Acadia presents athletics awards

John Decoste
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Three conference MVPs and one national Player of the Year were among the Athletes of the Year recognized by Acadia University.

The annual Fred G. Kelly Athletic Awards were presented March 31 at Wolfville’s Festival Theatre.

Emilie Chiasson of the Axewomen rugby team was the recipient of the Jean Marsh Female Athlete of the Year award. Hockey’s Liam Heelis and basketball’s Owen Klassen shared the Athenaeum Male Athlete of the Year award.

Chiasson, the AUS Player of the Year for women’s rugby, set a new conference scoring record of 174 points during the 2013 season. A true double threat, she led the conference in tries with 20 and was second in conversions with 37.  Chiasson, Acadia’s leading career scorer with 261 points, was named an AUS first team all-star for a second consecutive year, as well as a first-team all-Canadian. She is also a three-time CIS Academic All-Canadian.

Co-winners

Heelis became the fourth Axemen hockey player, and the second in three years, to be named the CIS Player of the Year for men’s hockey. The AUS Player of the Year led the conference in goals with 24 and tied for the lead in points with 42 in just 26 games played.  Heelis helped the Axemen to second place in the regular season, a second place ranking to close out the season, the conference title and a berth in the CIS University Cup.

 Klassen made his fifth and final season as a basketball Axemen arguably his best, finishing second in the conference, and seventh in the country, in scoring at 20 points per game, and leading the conference in rebounding at 10.6 per game.

He was also named the AUS Defensive Player of the Year for a third straight year, and became the first player to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Klassen wrapped up his Axemen career having scored 1,473 points: the third most regular season points of any Axemen player on record.

Top rookies

A pair of conference Rookie of the Year winners, soccer’s Emily Nickerson and football’s Adam Melanson, were the choices for First-Year Athletes of the Year.

Both award recipients are Kings County natives: Nickerson a Central Kings graduate from Coldbrook and Melanson a Horton grad North Alton.

Nickerson, a first-team all-conference selection, solidified the Axewomen backline and helped Acadia to both its best team goals against average in a decade and a berth in the conference final.

Melanson earned himself a berth in the football Axemen starting lineup at defensive tackle, and ended up eighth on the team in total tackles – quite a feat for a player at his position.

Beyond the game

Recipients of Roger Prentice AXE Citizen Awards were soccer’s Alana Fairfax, from Somerset, and football’s Zack Clarke, from Sackville.

Winner of the AUS Student-athlete Community Service Award for women’s soccer the past two years, Fairfax also merited the James Bayer Memorial Scholarship for 2013-2014.

Clarke served as co-president of the Acadia Players Association, and like Fairfax, undertook a lengthy list of volunteer activities in the community.

The Acadia Students Union presented the ASU Jimmy Atomate Award to rugby’s Amber Davison of Kingston, N.S., co-president, along with Clarke, of the Acadia Players Association.

 

New honour

A new award this year, the President’s Award, recognizes those student-athletes who have made an outstanding contribution to their chosen sport and to Acadia Athletics in general, and demonstrated “the highest form of leadership.”

The inaugural President’s Award recipients are both local students: women’s basketball MVP Abbey Duinker and swimming MVP Luc Boudreau.

Duinker, from Cambridge, was a first-team AUS all-star in her fifth year with the Axewomen, and led the team in a number of statistical categories.

Boudreau, from New Minas, finished the 2013-2014 regular season first in CIS in the 200-metre breaststroke, and won a silver medal in the event at the CIS nationals. He ended the year with AUS records in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke.

 

Team awards

Hockey

Rookie of the Year

Geoff Schemitsch/Michael Clarke

Most Improved Player

Travis Randell

Top Scorer

Liam Heelis

Defensive Player

Chris Owens

Most Valuable Player

Liam Heelis

Most Valuable Player-Playoffs

Liam Heelis

Volleyball

Rookie of the Year

Sarah Ross

Most Improved Player

Fiona McGuinty

Coach's Award

Maira Mackinnon

Most Valuable Player

Kristen Bolduc

Football

Rookie of the Year

Adam Melanson

Best Lineman

Jesse St. James

Best Defensive Player

Brett Backman

Most Improved Player

Harland Hastings

Kristin Pipe Coach's Award

Zack Clarke

Most Valuable Player

Brett Backman

Women's Basketball

Rookie of the Year

Emily MacLeod/Alexandra Berry

Most Improved Player

Maire Burke

Coach's Award

Aprille Deus

Defensive Player

Abbey Duinker

Leading Rebounder

Abbey Duinker

Most Valuable Player

Abbey Duinker

Women's Rugby

Rookie of the Year-Forward

Michaela Haley

Rookie of the Year-Back

Laura Kingenberg

Most Improved Player-Forward

Genevieve Bittorf

Most Improved Player-Back

Rachel Chapman

Most Valuable Player

Emilie Chiasson

Women's Soccer

Most Improved Player

Caroline Wood

Janna Slevinsky

Rookie of the Year

Emily Nickerson

Coach's Award

Emelie Poirier

Alana Fairfax

Men's Soccer

Most Valuable Player

Erik Merchant

Most Improved Player

Mike Wilkinson

Rookie of the Year

Sean Langille

Men's Basketball

Rookie of the Year

Gianmarco Luciani

Most Improved Player

Kyle Arseneault

Defensive Player

Owen Klassen

Leading Rebounder

Owen Klassen

Most Valuable Player

Owen Klassen

Gib Chapman Award

Alex Thomas

 

Women's Cross Country

Most Valuable Player

Jessica Fowlie

Most Improved Player

Sara Drisdelle

Rookie of the Year

Emily Annand

Coach's Award

Jessica Fowlie

Women's Swimming

Most Improved Swimmer

Cynthia Pfeiffer

Most Valuable Swimmer

Kristen MacPherson

Rookie of the Year

Jessica Bent

Coach's Award

Jane Pomeroy

Men's Swimming

Most Improved Swimmer

Ben Corkum

Most Valuable Swimmer

Luc Boudreau

Rookie of the Year

Collin Reynolds

Coach's Award

Hayden Adams

Organizations: Acadia University, Wolfville’s Festival Theatre, CIS University Acadia Players Association Community Service Acadia Students Union Cross Country

Geographic location: Kings, Coldbrook, North Alton Somerset Kingston Cambridge New Minas

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