Posted on: April 4, 2014
The 2013-14 season was one of success for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. The WolfPack celebrated that and handed out their individual awards at their annual awards banquet Thursday (April 3) night at the TRU Grand Hall.
Two players who were recognized nationally were named the Sports Task Force Athletes of the Year. Soccer player Alanna Bekkering (5th year, midfield, Kamloops, BC) and volleyball player Brad Gunter (3rd year, outside hitter, Courtenay, BC) had that honor bestowed upon them.
Bekkering led the PACWEST in scoring leading her team to their third straight league title and a bronze medal at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championships held in November in Surrey, BC. She was also named a CCAA All Canadian, was a finalist for the Sport BC College Athlete of the Year, named the PACWEST female athlete of the year for all sports and is a finalist for the Kamloops Sports Council female athlete of the year for 2013 (an honor she captured in 2012).
Gunter was named the CIS Men’s Volleyball player of the year after winning the same honor for the Canada West. He was named a CIS and Canada West all-star leading his team to a bronze medal finish in the Canada West league after establishing new school records for wins. Gunter was the Canada West’s leading scorer (6.04 points per game) and kills leader (5.31 per game). He was third in service aces (0.40 per game) and had the top kills percent in a single match (5.31 points). He is seventh in the all-time single season record for kills (356) in only 22 matches.
Other finalists for the Sports Task Force athlete of the year awards were: Jorri Duxbury (4th year, guard, Salmon Arm, BC-women’s basketball), Alisha Miller (1st year, Vernon, BC- cross country running), and Anica Arduini/Lacey Banman (5th and 3rd year, Kamloops, BC badminton) for female athlete of the year. Male athlete of the year finalists were Justin Wallace (4th year, Kamloops, BC-men’s soccer), Cam Strachan (4th year, Trail, BC-baseball) and Ta’Quan Zimmerman (3rd year, Waterbury, CT-men’s basketball).
Duxbury was the female winner of the Doctor Roger H. Barnsley Scholar/Athlete Award. This award goes to a top athlete who also has top marks academically. Duxbury was one of the leaders on the WolfPack women’s basketball team. She was . She was sixth in the Canada West in assists (4 per game average), sixth in minutes played (34.5 average), seventh in blocked shots (0.9), seventh in steals (2.5), 11 th in overall scoring (14.3 per game) and 13 th in assist/turnover ratio (0.9). She started all 24 of the WolfPack regular season games . She had a grade point average of 4.0.
The male winner of the Barnsley award was another basketball player: Brett Rouault (4th year, guard, Vernon, BC). Rouault had a grade point average of 4.17. On the court, he was third in the Canada West in three point field goal per cent (.436). He averaged 5.3 points and 16.9 minutes of court time in the regular season. He also had 44 rebounds.
Both Rouault and Duxbury are science students. Other nominees for the Barnsley Award were: Alex Martin (1st year, defence, Maple Ridge, BC-hockey), Kyle Fertile (4th year, midfield, Kamloops, BC-men’s soccer), Spencer Reed (5th year, libero, Prince George, BC-men’s volleyball), Katie Sparrow (3rd year, forward, Kamloops, BC-Women’s Soccer), Kristen Giesbrecht (2nd year, middle, Gretna, MB-women’s volleyball) and Christa Miller (1st year, Vernon, BC-cross country running).
The other major award for TRU Athletics is the Cliff Neufeld Award. It goes to an athlete who not only was a key member of their sport but also was a community leader. Colin Carson (5th year, setter, Prince George, BC) of men’s volleyball and women’s basketball player Taiysa Worsfold (3rd year, forward, Kamloops, BC) are the recipients for the 2013-14 campaign..
Carson was a 2nd team Canada West All-star and captured the Dale Iwanoczko Award. The Iwanoczko award is given out by the CIS recognizing an outstanding student/athlete who also does a lot to better his community.
Carson, a business student from Prince George, B.C., is the first member of the WolfPack to receive the prestigious Iwanoczko Award.
In his fifth and final campaign, the 6-foot-3 senior was named a second-team conference all-star after he led the country in both assists per set (10.93) and total assists (929) in league play, the latter being a new single-season Canada West record. With 3,350 assists over five years, the former junior national team member finished second on the conference career list.
Off the court, Carson, coordinated the team’s community events, including Raise a Reader – the WolfPack team was the top money generator for Children’s literacy programs in Kamloops for a third straight year – and Wendy’s Dreamlift. He is on the WolfPack’s “Captain’s Council”, and coordinated the TRU Athletic Awards banquet for the second straight year, and also visited elementary schools for Terry Fox Runs.
Carson took the ‘adopt a school’ program to a new level by visiting Pacific Way Elementary at least once a week. He also helped with the PACE program, which is designed to help student-athletes cope with school and sports. In the summer, he returned to his hometown of Prince George to help with volleyball clinics.
Worsfold, who is in the Bachelor of Science program, was not only one of the WolfPack women’s basketball’s top scholars but she also maintained her relationship as a “Big Sister” and was involved in the team’s three community endeavors. She also coached a regional BC Basketball squad. On the court, she started in all 24 league games averaging 32.1 minutes and 13 points per game. Worsfold was seventh in Canada West in three point field goals made (2 per game average), ninth in free throw percent (.762), 12 th in scoring (14 per game), 15 th in steals (2) and 19 th in rebounding (6.3 per game) and 19 th in overall rebounding (6.2).
Other nominees for the Neufeld award were: Tyler Jackson (2nd year, forward, Kamloops, BC-hockey), Brett Parker (4th year, guard, Langley, BC-men’s basketball), Alex Perkin (5th year, Kamloops, BC-badminton), Bronwyn Crawford (4th year,midfield, Kamloops, BC-women’s soccer), Katie Woo (2nd year, setter, Surrey, BC-women’s volleyball) and Anica Arduini (5th year, Kamloops, BC-badminton).
For the third year in a row, the “Tyler Lowey” Award was handed out. The Lowey award goes to a TRU Athlete who has overcome adversity. The winner for 2013-14 was Corey Storkan (Lillooet, BC) of the WolfPack cheer squad. He came back to the team and competed after having heart surgery.
There were two new awards handed out at the banquet. The first was for “Newcomer of the Year”. This recognized the accomplishments of an athlete who is in his or her first year with the ‘Pack. The inaugural winner was Syd Williams (guard, Langley, BC) of women’s basketball. She was named a Canada West rookie all-star and was named rookie of the year. Other candidates were Kaitlin Lomas (middle, Ponoka, AB-women’s volleyball), Ta’Quan Zimmerman (guard, Waterbury, CT-men’s basketball) and Megan Baird (defender, Cloverdale, BC-women’s soccer).
And the “Director’s Award” will be awarded to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to Athletics and Recreation at Thompson Rivers University. The first winner of this award was Spencer Reed (5th year, libero, Prince George, BC-men’s volleyball). Reed is the first six year member of the athletic department as he red shirted for his first year. He was involved in many community activities and the captain’s council along with playing five years with the WolfPack.
The WolfPack also recognized longtime Gym Attendant Deanna Ries for her 19 years of service and recognized the former Kamloops Daily News specifically reporter Mark Hunter and sports editor Gregg Drinnan for their diligent coverage of the TRU Athletics program. The Daily News ceased operation earlier this year.
All but one of the TRU Athletics teams made the playoffs this season and each of the individual sports had at least one competitor make it to their national championship.