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UNBC hands out athletic awards

The University of Northern British Columbia’s Athletics department celebrated the most successful season in school history, April 8 at the year-end awards banquet.

More than 80 student-athletes were in attendance, as team and department-wide awards were handed out, and graduating players were recognized for their time in Timberwolves colours.

Victoria’s Joel Watson earned Male Rookie of the Year for his freshman campaign with the Men’s soccer team. Standing just five-foot-eight, Watson was thrust into a number of high-pressure situations, earning important minutes against the likes of UBC and Alberta. The rookie appeared in ten games, starting three, and impressing with his relentless approach to practices and games.

Goalkeeper Brooke Molby was the winner of the Female Rookie of the Year, capping off an impressive season between the pipes for the UNBC Women’s soccer team. The native of Squamish started eleven games for the Timberwolves, including two clean sheets, and her 51 saves were good for ninth in Canada West. Molby also earned the start in the team’s first ever playoff game, against Calgary.

Fourth-year defender Gordon Hall was named the Male Athlete of the Year for his tremendous year with the Men’s soccer team. He became the first UNBC athlete in history to be named a Canada West all-star in more than one season, following up on his nod in 2017. To go along with his elite defensive play and ball distribution, the native of Chilliwack also added two goals this season.

For the second consecutive season, Women’s basketball standout Vasiliki Louka earned Female Athlete of the Year honours. The fourth-year from Athens, Greece managed 18.2 points per game (4th in the conference) and 12.2 rebounds per game (2nd in the conference), leading the Timberwolves to the Canada West playoffs for the second time in as many years. During the season, Louka also became the UNBC Women’s basketball’s all-time leader in scoring, rebounding, and blocks.

The KJM Sales Timberwolf Award, handed out to the student-athlete who excels in athletics, academics, and community service, went to men’s soccer player Francesco Bartolillo for the second consecutive year. The fourth-year midfielder from Calgary started 15 games for the TWolves, was named an Academic All-Canadian, was crucial in creating the Timberwolves Student Athlete Society, and led the way in numerous fundraising efforts.

UNBC also recognized its Canada West All-Stars for the 2017-2018 campaign. Gordon Hall became the first Timberwolves athlete to earn the accolade twice, following his honour in 2017. He was joined by Men’s soccer teammate Tofa Fakunle. In Women’s basketball, Louka’s monster year earned the post her first conference all-star award.

The Timberwolves also welcomed Bev Best of the UNBC First Nations Centre, who gifted the graduating athletes with traditional Aboriginal drums. This year, varsity athletes were trained in the art and customs of creating the drums, and built the drums the graduating seniors received. Receiving custom drums were Marcus MacKay, Daniel Stark, Tianna Pius, Tianna Rossi, Sidney Roy, Rhianne Ferdinandi, Fiona Raymond, Cheona Edzerza, Darin Kamsteeg, Tofa Fakunle, Liam Stewart, Brett Bobier, Daniel Goodey, Ty Venhola, Kylie Pozniak, and Emily Aase.

Team awards were also handed out, and are as follows.

Men’s Basketball:
Most Valuable Player: Vova Pluzhnikov
Most Inspirational Player: Daniel Stark
Most Dedicated Player(s): Marcus MacKay, Adam Pahl
Best Defensive Player: Vaggelis Loukas
Practice Wins Leader: Vaggelis Loukas
Rookie of the Year: Adam Pahl

Women’s Basketball:
Most Valuable Player: Vasiliki Louka
Best Defensive Player: Alina Shakirova
Rookie of the Year: Alina Shakirova
Most Improved Player: Emily Holmes
Most Inspirational Player: Emily Aase

Men’s Soccer:
Most Valuable Player: Gordon Hall
Best Defensive Player: Gordon Hall
Green and Gold Award: Aidan Way
Golden Boot (Most Goals): Tofa Fakunle, Cody Gysbers, Stuart Rowlands

Women’s Soccer:
Most Valuable Player: Tianna Pius
Offensive Player of the Year: Sidney Roy
Defensive Player of the Year: Mara McCleary, Brooke Molby
Green & Gold Award: Paige Payne, Madison Emmond



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