By Earl Zukerman
Football lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif of St. Hilaire, Que., and hockey forward Katia Clement-Heydra of St. Bruno de Montarville, Que., were named male and female athletes of the year, respectively, at the 37th annual McGill varsity sports awards gala, held at the Holiday Inn Midtown, on April 2.
Duvernay-Tardif, a fourth-year student in his third-year of medical school, and Clement-Heydra, an industrial relations senior, 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.
Hockey’s Ryan McKiernan, a defenceman from White Plains, N.Y., and basketball’s Helene Bibeau of St. Bruno, 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.
Daphnee-Maude Andre-Morin, an all-star libero on the women’s volleyball team from Valleyfield, Que., who overcame a traumatic knee injury, received the Dr. Mac Teskey Trophy, presented to an individual who has overcome significant adversity to serve as an inspiration to others.
Basketball forward Mariam Sylla, a native of Conakry, Guinea , was awarded the Uldis Auders Memorial Trophy as the top sophomore in any sport, who best combines academic excellence with athletic performance.
The hockey Martlets, who posted a 34-10-0 record overall and captured their fourth CIS national championship in seven years, received the Martlet Foundation Trophy as the varsity team of the year in a CIS-sanctioned sport.
The rugby Redmen, who registered a 9-1-0 overall record and captured RSEQ conference championship, took home the Harry Griffiths Trophy, awarded to the top team in a non-CIS sport.
Finally, tribute was also paid to McGill’s 68 league all-stars, nine CIS all-Canadians and eight conference championships won during the 2013-14 intercollegiate season. In addition, commemorative plaques were presented to the MVPs of 28 varsity teams (see list below).
McGILL’s 2013-14 Most Valuable Player Awards (Individual profiles below)
Baseball: Jamie Fuoco (Montreal, Que.)
Field Hockey: Kylie Nabata (North Vancouver, B.C.)
Football: Jean-Philippe Paquette (Trois-Rivieres, Que.)
Lacrosse: Connor Goodwin (New Westminster, B.C.)
Synchronized Swimming: Carrie Mouck (3rd consecutive year; Toronto, Ont.)
Volleyball: Daphnee-Maude Andre-Morin (Vaudreuil sur le Lac, Que.)
McGILL’s 2013-14 Major Athletics Award Winner profiles
D. STUART FORBES TROPHY (male athlete of the year):
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Football (M), St. Hilaire, Que.
Duvernay-Tardif, a 6-foot-5, 298-pound tackle from St. Hilaire, Que., becomes the 26th football player and only the second offensive lineman, to win the Forbes Trophy, which has been awarded annually since 1948.
He captured the Metras trophy as the most outstanding lineman in CIS football last fall and followed that by being one of two CIS players picked to play in the East-West Shrine Game, a showcase primarily for graduating NCAA seniors. Rated as the top-ranked draft pick by the CFL Scouting Bureau, he declined an invitation to the CFL combines camp, opting to hold his own ‘pro day,” which was attended by scouts from nine NFL teams and four from the CFL. He is believed to be the first CIS player to be featured in Sports Illustrated (Mar. 24/14). A fourth-year student in his third year of medical school after a year of pre-med, he also posted some stellar numbers in the classroom, earning Academic All-American status, in addition to making the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll and meriting CIS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian honours from Governor-General David Johnston last fall.
GLADYS BEAN TROPHY (female athlete of the year):
Katia Clement-Heydra, Hockey (W), St. Bruno de Montarville, Que.
Clement-Heydra, a 5-foot-7 centre from St. Bruno de Montarville, Que., becomes the eighth consecutive hockey player and the ninth overall, to receive the Bean trophy since its inception in 1992.
An alternate captain with the Martlets, she capped a spectacular season by winning the Brodrick Trophy as most outstanding player in the CIS. The 24-year-old industrial relations senior claimed the RSEQ conference scoring title and ranked second in the nation with 40 points, including 13 goals, in only 20 games. Perhaps most impressive was that she either scored or assisted on 49.4 per cent of the team’s 81 markers in league play. Overall, she posted a 27-45-72 record in 44 contests en route to earning RSEQ all-conference status and CIS all-Canadian honours. She also enjoyed international success, helping Canada win gold at the FISU world university winter games in Italy last December, where she finished second in tournament scoring with a whopping 5-13-18 record in only seven contests.
RICHARD W. POUND AWARD (graduating male for proficiency & leadership):
Ryan McKiernan, Hockey (M), White Plains, N.Y.
McKiernan becomes the ninth hockey player – the first in four years – to capture the Pound trophy since it was introduced in 1992.
McKiernan, a 24-year-old finance senior, was voted OUA and CIS defenceman of the year. He led the Redmen in points, was 14th in the national scoring race and led all CIS rearguards with 34 points – including 13 goals – six points better than the next closest defender. The six-foot, 193-pound alternate captain tallied four power-play goals, one shorthanded effort and a game-winner while collecting only 11 minor penalties. He either scored or assisted on 26.7 per cent of his team’s goals in league play. A three-time Academic All-Canadian who is also fluent in French, McKiernan was also a key cog on a squad that had the fourth-best defensive record in the OUA league and 10th best in the nation with a 2.52 goals-against average.
MURIEL V. ROSCOE AWARD (graduating female for proficiency & leadership):
Helene Bibeau, Basketball (W), St. Bruno, Que.
Bibeau, a 23-year old master’s student in education, is the first basketball player since 2006 and the 15th overall, to capture the Roscoe trophy since it was introduced in 1949.
The six-foot forward, made the RSEQ all-star squad for the third time. A fifth-year senior who previously graduated with a degfree in elementary education, she has served as co-captain of the Martlets for the past two years. Bibeau, who served on the Varsity Coucil, made the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll and merited CIS Academic All-Canadian status.
DR. MAC TESKEY TROPHY (overcoming adversity and serving as inspiration to others):
Daphnee-Maude Andre-Morin, Volleyball (W), Vaudreuil sur le Lac, Que. & Kitchener, Ont.
André-Morin, a 22-year-old education senior, is the first Martlet volleyball player to capture the Teskey trophy since it was introduced in 1986. The award is named in honour of a McGill swimmer 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 worthy of honorable mention.
André-Morin, who majors in teaching French as a second language, measures 5-foot-7, was voted libero of the year in the RSEQ league, while earning all-conference honours and second-team all-Canadian status. This was the first year back for the native of Vaudreuil sur le Lac, Que., after sitting out the entire 2012-13 season recovering from a torn ACL. The Martlet veteran posted a league-leading 4.72 digs per set, which ranked second in the nation. She also played an active roll in the Martlet offence averaging 0.42 assists per set.
ULDIS AUDERS TROPHY (most outstanding sophomore student-athlete):
Mariam Sylla, Basketball (W), Conakry, Guinea
Sylla, a 6-foot-1 centre, becomes the first Martlet basketball player 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 jinx for Sylla, a second-year pharmacology major who achieved a 3.59 grade-point average our of 4.0. A native of Conakry, the capital city of Guinea, she became only the 15th all-Canadian in team history and just the second McGill player to win the League MVP award after being named as the CIS rookie-of-the year in back-to-back seasons. Sylla led the RSEQ conference in points for the second straight season and ranked second with an average of 13.1 points per game. She also led the league in rebounding (9.4 per game), was third in free-throw shooting (78.3 per cent), fourth in field-goal shooting (44.4 per cent), fifth in steals (31) and fifth in blocked shots (10).
MALE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Dele Ogundokun, Basketball (M), Hamilton, Ont.
Ogundokun, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard, from Hamilton, Ont., is only the second basketball player to claim this award, joining Simon Bibeau, who won in 2010-11.
He was selected rookie of the year in the Quebec league, in addition to making both, the RSEQ and CIS all-rookie teams and earning conference all-star status. He was ninth among league leaders in scoring and eighth in rebounding, averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. The 19-year-old economics and accounting freshman was the top three-point shooter in the league, connecting on 47.8 per cent of his shots from beyond the arc (22/46). He averaged 31.9 minutes of court-time was seventh in field-goal shooting (45.1%), led the league in steals with 42 in 16 contests and was sixth in blocked shots (8) and eighth in assists (36).
FEMALE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Jennifer Silver, Basketball (W), Montreal, Que.
Silver, a 5-foot-11 forward from Montreal, is only the second basketball player to win this award and does so in the wake of Mariam Sylla winning last year.
Sylla, a pre-med freshman who suffered a broken foot during practice the week before the CIS championship, was named conference rookie of the year, in addition to earning RSEQ and CIS all-rookie honours. She ranked 11th among league leaders with 7.9 points per game and tied with Sylla four fourth in field-goal shooting (44.4). She was fourth in blocked shots with 11.in 16 games.
MARTLET FOUNDATION TROPHY (CIS varsity team of the year):
The hockey Martlets, guided by head coach Peter Smith, earned the Martlet Foundation trophy, initiated in 1985-86, for the sixth time in eight years.
They finished atop the RSEQ standings with an 18-2-0 record and after being upset by Montreal in the league championship best-of-three series, avenged that with a double overtime victory over the Carabins in the gold medal game at the CIS championship. They posted a 34-10-0 record overall en route to capturing their fourth national title in seven years.
HARRY GRIFFITHS TROPHY (non-CIS varsity team of the year):
The men’s rugby team, guided by first-year head coach Eric Van Sickle, earned the Harry Griffiths trophy for only the second time since the award was inaugurated in 1995-96.
They finished the regular season with a 7-1 record, losing only to Concordia late in the season to split the two-game series. But they avenged that loss by beating the Stingers 16-6 in the league championship game to capture their eighth consecutive RSEQ title.