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By Daniel Rodrigues
Gone were the helmets and the gloves. Hands were free of bats, balls and sticks. Concordia was not spelled out across their chests, but the Stinger spirit still beat inside them.
These were the 2008-09 Stingers and this was their night.
For a second straight year, Montreal’s Centre Mont-Royal played host to the annual Concordia Stingers athletic awards banquet which took place the evening of April 3. It was a night to honour student athletes for their success in sports, in the classroom and in the community.
“This year has been an exceptional one,” said Katie Sheahan, Director of Recreation and Athletics, “and we are very, very proud.”
The most anticipated awards were the female and male athletes of the year. This year, Nikita Chicoine of the wrestling team and Damian Buckley of the men’s basketball team took home the honours.
Chicoine made quite an impact in her first couple of years at Concordia University. In 2008, she was named Stingers’ outstanding female rookie and she followed it up this year by being named winner of the Sally Kemp Award as Female Athlete of the Year. This season, she competed in six tournaments, winning the Queen’s Invitational, the Western Invitational and the Atlantic University Sport national qualifying event. She went on to win a bronze medal in the 67kg category at the CIS nationals. In addition, Chicoine was a two-time Concordia female athlete of the week, she received a Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence scholarship and, earlier in the evening, she was presented the Radio-Canada Olympic bursary.
For a second consecutive year, Buckley took home the Dr. Robert J. Broderick award as outstanding male athlete. As the captain, the heart and the soul of the men’s basketball team, the four-time Concordia male athlete of the week led his team to a Quebec conference crown and a berth at the CIS national championships. He was a unanimous selection as Quebec conference MVP and first team all-star. He was also a first team CIS all-Canadian.
Buckley averaged 19.3 points a game; a stat that lead the Stingers and placed him third in Quebec. He also picked up 81 assists for an average of 5.8 a game, and with 56 steals, he was first on the Stingers and in the conference.
“It is a great honour being able to win this award again,” said Buckley. “I would like to thank my team and my coaches who helped make this happen.”
In total, more than 50 awards were handed out. But for most in attendance, it was about the people, the experiences and the memories. The valedictorians’ addresses highlighted the friendships.
“I would like to thank everyone who has help make my time here at Concordia a great one,” said Ebony Morris, who along with Dwayne Buckley served as valedictorians. They are members of the women’s and men’s basketball teams, respectively.
“These last years have been some of the best of my life,” she added, “and I will always have the memories we shared together.”
Ron Lapointe Award for academics, athletics and community service – Tom Kuchiran, football
Denise Beaudet Award for academics, athletics and community service – Erin Ryan, women’s rugby/curling
Male Rookie of the Year – David Tremblay, wrestling
Laurie Brodrick Award/Female Rookie of the Year – Jackie Tittley, rugby
Fittest Female Athlete – Kelly Feehan, hockey
Fittest Male Athlete – William Miller, football
Marvin Cooper Award - presented to a student-athlete who has successfully overcome adversity through hard work, commitment and dedication. William Miller, football; Dwayne Buckley, basketball
President's Award (combination of athletics and academics)- Percy Graham, men’s rugby; Fanny Berthiaume, women’s soccer
Director’s Shields for contribution to varsity athletics program – Jane Hackett, Kenny Spracklin
Awards of Distinction for career contribution to Stingers– Jennifer Rosenbaum, women’s rugby; Jamal Gallier, men’s basketball