On March 20 at TCU Place, over 300 athletes, friends, family, fans and alumni gathered to honour the best of Huskies Athletics in the 2014–15 year.
At the annual celebration, eight awards are presented: the male and female athletes of the year, the male and female rookies of the year, the best all-around male and female athletes, the top coach and the best trainer.
Mark Ingram claimed the E. Kent Phillips Trophy for Male Athlete of the Year with an impressive season on the gridiron. The fifth-year safety was named Canada West Defensive Player of the Year and finished the 2014 season with 48.5 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, four knockdowns and six interceptions. The other nominees were Ben Baker (basketball), Graham Black (track and field), Dylan Bray (wrestling) and Brett Levis (soccer).
The Mary Ethel Cartwright Trophy for Female Athlete of the Year went to Annie Monteith, who earned a gold at the Canada West championships without giving up a point before heading on to nationals where she earned silver.
She finished no lower than fourth at any meet this season and was also honoured with CanWest Most Outstanding Female Wrestler and a CIS second team Academic All-Canadian. Also nominated for the award was Dalyce Emmerson (basketball), Olena Olenick (track and field) and Jenelle Zapski (soccer).
Josh Bodnarchuk was awarded the Howard Nixon Trophy for Male Rookie of the Year after he burst onto the wrestling scene. The Saskatoon native won gold at the CanWest and CIS championships in the 54-kilogram weight class. Bodnarchuk also won CanWest and CIS Rookie of the Year. Also considered for the award was Colin Fraser (volleyball), Kieran Johnston (football, track and field) and Michael Sofillas (hockey).
The wrestling domination continued as Megan Nelthorpe won the Patricia Lawson Trophy for Female Rookie of the Year. Nelthorpe beat out Tia Baker (track and field) for the award after a stellar
wrestling campaign that saw her worst finish being fifth all season. She also picked up a CanWest bronze medal and finished fourth at nationals.
Basketball guard Kabree Howard took home the Valerie Girsberger Trophy, which is given to an upper-year Female All-Round Athlete. A two-time CanWest champion and a CIS silver medalist, Howard has been a key piece to the women’s basketball team over the past five seasons.
An All-Academic in all years of her career, Howard has coached a Junior Huskie team since 2011 and also coaches at St. Joseph High School. She has been actively involved in the Saskatoon community, volunteering for events such as clothing drives, KidSport, KinSpin and cancer research events.
Matthew Busse won the men’s version of the trophy, the Rusty MacDonald Cup, for his contributions on and off the volleyball court. An All-Academic in all seasons with the Huskies, the right side has also been a leader off the court. Busse has volunteered with his team for various events such as Tim Horton’s Camp Day, the Christmas Hamper Project and the University Cup.
Men’s soccer head coach Bryce Chapman won the Colb McEwon Trophy for Coach of the Year after he guided the team to a historic season. The squad had the best record in program history and won the CanWest title for the first time ever.
Huskie Athletics also handed out the Dr. Walter Hader Student Trainer of the Year Award to men’s hockey trainer Garrett Saxton. The trophy is given to a student trainer who displays dedicated volunteer service to Huskie Athletics and promise in the field of sports medicine.
Along with the major award winners, CanWest and CIS All-Stars, All-Canadians and fifth-year athletes were also honoured at the event.
Photos: Katherine Fedoroff/Photo Editor