(ISN) – Charlottetown, PEI —UPEI’s Department of Athletics and Recreation celebrated the 2014–15 season at the 46th annual UPEI Athletic Awards Gala on Saturday, March 28, recognizing outstanding student athletes who have excelled in sport, the classroom, and serving the community. The UPEI Alumni Association’s Outstanding Athlete of the Year awards went to women’s basketball star Amy Gough and to co-winners, men’s basketball standout, Tyler Scott, and dual athlete Cole MacMillan (men’s soccer and hockey).
The event, held at the PEI Brewing Company, included student-athletes, coaches, staff, along with senior administration, alumni, donors, sponsors, and booster club supporters.
UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz said, “The UPEI Panther Celebration and Athletic Awards Gala is an exciting opportunity for student-athletes, coaches, staff and their supporters to reflect on a great season. It is also a wonderful occasion for the University community to recognize athletic, academic, and community service excellence among our Panther student-athletes.”
“Tonight is when we, as a Panther community, remember the fun times and the individual and team challenges and successes,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation Chris Huggan. “It is a night for all Panthers to feel proud about representing the University and the pieces of history that they have contributed to Panther Sport. It is also a time to get excited about what lies ahead for next season, and for those seniors who are graduating, what their next steps in sport and in life will be.”
In addition to the Athlete of the Year awards, club and varsity team awards were presented. The MVP and Rookie of the Year award winners from each team include:
Women’s volleyball Ellie Beck Rachel Hughes
Men’s rugby Harrison Torr Brian MacKay
Women’s rugby Megan Larkin Alysha Corrigan
Field hockey Katherine Koughan Hannah Gormley
Men’s soccer Jared Murphy Ben Keefe
Women’s soccer Emilie Pelletier Julia MacSwain
Men’s hockey Chris Desousa Marcus Power
Women’s hockey Samantha Sweet Emma Weatherbie
Men’s basketball Tyler Scott Milorad Sedlarevic
Women’s basketball Amy Gough n/a
Swimming Rebekah Nitschmann Hannah Jenkins
Joël Legault Martin Sobey
The J.T. “Mickey” Place Awards are presented by the UPEI Student Union to student-athletes who have made a contribution to student leadership on their team and on campus. John Thomas “Mickey” Place was connected not only with Athletics at UPEI, but also with all aspects of campus life. These awards were given in his memory to: Lauren Chamberlain (women’s rugby), Emily Ross (field hockey), Adam Lowther (men’s soccer), Kelsie Collier (women’s soccer), Mason Wilgosh (men’s hockey), Ferran Brown (women’s hockey), Geoff Doane (men’s basketball), Darcy Zinck (women’s basketball), and Rebekah Nitchsmann (swimming).
The Gordon and Muriel Bennett Award is given to a student (male or female) who, over four years, best combined athletic achievement and academic excellence. Men’s soccer student-athlete Jared Murphy was this year’s recipient.
The W.A. Ledwell Award goes to a student-athlete who has demonstrated outstanding athletic ability in the intercollegiate program, academic excellence, and the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and citizenship. Samantha Sweet from women’s hockey was the recipient.
One of the evening highlights was the presentation of the Passion for Life Award, originated in memory of Rene Ayangma, a former UPEI soccer player. All nominees were recognized and the overall award winner was women’s basketball player Danielle MacDonald.
“A successful Athletics program is important to the University and it is at events like tonight’s celebration where we can demonstrate that,” added President Abd-El-Aziz. “On behalf of the entire UPEI family, I congratulate everyone for representing UPEI in the community with Panther Pride. I am very proud of you.”
About the UPEI Athletes of the Year and Major Award Winners
Amy Gough, a 5’10” guard on the women’s basketball team, is a fifth-year nursing student from, St. John’s, NL. She was named The Wave Athlete of the Week twice during the regular season and an AUS First Team All-Star and had a tremendous AUS championship, being named to the AUS Championship Tournament All-Star Team.
Tyler Scott is a 6’2″ guard from Halifax, NS who was a strong performer for the men’s basketball team all season. The second-year business administration student was named The Wave Athlete of the Week several times as well as CIS Athlete of the Week for November 10 to 16. He was an AUS First Team All-Star and a CIS Second Team All-Canadian.
Cole MacMillan, from Stanhope, is a fourth-year Arts student who plays both varsity soccer and hockey. In men’s soccer, the 5’11” striker was the team’s nominee for the Passion for Life Award, was an AUS First Team All-Star, and CIS Championship All-Star.
Jared Murphy, a Charlottetown native, is 5’10” striker for the men’s soccer team. The fifth-year Business Administration student has consistently performed at an elite level during his entire university career. He is a CIS Academic All-Canadian, AUS First Team All-Star, CIS Championship All-Star, and CIS Championship bronze medallist. He was a four-time UPEI Athlete of the Week and an AUS Athlete of the Week during the 2014–15 season.
Samantha Sweet, from O’Leary, is a fourth-year Science student and three-time CIS Academic All-Canadian. The 5’6″ forward has been assistant captain for the past two years and led her women’s hockey team to an AUS championship in 2012. She was The Wave Athlete of the Week and AUS Athlete of the Week for the week ending December 3, 2014.
Danielle MacDonald is a 5’5″ guard from Sydney Mines, NS, who was the women’s basketball team’s nominee for the Passion for Life Award. A leader on- and off-the-court, the fifth-year Science student was the major force behind her team’s “Shoot for the Cure” fundraiser, in support of breast cancer research. She was The Wave Athlete of the Week for the week ending February 22, 2015.