (and Golfer) Beau Ferbey took the parchment as the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete while the team's top scorer, Nathan Smith took home the hardware as the Most Valuable Player. Rounding out the evening, the team could have filled an entire wall with Graduation plaques with seven athletes being so recognized: Jordan Hoffman, Filip Kejdana, Rhys Hadfield, Tyler Stevenson, Brett Richards, Filiph Bystrom and Beau Ferbey.
Thunder Women's Volleyball began their presentation with Head Coach Trever Turner naming Libero Tierra Pitt as the team's Rookie of the Year. The Most Dedicated Athlete trophy went to third year Outside Hitter Shandelle Meyer. Second year Middle Julia Heupel earned the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete Award and then turned right around to return to the podium as she was also honoured as the team's Most Valuable Player.
On the Men's Volleyball side, short and sweet was the order of the day with first year Head Coach Lucas Jacobson bringing Middle Hunter Scott to the podium as the Rookie of the Year. For the second year in a row, fourth year Right Side Connor Reeves was named the Most Dedicated Athlete. Reeves and Scott were not done yet as they were named as the co-winners of the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete Award. For the third consecutive year, fifth year Setter and team Captain Alex Ingstrup was named as the Most Valuable Player. Ingstrup was also joined by fourth year Libero Christian Legg as they received Graduation plaques.
In his fourth year as a Thunder Minor Official, Gabe Wood was feted as this season's Minor Official of the Year. Gabe has filled multiple roles over the course of his service to Thunder Athletics and this season was the DakStats Operator for Thunder Volleyball AND the DakStats Spotter for Thunder Basketball.
Tom Austin Sportsmanship Award
This year's recipient of the Tom Austin Sportsmanship Award was 5th year Men's Basketball stalwart Nathaniel Wojcicki.
Coaches of the Year
In 2014-15, Thunder Athletics observed that it is a rarity when a Coach is selected as an ACAC Coach of the Year in their respective sport and so it is an even more unusual circumstance when not only one but TWO Thunder Coaches were chosen as COY's in 2014-15. This season, Thunder Athletics had not one, not two but THREE coaches that were so honoured. For the second consecutive year, Franco Imbrogno was named as the ACAC Women's Soccer North Division Coach of the Year. Cross-Country Running and Indoor Track's Matt Norminton was the COY in Cross Country Running last season and this season, took the same honours for Indoor Track. Badminton's Kevin MacAlpine also took home his second ACAC Coach of the Year parchment, having been honoured with the same title back in the 2010-11 season. All three coaches were recognized for their remarkable achievements by their respective team Captains.
This year, Thunder Athletics honoured Eleven athletes who completed all 5 years of their eligibility in collegiate sport and of those eleven, Eight of them completed all 5 years in a Thunder uniform. Plaques of appreciation were given to Men's Basketball's Nathaniel Wojcicki, Cross-Country Running/Indoor Track's Marriya Jenkins, Kristina Dong, Kirk Sundt and Kenton Sportak, Hockey's Tyler Stevenson, Brett Richards, Beau Ferbey and Filiph Bystrom, Men's Soccer's Justin Pucci and Men's Volleyball's Alex Ingstrup.
Female Athlete of the Year
This year's nominees for the Thunder Athletics Female Athlete of the Year were: Badminton's Takeisha Wang – Takeisha was an ACAC All-Conference athlete and Player of the Year, an ACAC Silver and CCAA Bronze Medalist in Women’s Doubles and a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian; Cross-Country Running/Indoor Track's Marriya Jenkins – Marriya was the team Captain, MVP and Thunder top finisher in every race, an ACAC Silver Medalist and All-Conference athlete and a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian; Curling's Adrienne Maschmeyer – Adrienne was an ACAC Gold Medalist, the first female Skip to win a Mixed-team title in ACAC history and the first Mixed-team player to be named an ACAC Player of the Year; and Soccer's Kaitlyn Diduck – Kaitlyn was a team Captain and MVP, 1st Team All-Star at the ACAC Championship and the Player of the Game at the CCAA National Championship.
The Thunder Athletics Female Athlete of the Year is TAKEISHA WANG!
Male Athlete of the Year
This year's nominees for the Thunder Athletics Male Athlete of the Year were: Basketball's Jason Jones Jr. – Jason was an ACAC 1st Team All-Conference athlete, team Co-Captain and top scorer averaging 16 PPG and he recorded four, 30+ point games in 2015-16; Cross-Country Running/Indoor Track/Badminton's Kirk Sundt – Kirk was an ACAC Silver Medalist and All-Conference athlete, an ACAC Triple Gold Medalist in Indoor Track and co-winner of Player of the Year and a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian; Hockey's Nathan Smith – Nathan was the team MVP, the top scorer with 34 points in 29 games and was 9th place overall in ACAC scoring; and Soccer's Jose Villanueva – Jose was the team Co-Captain and MVP, an ACAC All-Conference athlete and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian.
The Thunder Athletics Male Athlete of the Year is KIRK SUNDT!
CONGRATULATIONS to all of our honourees and to ALL of our Thunder Athletes on another fantastic year!!
Athletes of the Year Takeisha Wang and Kirk Sundt