Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Honouring yet another outstanding group of Gryphons

At the end of the Fall semester, the first edition of the ‘Golden Mikes’ were handed out to some very deserving Gryphons, recognizing their accomplishments in athletics from September through December. With the varsity season now complete and the department’s Intercollegiate Awards Banquet coming up on April 8, Speak into the Mike will take this time to hand out the second series of ‘Golden Mikes,’ along with a few honourable mentions.

photo: Rashaad Bhamjee
Male Athlete of the Half Year – Kyle Boorsma: Boorsma, a fourth-year track and field athlete, won double-gold at the CIS championships, placing first in both the 1500m and 3000m events, after a very strong overall season. Honourable mentions: Jay Mott (basketball), Andrew Ford (swimming), Gabe deGroot (volleyball)
photo: Rashaad Bhamjee
Female Athlete of the Half Year – Chantique Payne: A third-year swimmer, Payne was a runner-up for this same award in the Fall. Gold medals at both the OUA and CIS championships capped a brilliant season for the explosive butterfly and freestyle specialist. Honourable mentions: Rachel Cliff (track and field), Sarah Peirce (track and field), Dayna Kanis (hockey)
photo: Rashaad Bhamjee

Male Rookie of the Half Year – Thomas Kiriakou:
There were a number of outstanding first-year Gryphon men; however, Kiriakou burst onto the scene as a centre on the men’s hockey team and went on to win OUA Rookie of the Year, leading the Gryphs in scoring with 32 points, and centring one of the league’s most dangerous lines with Ed Gale and Kris Belan. Honourable mentions: Jake Jagas (wrestling), Jason Diston (track and field), Tim Priamo (hockey)

photo: Mundo Images
Female Rookie of the Half Year – Genevieve Lalonde: Another runner-up from the Fall, the first-year runner picked up CIS Female Rookie of the Year honours in both cross-country and track and field and is ranked third in the country in the women’s ultra-competitive 3000m distance. Lalonde took bronze in the 3000m at the OUA Championships, to go along with numerous other medals throughout the year. Honourable mentions: Danielle Skoufranis (hockey), Bethany Flemington (swimming), Erinn Bickle (volleyball)

Gryphon Coach of the Half Year – Cal Wigston: Wigston led the upstart Gryphon men’s volleyball team to the OUA Finals, where they were defeated by Queen’s in an epic five-set match. The Gryphons mastered the role of underdogs throughout the playoffs, taking down favoured Windsor and McMaster, prior to falling to the Gaels. Wigston was also the brains behind inserting Jamie Stamler into the lineup off the bench against McMaster in the semi-finals, a move that baffled the Marauders and keyed the Gryphons come-from-behind win. Honourable mentions: Dave Scott-Thomas (track and field), Rachel Flanagan (women’s hockey), Don Burton (swimming)
photo: Rashaad Bhamjee

photo: Rashaad Bhamjee
Best Performance in Final Game as a Gryphon – Jay Mott: Concluding his five-year career as a Gryphon, Mott went out in style against the Brock Badgers on Feb. 20, scoring a career-high 41 points and adding 11 rebounds in an 86-64 win. A dedicated athlete, Mott finished the season in the top 10 in league scoring, earned an OUA second-team all-star nomination and reached the illustrious 1000-point plateau.

Game of the Half Year – OUA men’s volleyball semi-finals: After dropping the first two sets against the first-place McMaster Marauders, the Gryphons executed a miraculous comeback, winning the final three        sets en route to a five-set upset over the league leaders, sending them to the OUA Finals.

Team of the Half Year – Men’s track and field: Two national championships in the past three years and another feather in the cap for Guelph’s famed running programs.

Stinker of the Half Year – Brock – 81, Guelph – 44: 2009-10 was a rebuilding year for the Gryphon women’s basketball team, who had their fair share of lopsided defeats. Injuries and inexperience limited the team; however, look for major improvements heading into next year.

Blowout of the Half Year – Guelph – 9, Brock – 0: The men’s hockey team hit their stride in the second half of the season, unleashing their high-octane offence on the rest of the league. The top line of Kiriakou, Belan and Gale combined for seven points in this one.

Quote of the Half Year: “I’ll always be loyal to Guelph and cheer for Guelph. It was an unbelievably opportunity to get back and coach there. The most difficult part of this was to walk away from the [players] and the relationships that I’ve had over the last few years.” – former Gryphons head football coach Kyle Walters, shortly after being hired by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL.

photo: Kyle Rodriguez

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