By Earl Zukerman
Hockey player Cedric McNicoll of Boucherville, Que., and basketball star Mariam Sylla of Conakry, the capital city of Guinea, were named male and female athletes of the year, respectively, at the 38th annual McGill varsity sports awards gala, held at the EVO Montreal student residence on April 9.
McNicoll, a third-year management student in his final year of eligibility, and Sylla, a pharmacology junior, 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. Both were recognized as CIS Top Eight Academic All-Canadians last fall by Governor-General David Johnston.
Hockey team captain Benoit Levesque, a forward from Vaudreuil, Que., and swimmer Valerie De Broux of Beaconsfield, 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 over their university career.
Jonathan Telfort, a sophomore forward on the men’s basketball team from Boucherville, Que., who collapsed during a scrimmage last November and survived a near-death experience, received the Dr. Mac Teskey Trophy, presented to an individual who has overcome significant adversity to serve as an inspiration to others.
Basketball forward Francois Bourque of Terrebonne, Que., was awarded the Uldis Auders Memorial Trophy as the top sophomore in any sport, who best combines academic excellence with athletic prowess.
Football linebacker Karl Forgues of Repentigny, Que., and basketball guard Marika Guerin of Sorel-Tracy, Que., were named as the McGill rookies of the year.
The women’s basketball squad received the Martlet Foundation Trophy as the varsity team of the year in a CIS-sanctioned sport. They registered a 26-5 record overall, won the RSEQ championship and posted a best-ever, silver medal finish at the CIS Final Eight tournament.
The baseball Redmen, who registered a 21-9 overall record and captured the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association’s national championship, took home the Harry Griffiths Trophy, awarded to the top team in a non-CIS sport.
Tribute was also paid to McGill’s 65 league all-stars, nine CIS all-Canadians and seven conference championships won during the 2014-15 intercollegiate season. Conference banners were captured by both basketball teams (RSEQ), the hockey Martlets (RSEQ) and the lacrosse Redmen (CUFLA East), in addition to national titles in men’s baseball (CCBA), women’s synchronized swimming (CUSSL) and the women’s lumberjack team (CILA).
Finally, commemorative plaques were presented to the MVPs of 28 varsity teams (see list below).
McGILL’s 2014-15 MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARDS
BADMINTON: Alan Shekhtman (Newton, Mass.) and Anne Ying Wu (Kanata, Ont.)
BASEBALL: Tyler Welence (Ridgewood, N.J.)
BASKETBALL: Francois Bourque (Terrebonne, Que.) and Dianna Ros (Montreal, Que.)
CROSS-COUNTRY RUNNING: Santiago Bessai (Toronto, Ont.) and Jullien Flynn (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.)
FIELD HOCKEY: Marianne Emler (Geneva, Switzerland)
FOOTBALL: Karl Forgues (Repentigny, Que.)
GOLF: Justin Smith (Toronto, Ont.) and Juliette Pollet (Paris, France)
HOCKEY: Cedric McNicoll (Boucherville, Que.) and Gabrielle Davidson (Pte. Claire, Que.)
LACROSSE: William Waesche (Greenwich, Conn.)
ROWING: (tie) Thomas Charbonneau (Miami, Fla.) & Julien Pouliot (Boucherville, Que.) and Kelly Donivan (St. Lazare, Que.)
RUGBY: Usman Naqvi (Dubai, UAE) and Caroline Suchorski (Kirkland, Que.)
SKIING (alpine): Cole Rosenberg (Toronto, Ont.) and Allene Kennedy (3rd consec. year; Truckee, Calif.)
SOCCER: Alexander King (Cambridge, UK) and Claudia Agozzino (St. Leonard, Que.)
SWIMMING: Marc-Andre Benoit (St. Hyacinthe, Que.) and Katie Caldwell (White Rock, B.C.)
SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING: (tie) Stacy Lee (Vancouver, B.C.) and Hannah Ungar (Vancouver, B.C.)
TRACK & FIELD: Helena Reinfels (Puslinch, Ont.) and Riley van Ryswyk (Surrey, B.C.)
VOLLEYBALL: Yasmeen Dawoodjee (Ottawa, Ont.)