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By Denis Lafontaine

                    SPECIAL ATHLETICS EVENTS                    
2013-2014 VANIER ATHLETIC AWARDS BANQUET
VANIER CELEBRATES ITS BEST AND BRIGHTEST ATHLETES
May 16, 2014


SPECIAL AWARDS

Below are the Special Awards which are presented at the end of the evening. These awards include among others, the Coach of the Year Award, the Outstanding Contribution Award as well as the Male & Female Athletes of the Year awards.


FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD - EMILIE P. BELANGER

This award is presented to the female athlete who exhibited the highest degree of accomplishment during 2013-2014. This year's winner is Emilie P. Belanger of the Flag Football team. Emilie is seen below in between Omar Riaz (left), president of the VCSA and Monique Magnan (right), Vanier College's Director of Services for Students.

Click for a high resolution version of this photo.

TEXT FROM THE PRESENTATION:

To present this award, I would like to call on stage the Monique Magnan, head of Services for Students and Omar Riaz president of the VCSA.

This third year player continues to astonish and amaze us all. Despite an almost season ending set back injury, this player decided that she wasn’t going to be a victim. She played through this injury on not one, but 2 varsity teams as she was a member of both the flag football and rugby teams. She commits to training all year round as she excels in many other sports at the elite level. Once again she was recognized as a league all-star for flag football.

She is a also a member of the National ringette team and the Canadian National women’s tackle football team. She is a very versatile player who found a way to remain outstanding offensively and defensively in the face of adversity. The winner will also receive a $250.00 gift from the VCSA.

Please put your hands together for the 2014 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR from the flag football team: EMILIE P. BELANGER.


MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD - TEVONN WALKER

This award is presented to the male athlete who exhibited the highest degree of accomplishment. The recipient this year is Tevonn Walker, star player for the Provincial championship-winning Vanier College Division 1 Basketball Cheetahs. Tevonn was unable to attend the awards banquet. His team photo from this year is seen below.

Click for a high resolution version of this photo.

TEXT FROM THE PRESENTATION:

This student-athlete was co-captain and the best player on a very successful team this season. The team finished with a 16-2 record in league play, won the provincial championship and then had a strong showing at the CCAA national championships in B.C. finishing 4th.

This player has been a first team RSEQ all-star the past 2 seasons and this year he was RSEQ Player of the Year as well as an All-Canadian. He was also CCAA Male Athlete of the Month in February 2014. He led the league in scoring this season with 20.8 points per game, despite playing fewer minutes and fewer shots than most of the other leading scorers. He also finished 4th in the league in steals, 6th in foul shooting and 7th in 3-point shots made. He also contributed 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, in addition to playing stifling defence.

Game in and game out he worked hard on both ends of the court and his energy lifted the entire team. He could always be counted on to take over a game when we needed him the most. In addition, he is a solid student who has already graduated in Social Science.

He has earned a full athletic scholarship to Valparaiso University, where he will major in Business. He has always conducted himself with class, humility and dignity, and he has been a great ambassador for Vanier College during his 3 years at this school. The winner will also receive a $250.00 gift from the VCSA.

The Vanier College 2014 Male Athlete of the Year, from the division 1 basketball team is TEVONN WALKER.


COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD - ANDREW HERTZOG

This award is presented to a person who has shown exceptional leadership and success as a coach of a varsity team at Vanier. This year's recipient is Division 1 Basketball head coach, Andrew Hertzog. Andy led the Cheetahs to a provincial championship and a 4th place finish at the CCAA Nationals. He accepts the award below from Linda Macpherson, Manager of Sports and Recreation.

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TEXT FROM THE PRESENTATION:

Award presented by Linda Macpherson, Manager of Sports and Recreation:

Before we identify the coach of the year award recipient, the athletic department would like to thank all of the coaches for their commitment, effort and countless hours that they put in to run their program. All of the coaches are part-time and we do appreciate their involvement with the Cheetahs! To all players, please let’s give them a round of applause.

This year’s recipient is a previous winner of the award. He has been a coach at Vanier for 25 years now and still has the will to keep on improving his players and bettering an already successful program. He is a very devoted and passionate individual and spends countless hours recruiting, scouting, planning and much more for the sport that he loves.

This season, he assembled a great group of talented and hard-working guys as well as a great coaching unit that led the team to a very successful season finishing with a 16-2 record, clinching first place in the RSEQ league. A great win over Dawson won them the Provincial Championship and a berth into the National Championship. They were involved in some very close games winning one in overtime and losing one in overtime. Their perseverance led them a 4th place finish at the Nationals a very honorable achievement.

It is my pleasure to announce that the 2014 coaching award goes to ANDREW HERTZOG, head coach of the men’s division 1 basketball team.


OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION AWARD - SOLANGE BOYER

This Award is presented to a person who has shown exemplary commitment to the service of Athletics at Vanier College. The recipient this year is Solange Boyer, sports statistician extraordinaire. She is seen below accepting the award from Athletics webmaster Denis Lafontaine.

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TEXT FROM THE PRESENTATION:

Before we move on to the next award, on behalf of the Athletic Department, I’ll take this opportunity to thank a number of people who also help out with our athletics programs in with different contributions.

Kim Muncey and Paul Price who act as are academic coaches for student-athletes. Tom Ingerman in Admissions, for his assistance following up on the admission process of our recruits. The VCSA and its president, Omar Riaz, for their continued support through the years and for their generous contribution for the door prizes tonight. Anita McManus, Alex Borja and all of the advisors who assist the athletes in ensuring that they have what they need to go to the next step, whether it is the NCAA or CIS schools and is overall a great resource for student-athletes. Denis Lafontaine, our web master, for countless hours of volunteering to update our athletic website and for tweeting score updates. Max Hanna our head athletic therapist, Sonia Admani his assistant and all of their student-therapists who are volunteers with each of the teams. Last but not least, Ritchie, from the equipment room, for providing great assistance to our teams.

Now on to this year’s award presentation for Outstanding Contribution…… The award will be presented by a former recipient of the outstanding contribution award. This college employee, works in IT support services and as previously mentioned spends many hours in managing the College athletic website, please welcome Denis Lafontaine.

This year’s recipient is a silent contributor to the Cheetahs football team as she operates behind the scenes. She probably will be embarrassed for receiving this award tonight. However, her commitment and dedication cannot be ignored. Solange has been a long-time fan and contributor to the Cheetahs, long before she officially became part of our staff 4 years ago.

She served as the RSEQ statistician for Division I football for many years and also was the Alouettes game statistician when they rejoined the CFL. Her attention to detail is what sets her apart from the rest. For most of you out there, you have no idea as to how fast-paced and demanding the job of statistician is. The details she so diligently records of each and every down played by the Cheetahs have contributed significantly to some of the awards and accolades that Cheetah team members have received over the years as well as is of great help to the coaching staff in their game preparation.

She is a consistent source of great content for the athletic website not only of our current players but of many of the alumni that she diligently tracks whether through University and the professional ranks. She also maintains and updates our page on the Versus Football website. Thanks to her, we have accumulated an amazing bank of our football program history yet most of the players probably have no idea of all of what she does until tonight.

And for those of you who have had the opportunity to taste some of the sweet treats that she bakes and brings to the coaches meeting on Tuesday night know that they would be worthy of being served here tonight. Solange is a very thoughtful and giving person and we are privileged to have her with the Cheetah family.

Please put your hands together for: SOLANGE BOYER.


ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - TRISTAN MASSON

Tristan Masson is the first ever overall winner from any men's basketball team. He maintained a phenomenal 97.8% average.

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TEXT FROM THE PRESENTATION:

This award recognizes those student-athletes who have achieved an academic average of 80% or higher in the 2012 fall semester while competing for the College.

This year we had no fewer than 55 dedicated student-athletes who were presented awards. View the full list.

Among the winners were no fewer than ten student-athletes who maintained averages above 90%. They are listed below:

Christina Muccari - Soccer (also on dean’s honours roll)
Valeria Valery Cano - Flag Football (also on dean’s honours roll)
Mariane St-Laurent - Basketball Catherine Desbiens - Basketball
Yasmina Abou-Nakkoul - Cheerleading (also on dean’s honours roll)
Cullen Tennant - Football (also on dean’s honours roll)
Yasmina Lemzoudi - Rugby (also on dean’s honours roll)
Catia Fallone - Rugby (also on dean’s honours roll)
Olivia D'Eugenio - Soccer (also on dean’s honours roll)
Anne Yin - Rugby (also on dean’s honours roll)

And finally, accepting the award as the top student athlete, studying in the Social science program, he is the first men’s basketball player to be named top student athlete, he cumulated an average of 97.8% last Fall please applaud, from the men’s division 2 basketball team, second year student: TRISTAN MASSON.

(There is a link at the bottom of this page to photos of all Acadmic Achievement Award winners who attended the awards banquet.)


CHEETAH LEADERSHIP AWARD - JEAN-GABRIEL POULIN

This award is given in recognition of a specific set of qualities which include leadership, effort and character as well as personal integrity. This year's recipient is Jean-Gabriel Poulin of the divsion 1 men's football team.

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TEXT FROM THE PRESENTATION:

This award will be presented by Vanier athletic coordinator Mireille Beland:

Nick Katerinakis, a Vanier alumnus, a dual sport athlete and one of the members of our National Championship winning basketball team in 1987 has contributed a $500 donation to be awarded to a student athlete. The Cheetah Leadership award recognizes a student-athlete who is displaying great leadership, effort and character while competing in Athletics and accomplishing academic success while demonstrating integrity as a student-athlete.

We have three quality nominations for this year’s award. As the nominees are announced, I would like for them to stand up at their respective tables to identify themselves.

This year’s first nominee comes from the men’s div. 1 basketball team. He showed leadership in many ways, and has the deepest respect of all his teammates and the coaching staff. When the team struggled, he inspired all through his play, his comments and gestures. He was a calming and steadying influence during games, constantly giving the team whatever was needed to win. In practice, he was always helping and guiding his teammates, and particularly the younger players. Outside the gym, he has always conducted himself with class, humility and honour, and he has been a diligent student. He will pursue his academic and athletic career at Valparaiso University next year. Although Max has only been at Vanier for a year, but he is as proud to be a Cheetah as any of our athletes, and in the past year his leadership has been of enormous benefit to his team’s success. Let’s all applaud Max Joseph.

This year’s second nominee is a 3rd year social science student. His ability to lead by example made him one of the most respected players that Vanier Football has ever produced. His ability to make big plays at critical moments earned him the respect from coaches and players across the league. He was totally committed to the team concept and many times would mentor the younger players on the team. His ability to relate to all players was an asset that is rarely seen. He was appointed Captain of the cheetahs in his 2nd year an honor that is normally bestowed to third year players exclusively. A committed student, he will be pursuing his studies and playing football at the University of Western next season. Please put your hands together for Jean-Gabriel Poulin.

This year’s third nominee comes from the flag football team. This third year player has been extremely vocal since she set foot onto the Vanier football field. Having come from a championship high school, this player expected nothing less from her new teammates. After not making the playoffs in the first season, she reset her focus the following season and made sure that her new teammates understood what it took to win…they did! This year, this player did a fantastic job of being a leader by simply showing up to every practice and every game making sure her teammates believed in their abilities. Her actions spoke volumes to everyone which was clearly a definition of leadership… Let’s all applaud: Carolann Pouliot.

And now it is my pleasure to announce this year’s recipient of the CHEETAH LEADERSHIP AWARD: Jean-Gabriel Poulin from the football team.


BILL MACARTHUR MEMORIAL AWARD - OLIVIER JEAN-CHARLES

This is a new award which will be presented to a Vanier basketball player who exemplifies the attributes that made the late Bill MacArthur so special to all who had the privilege of knowing him.

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TEXT FROM THE PRESENTATION:

As most of you know, Bill was a Physical Educator who worked at Vanier from 1978 until the day he suddenly died on January 1st, 2014.

Bill was passionate about everything he did and was a huge supporter of all the Cheetahs but had a particular love for the game of basketball, and served as an assistant with the men’s AAA team from 2002-2004. He is remembered for his positive outlook, enthusiasm, loyalty and never say die attitude.

A $500 scholarship will be awarded annually to a Vanier College basketball player who reflects Bill’s character and attitude towards life and the game he loved.

This award is funded by a friend of Bill’s who wants to ensure that his contributions to Vanier College will not be forgotten and to reward a Cheetah “baller” for exemplifying the attributes that made Bill so special to all who had the privilege to know him.

The recipient of the first Bill MacArthur Memorial Award is:
From the men's Divison 2 Basketball team: Olivier Jean-Charles.


EVA R. GSUM SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
Alesia Barrett and Kyle Johnston

This scholarship is given in recognition of hard work and sportsmanship. The award is sponsored by the Eva R. Gsum Foundation and Money Mart. This year's recipients are Alesia Barrett of the Women's Basketball team and Kyle Johnston of the Division 1 Men's Basketball Cheetahs.

Click for a high resolution version of this photo.
Alesia Barrett (left) accepts the award from her coach, Ruby Viray

Click for a high resolution version of this photo.
Kyle Johnston (right) accepts the award from his coach, Andy Hertzog

TEXT FROM THE PRESENTATION:

The EVA R. GSUM Foundation was created by 4 individuals, including 2 Vanier basketball alumni, and is dedicated to helping young student-athletes participate in organized sports.

The award includes a new $250 scholarship sponsored by Money Mart which is awarded to a member of the Vanier Division 1 women’s basketball team and a $500 scholarship whichis awarded to a member of the Vanier Division 1 men’s basketball team.

The award is given to a student in good academic standing who has demonstrated hard work and sportsmanship, and who has improved his basketball skills and knowledge.

The recipients for this year are:
Alesia Barrett and Kyle Johnston.


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