Charlottetown, PEI (April 5, 2020)—UPEI's Department of Athletics and Recreation celebrated the 2019–2020 season at the 51st annual UPEI Athletic Awards "Gala" on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4, recognizing outstanding student-athletes who have excelled in sport, the classroom, and serving the community. Because the student-athletes and coaches couldn't gather in person, Panthers around the world were able to follow this year's awards on the UPEI Athletics and Recreation's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram social media channels.
The club team awards were announced on Friday, April 3 beginning at 7:00 pm, while the varsity team awards were revealed on Saturday, April 4, again at 7:00 pm.
This year, the UPEI Alumni Association's Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year is Jenna Mae Ellsworth of the UPEI women's basketball team. Ellsworth is a five-foot-nine guard from Charlottetown in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Science program. She led the women's basketball team to a 17-3 record and top spot in the AUS during the regular season averaging 20.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
Ellsworth is only the third player in the AUS to win the Nan Copp Award as U SPORTS Player of the Year and only the second female Panther to earn a national player of the year honour. She was a first team all-Canadian and the final member of the U SPORTS Top 100 players of the century campaign. She also received the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Women's Basketball Player of the Year award and was named Defensive Player of the Year.
The Male Athlete of the Year is Owen Headrick with the UPEI men's hockey team. Headrick is a six-foot, fourth-year defenceman on the men's hockey team and an arts student from the Garden River First Nation in Ontario. In 30 games, Headrick had 32 points, with 13 goals and 19 assists. He was effective on the powerplay, netting 7 goals and also had 2 game winners. In addition to earning several UPEI Panther Subway Athlete of the Week, Headrick also earned the Atlantic University Sport men's athlete of the week for January 27–February 2, 2020.
The W.A. Ledwell Award was presented to Nacho Sanchez of the men's soccer team. The award goes to the student who has demonstrated outstanding athletic ability in the intercollegiate program, academic excellence, and also demonstrates the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, and citizenship.
The Gordon and Muriel Bennett Award goes to the male or female student-athlete who, over four years, best combines athletic achievement and academic excellence. This year's award was shared by Tara Campbell of the women's rugby team and Jennifer Balderston from women's soccer.
The Passion for Life Award in memory of René Ayangma was awarded to Rachel Colle from women's hockey. The award was created by UPEI Panther student-athletes in memory of René Ayangma who died during his third year at UPEI. It is presented to a UPEI student-athlete who exemplifies his qualities and love of life by building Panther Sport spirit and serving the community.
Team awards were also given for Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year:
Most Valuable Player (MVP) by varsity and club team
Sam Smiley (Men's Soccer), Jennifer Balderston (Women's Soccer), Tara Campbell (Women's Rugby), Owen Headrick (Men's Hockey), Camille Scherger (Women's Hockey), Elijah Miller (Men's Basketball), Jenna Mae Ellsworth (Women's Basketball), Tati Kelly (Women's Cross Country), Dan Maguire (Men's Cross Country), Bailey Smith (Women's Track and Field), Malcolm Gilman (Men's Track and Field), Sara Sear (Women's Field Hockey), Lauren Moerike (Women's Volleyball), Isaiah Hood and Isaac Kirkland (Men's Rugby), David Burke (Lacrosse), and Callie Thomson (Cheer).
Rookie of the Year by varsity and club team
Nathan Chow (Men's Soccer), Caitlyn McCloskey (Women's Soccer), Mia Fradsham and Agustina Cohen (Women's Rugby), Kyle Maksimovich (Men's Hockey), Lexie Murphy (Women's Hockey), Elijah Miller (Men's Basketball), Lauren Rainford (Women's Basketball), Phoebe Mitchell (Women's Cross Country), Samuel Peterson (Men's Cross Country), Zach Wilson (Men's Track and Field), Arica Windsor (Women's Field Hockey), Danielle Hayes (Women's Volleyball), David Sato (Men's Rugby), Egan McCaughey (Lacrosse), and Emily Duffy (Cheer). (There was no rookie of the year awarded in Women's Track and Field.)
The J.T. "Mickey" Place Awards were presented by the UPEI Student Union to varsity team student-athletes who made a contribution to student leadership on their team and on campus. The late John Thomas "Mickey" Place was a Student Union employee who was connected not only with UPEI athletics, but also with other aspects of campus life. These awards were given in his memory to Nacho Sanchez (Men's Soccer), Danielle Younker (Women's Soccer), Frances MacWilliam (Women's Rugby), Nathan Yetman (Men's Hockey), Rachel Colle (Women's Hockey), Jack MacAulay (Men's Basketball), Annabelle Charron (Women's Hockey), Melanie Mitchell (Cross Country), and Nathalie Lane (Track and Field).
Each coach presents The Principles of Panther Pride Coaches Award to the student-athlete on their team that best exemplifies purpose, preparation, respect for people, positivity, professionalism, presence, passion, and perseverance. The winners for the 2019-20 season are Cohen Reddick (Men's Soccer), Carly Connell (Women's Soccer), Brinten Comeau (Women's Rugby), Tanner McCabe (Men's Hockey), Kaylee Dufresne (Women's Hockey), Adam Ryan (Men's Basketball), Reese Baxendale (Women's Basketball), Annika Wiebe (Women's Cross Country), Patrick Fletcher (Men's Cross Country), Daneille Younker (Women's Track and Field), Karleigh McEwen (Women's Field Hockey), Sabrina Savory (Women's Volleyball), Faris Zakem (Men's Rugby), Sean He (Lacrosse), and Gemma Shea (Cheer).
UPEI Athletics and Recreation
(902) 566-0991, firstname.lastname@example.org