MONTREAL – Hockey player Cedric McNicoll of Boucherville, Que., and basketball star Mariam Sylla of Conakry, the capital city of Guinea, were named male and female athletes of the year, respectively, at the 38th annual McGill varsity sports awards gala, held at the EVO Montreal student residence, Thursday evening.
McNicoll, a third-year management student in his final year of eligibility, and Sylla, a pharmacology junior, received the Stuart Forbes and Gladys Bean trophies, respectively, as the student-athletes who brought the most credit to the University by reason of their athletic achievements. Both were recognized as CIS Top Eight Academic All-Canadians last fall by Governor-General David Johnston.
Hockey team captain Benoit Levesque, a forward from Vaudreuil, Que., and swimmer Valerie De Broux of Beaconsfield, Que., took home the Richard Pound and Muriel Roscoe trophies, respectively, awarded to the graduating male and female athletes for proficiency and leadership in athletics over their university career.
Jonathan Telfort, a sophomore forward on the men’s basketball team from Boucherville, Que., who collapsed during a scrimmage last November and overcame a near-death experience, received the Dr. Mac Teskey Trophy, presented to an individual who has overcome significant adversity to serve as an inspiration to others.
Basketball forward Francois Bourque of Terrebonne, Que., was awarded the Uldis Auders Memorial Trophy as the top sophomore in any sport, who best combines academic excellence with athletic prowess.
Football linebacker Karl Forgues of Repentigny, Que., and basketball guard Marika Guerin of Sorel-Tracy, Que., were named as the McGill rookies of the year.
The women’s basketball squad received the Martlet Foundation Trophy as the varsity team of the year in a CIS-sanctioned sport. They registered a 26-5 record overall, won the RSEQ championship and posted a best-ever, silver medal finish at the CIS Final Eight tournament.
The baseball Redmen, who registered a 21-9 overall record and captured the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association’s national championship, took home the Harry Griffiths Trophy, awarded to the top team in a non-CIS sport.
Tribute was also paid to McGill’s 65 league all-stars, nine CIS all-Canadians and seven conference championships won during the 2014-15 intercollegiate season. Conference banners were captured by both basketball teams (RSEQ), the hockey Martlets (RSEQ) and the lacrosse Redmen (CUFLA East), in addition to national titles in men’s baseball (CCBA), women’s synchronized swimming (CUSSL) and the women’s lumberjack team (CILA).
Finally, commemorative plaques were presented to the MVPs of 28 varsity teams (see list below).
McGILL’s 2014-15 MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARDS
BADMINTON: Alan Shekhtman (Newton, Mass.) and Anne Ying Wu (Kanata, Ont.)
BASEBALL: Tyler Welence (Ridgewood, N.J.)
BASKETBALL: Francois Bourque (Terrebonne, Que.) and Dianna Ros (Montreal, Que.)
CROSS-COUNTRY RUNNING: Santiago Bessai (Toronto, Ont.) and Jullien Flynn (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.)
FIELD HOCKEY: Marianne Emler (Geneva, Switzerland)
FOOTBALL: Karl Forgues (Repentigny, Que.)
GOLF: Justin Smith (Toronto, Ont.) and Juliette Pollet (Paris, France)
HOCKEY: Cedric McNicoll (Boucherville, Que.) and Gabrielle Davidson (Pte. Claire, Que.)
LACROSSE: William Waesche (Greenwich, Conn.)
ROWING: (tie) Thomas Charbonneau (Miami, Fla.) & Julien Pouliot (Boucherville, Que.) and Kelly Donivan (St. Lazare, Que.)
RUGBY: Usman Naqvi (Dubai, UAE) and Caroline Suchorski (Kirkland, Que.)
SKIING (alpine): Cole Rosenberg (Toronto, Ont.) and Allene Kennedy (3rd consec. year; Truckee, Calif.)
SOCCER: Alexander King (Cambridge, UK) and Claudia Agozzino (St. Leonard, Que.)
SWIMMING: Marc-Andre Benoit (St. Hyacinthe, Que.) and Katie Caldwell (White Rock, B.C.)
SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING: (tie) Stacy Lee (Vancouver, B.C.) and Hannah Ungar (Vancouver, B.C.)
TRACK & FIELD: Helena Reinfels (Puslinch, Ont.) and Riley van Ryswyk (Surrey, B.C.)
VOLLEYBALL: Yasmeen Dawoodjee (Ottawa, Ont.)
(NOTE: A COMPLETE PROFILE FOR EACH AWARD WINNER IS ALSO POSTED BELOW)
McGILL’s 2014-15 MAJOR ATHLETICS AWARD WINNER PROFILES
D. STUART FORBES TROPHY (male athlete of the year):
Cedric McNicoll, Hockey (M), Boucherville, Que.
McNicoll, a shifty 5-foot-10, 186-pound centre from Boucherville, Que., becomes the 19th hockey player to win the Forbes Trophy, which has been awarded annually since 1948.
A first-team OUA East all-star and second-team CIS All-Canadian, he was voted most valuable player of the OUA East Division after finishing tied for fourth in the OUA scoring race with 34 points, including 11 goals in 25 games. The 25-year-old management junior either scored or assisted on 33.3 per cent of the team’s 102 goals. McNicoll is in his second year with the Redmen and his final year of eligibility after a three-year pro career in the AHL and ECHL. He posted a 37-70-107 record overall with only 24 penalty minutes in 75 career contests with the Redmen.
GLADYS BEAN TROPHY (female athlete of the year):
Mariam Sylla, Basketball (W), Conakry, Guinea.
Sylla, a 6-foot-1 forward from Conakry, Guinea, becomes the third basketball player to receive the Bean trophy since its inception in 1992.
Sylla, who merited CIS All-Canadian first-team status, was voted player of the year in the RSEQ conference. She posted a league-leading six “double-doubles” to finish fifth among RSEQ scoring leaders with 12.4 points per game and led the conference with 10.8 rebounds per game, which ranked fourth in the nation. She was ranked third in field-goal shooting (.430), fourth in free-throw percentage (.768) and fourth in blocked shots, with 12 in 16 games. The 22-year-old pharmacology junior was honoured last fall by Governor-General David Johnston as one of the CIS Top Eight Academic All-Canadians.
RICHARD W. POUND AWARD (graduating male for proficiency & leadership):
Benoit Levesque, Hockey (M), Vaudreuil, Que.
Levesque, a fifth-year economics senior from Vaudreuil, Que., becomes the ninth hockey player — the second in a row — to capture the Pound trophy since it was introduced in 1992.
The 6-foot-1, 209-pound defensive forward has served the past two years as team captain and helped the team win two Queen’s Cup league titles and three berths at the CIS championship tournament, including a national championship victory in 2012. A key penalty-killer over his five seasons with the Redmen, he played in 197 games overall, posting 66 points, including 26 goals.
MURIEL V. ROSCOE AWARD (graduating female for proficiency & leadership):
Valerie De Broux, Swimming (W), Beaconsfield, Que.
De Broux, a science senior majoring in nursing, hails from Beaconsfield, Que. She is the 10th swimmer to capture the Roscoe trophy since it was introduced in 1949.
At the 2015 RSEQ conference championships, De Broux was honoured at the RSEQ swim awards gala, where the 5-foot-6 middle distance specialist received the conference’s leadership award for combining swimming with academic excellence and citizenship. An Academic All-Canadian, the 23-year-old senior serves as a Nursing peer mentor, in addition to volunteering with “McGill Best Buddies”, the swim team’s alumni outreach program”, the McGill Varsity Council in addition to being an athletics rep for the Ingram School of Nursing.
In the pool, she collected a pair of silvers and a bronze medal at the 2015 RSEQ championships, helping the 4×100 medley relay set a McGill record in 4:12.45. She also qualified for the CIS championship meet in the 100m breaststroke and the 200m butterfly, as well as both the 4×100 freestyle and 4×100 medley relays.
DR. MAC TESKEY TROPHY (overcoming adversity and serving as inspiration to others):
Jonathan Telfort, Basketball (M), Boucherville, Que.
Telfort, a 20-year-old electrical engineering sophomore from Boucherville, Que., is the eighth Redmen basketball player to capture the Teskey trophy since it was introduced in 1986. The award is named in honour of a McGill swimmer in medical school, who overcame the loss of a lung to cancer, yet still managed to qualify for the CIS championships. This award is presented only on special occasions, to any present or former McGill varsity athlete who, within the current academic year, has demonstrated courage and morale, while serving as an inspiration to his or her teammates.
Telfort had a brush with death during a Redmen basketball scrimmage last November. He collapsed on the basketball court, was not breathing and his heart stopped beating. The team therapists immediately began performing CPR. A portable defibrillator was brought out and his heart was shocked several times. An ambulance arrived within minutes and the technician administered a few shots of adrenalin. He was eventually revived and sent to the hospital, where the doctors determined that he required an implantable defibrillator and that his playing days were over.
The Redmen rallied around their stricken teammate and dedicated the remainder of the season to him and finished first in the RSEQ league standings. In the end, he was a lucky young man, overcame the odds and served as an inspiration to his teammates.
ULDIS AUDERS TROPHY (most outstanding sophomore student-athlete):
Francois Bourque, Basketball (M), Terrebonne, Que.
Bourque, a 6-foot-5, 192-pound power forward from Terrebonne, Que., becomes the fourth Redmen basketball player and the first in 29 years to win this award, since it was introduced in 1982, in memory of Uldis Auders, a former quarterback with the Redmen, who did in a tragic mountain-climbing accident in Nepal.
There was no sophomore jink for Bourque, who was the league’s rookie of the year in 2014 and followed up by being voted as the RSEQ player of the year this season. A first-team league all-star and a CIS second team All-Canadian, he led the Quebec conference in offensive, defensive and total rebounds per game with averages of 3.1, 5.8 and 8.9, respectively. The 22-year-old economics major was tops in the league with five “double-doubles”. He ranked 11th among league scoring leaders in points per game (10.4), was seventh in field-goal shooting (.414) and ninth in blocked shots (0.6).
MALE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Karl Forgues, Football (M), Repentigny, Que.
Forgues, a 5-foot-9, 200-pound outside linebacker from Repentigny, Que., is only the second football player to claim this award since it was initiated in 2010.
A 20-year-old physical education freshman, he was named defensive rookie of the year in the RSEQ conference. He started in all eight games at weak-side linebacker and led the league with a whopping 74.5 total tackles, which ranked as the second-highest in the nation. Forgues was second among CIS leaders in solo tackles (59) and third in quarterback sacks (8).
FEMALE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Marika Guerin, Basketball (W), Sorel-Tracy, Que.
Guerin, a 5-foot-4 point-guard from Sorel-Tracy, Que., is the third consecutive basketball player to win this award, which was initiated in 2010.
The 20-year-old kinesiology freshman merited RSEQ conference all-rookie honours and helped the Martlets produce a best-ever silver-medal finish at the CIS championships. During the regular season, she averaged 4.8 points and shot 33.8 per cent from the floor. She was third on the team in three-point shooting, with a 34.6 success rate and connected on 68.2 per cent of her free-throws. She averaged 20 minutes of playing time per game, collected 23 assists, 17 steals and a pair of blocked shots.
MARTLET FOUNDATION TROPHY (CIS varsity team of the year):
The basketball Martlets, guided by head coach Ryan Thorne, earned the Martlet Foundation trophy, initiated in 1985-86, for the fourth time and the first since 1996.
They finished first of five teams atop the RSEQ standings with a stellar 15-1 record, captured the Quebec championship and posted a best-ever second-place finish at the CIS Final Eight in Quebec City. They ended up with a 26-5 record overall and were ranked for all 13 periods in the weekly CIS Top 10 poll.
HARRY GRIFFITHS TROPHY (non-CIS varsity team of the year):
The Redmen baseball team, guided by head coach and field manager Jason Starr, earned the Harry Griffiths trophy for only the second time since the award was inaugurated in 1996.
They finished first of five teams with a 14-6 record in the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association’s Northern Conference. They were upset in the conference finals by third-place Concordia but qualified for the Nationals as host team and avenged their loss to the Stingers with a 6-1 victory in the league championship game at Gary Carter Field in Trudeau Park. The Redmen finished a stellar campaign with a 21-9 record for Canadian opponents.
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