ANTIGONISH, NS --- The StFX Athletic Department honored the athletic accomplishments of their varsity athletes Monday evening at their annual awards gala at the Charles V. Keating Centre. X-Women hockey forward Sarah Bujold was named the StFX Female Student-Athlete of the Year, while X-Men football quarterback Tivon Cook was awarded StFX Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors. The StFX Female Community X-Cellence award was presented to Connor Garagan from the X-Women hockey team, while Eric Locke (X-Men hockey) and Ryan Washburn (X-Men track & field) were co-winners of the StFX Male Community X-Cellence award.
Sarah Bujold is a third year Human Kinetics from Riverview, N.B. who had a breakthrough season for the StFX X-Women, leading them to a national championship berth. The most valuable player of the AUS, Sarah led the conference and the country in both points (43) and goals scored this season (24). She was also second in U SPORTS in hat tricks with three in 24 games played. Bujold led the X-Women to a third-place finish in the regular season, narrowly losing out on an AUS title with a triple overtime loss in the final game.
Her plus-minus rating of +30 was the second highest in the country and she led the conference in game-winning goals (5) and empty net goals (3). Sarah was honored for her efforts by being recognized as a U SPORTS first team all-Canadian and she received the prestigious Broderick trophy as the U SPORTS women's hockey most valuable player of the year. She becomes the fourth X-Women hockey athlete to be named the StFX Female Student-Athlete of the Year. Previous hockey winners include Alexa Normore (2014), Suzanne Fenerty (2011) and Brayden Ferguson (2008).
Tivon Cook is a fourth year Arts student (in his fifth year eligibility) from Scarborough, Ont. who led the X-Men to their second consecutive AUS championship title and a berth in the U SPORTS Mitchell Bowl national semifinal. The most valuable player of the Atlantic conference, Tivon led the AUS in nearly every passing category this season, including completions (174), attempts (251), completion percentage (69.3%), yards (2,537) and yards per game (317.1). He also led in touchdowns with 21 on the season.
The five-foot-nine, 205-lb senior broke several StFX school records this season including most passing yards in a single season (2,537), most career passing attempts (871), most career passing completions (536) and most career passing yards (6,943). His six touchdown passes in StFX's final regular season game tied a school record for the most in a game as he went 22 for 27. Tivon now sits tied for second in the AUS record book for most passing touchdowns in a single game, most passing yards in a single season, most career passing attempts, most career passing completions and third in most career passing yards. Cook becomes the 10th X-Men football athlete to receive StFX Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors and the first since Ron Omara in 2014.
Connor Garagan, a fourth year forward with the X-Women hockey team, is a Human Kinetics student from Fredericton, N.B. The president of both the Adapted Sport Society and Canadian Obesity Society chapter at StFX, she has extensive volunteer experience. Connor hosted an Autism Awareness Day at StFX, a Superhero Saturday event for youth, an inclusive skating event; she is a coach with the X-sledge hockey team and has been a member of the best buddies program. She was a group leader with the X-Women hockey youth camp, an X-Men hockey youth power skating instructor, and she is a member of the StFX pre-med society. Connor has presented and spoke at various academic conferences and has been a research/lab assistant for Motor Activities at X.
Ryan Washburn, a fourth year sprinter with the X-Men track & field team, will graduate with his BSc Human Kinetics degree this spring. A native of New Glasgow, N.S., he is an assistant coach with Team Nova Scotia for the upcoming 2017 North American Indigenous Games. Ryan is a member of the volunteer services team at the Aberdeen Hospital in his nearby hometown, and was a volunteer with the X-Campus medical response team. He lent his time to the StFX Fit 4 Life after school program, assisted a speech therapist with an autistic teenager and was a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council.
Eric Locke is a fourth year Human Kinetics student (in his third year eligibility) as a forward with the X-Men hockey team. A native of Toronto, Eric was the recipient of the AUS Godfrey Award, honoring excellence in community service. A Leader of Distinction with the StFX Leadership Academy, he volunteered his time with the Antigonish Minor Hockey mentorship program, the Antigonish Multi-Sport program and the Paq'Tnkek First Nation learn-to-play initiative. Eric has been involved with the StFX Fit 4 Life and Fit 4 Tots children's programs, serves on the Student Athlete Advisory Council and is a member of the StFX pre-med society. He was the recipient of the 2015-16 Athletic Director's award for academic excellence and received the AUS James Bayer Award.
2016-17 Community X-Cellence award winners Ryan Washburn, Connor Garagan and Eric Locke
Michel Richard and Cliff Vacheresse were honored as co-recipients of the StFX Athletics 'X-Ceptional Award' which recognizes individuals who go above and beyond to contribute in a positive manner to StFX Athletics. Employees with Ambassatours Gray Line bus services, Michel and Cliff have been bus drivers for numerous road trips and away games with all X-Men and X-Women teams over the past decade. Friendly faces who regularly greet student-athletes, coaches and staff, Michel and Cliff are professional in their roles and get the teams safely to and from where they need to be. They are also big supporters and fans of all StFX teams, taking time away from their own families to be a part of the StFX Athletics family, and the department is very grateful for the role they have played in the X-Men and X-Women program successes over the years.
Student-athletes Eric Locke and Bridget Brennan present the X-Ceptional Awards to Michel Richard and Cliff Vacheresse
Gary Waterman was the winner of the 2016-17 StFX Coach of the Year award. In his 8th season as X-Men football head coach, Gary led the X-Men to a first place finish in the AUS conference with a 7-1 record. His X-Men won back-to-back conference titles as they were AUS champions once again in 2016, along with being national semi-finalists, competing in the U SPORTS Mitchell Bowl. Coach Waterman was honored for the second year in a row as the AUS football coach of the year and his team had a record-high 14 AUS all-stars and four U SPORTS All-Canadian athletes.
Leo MacPherson presents the 2016-17 StFX Coach of the Year award to Gary Waterman
In a banner season, six StFX teams, one track and field relay team, and five individual track and field athletes received their traditional varsity 'X's in honor of their AUS championships from this past season. AUS championship teams included the X-Women rugby, X-Men cross country, X-Women soccer, X-Men football, X-Women curling and X-Men hockey teams, along with the AUS champion X-Women 4x200m track and field relay team. Individual AUS champions honored were track and field athletes Mary Catherine Thompson (pole vault), Ellen Murphy (weight throw), Angus Rawling (3000m), Adrian Kinney (60m) and Alex Cyr (1500m). The 2016 U SPORTS national champion X-Women rugby team were also honored and received championship rings. They won their fifth Monilex trophy in the past 11 years last November.
X-Men and X-Women student-athletes who received AUS and U SPORTS accolades were recognized for their achievements as StFX Athletics produced 53 AUS all-stars, four AUS all-rookies, 13 AUS major awards winners, nine U SPORTS all-Canadians, three U SPORTS tournament all-stars and three U SPORTS major award winners this past varsity season. All student-athletes who consumed their first year of eligibility received their traditional StFX varsity pins from their respective head coaches.
Student therapists and student managers from all StFX varsity teams were presented with plaques of appreciation for their contributions to the 2016-17 varsity season, with StFX soccer manager Kate Roberts and X-Men basketball manager Billy Andrews receiving the male and female student-manager of the year awards.
Individual awards for each varsity team were handed out by StFX coaches to the athletes in the categories as listed below.
2017 StFX Athletic Awards Gala – Individual Award Winners
Rookie of the Year – Jessica Miller (Mount Denson, NS)
Most Improved Player (co-awarded) – Holly Scott (Antigonish, NS), Jamie McCarron (New Glasgow, NS)
Most Valuable Player – Kim Taylor (Toronto, ON)
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
Rookie of the Year – Zoe Johnston (Pembroke, ON)
Coach's Award – Mary MacDonald (Kingston, ON)
Runner of the Year – Liz MacDonald (Bedford, NS)
Rookie of the Year – Lindsey Donovan (Mirimichi, NB)
Coach's Award – Carly Burrows (New Glasgow, NS)
Most Valuable Player – Sarah Bujold (Riverview, NB)
Rachel Duffley Memorial Rookie of the Year – Meghan Buchanan (Lethbridge, AB)
Michelle Birks Memorial Coaches Award – Ellen Murphy (Augustine Cove, PE)
Most Valuable Player – Joanna Alphonso (Ajax, ON)
Rookie of the Year – Mercy Myles (Accra, Ghana)
Coaches Award – Brittany Parks (Kennetcook, NS)
Most Valuable Player – Alix Bruch (Calgary, AB)
WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD
Rookie of the Year – Alanna Deakin (Dubai, UAE)
Coach's Award – Hayley Wilson (Skye Glen, NS)
Track Athlete of the Year – Ellen Murphy (Augustine Cove, PE)
Rookie of the Year – Justin Andrew (Hamilton, ON)
Most Improved Player – Tristen Ross (Truro, NS)
Most Valuable Player – Kevin Bercy (Kanata, ON)
MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
Rookie of the Year – Addison Derhak (Waterloo, ON)
Coach's Award – Scott Donald (Ottawa, ON)
Runner of the Year – Calvin DeWolfe (Bridgewater, NS)
Joe Stewart Memorial Rookie of the Year – Jonathan Zamora (Toronto, ON)
Offensive Player of the Year (co-awarded) – Dejuan Martin (Scarborough, ON), Jordan Socholotiuk (Fort McMurray, AB)
Defensive Player of the Year – Hayden Peters (Inverary, ON)
Special Teams Player of the Year – Kaion Julien-Grant (Toronto, ON)
Lineman of the Year – Vernon Sainvil (Malden, MA)
Most Valuable Player – Tivon Cook (Scarborough, ON)
Rookie of the Year – Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS)
Melanson Top Scorer Award (co-awarded) – Eric Locke (Toronto, ON), Michael Clarke (London, ON)
Wayne Mattie Memorial Unsung Hero Award – Craig Duininck (St. Cloud, MN)
Most Valuable Player – Eric Locke (Toronto, ON)
Rookie of the Year – Tane Caubo (London, England)
Coaches Award – Matt Lannan (Port Williams, NS)
Most Valuable Player – Alex Taylor (Fall River, NS)
MEN'S TRACK & FIELD
Rookie of the Year – Garrette VanderSlyk (Malagash, NS)
Coach's Award – Angus Rawling (Calgary, AB)
Track Athlete of the Year – Adrian Kinney (Bristol, NB)