Freeman, a fifth-year guard with the men’s basketball team, was named the Cascades’ male athlete of the year. He was a first team Canada West all-star after finishing second in the conference in scoring at 21.2 points per game, and finished his UFV career as the second-most prolific three-point shooter in Canada West history.
“I am very proud of Sam’s accomplishments this year,” said Cascades men’s basketball coach Adam Friesen. “He was a true veteran leader on our team and helped me with the transition from assistant coach to head coach.”
Bruce, UFV’s female athlete of the year, helped power the women’s volleyball team to PacWest provincial and CCAA national titles – both were firsts in program history. She led the conference in total offence and blocks, and was third in kills.
“Many athletes have moments of greatness; it is Kayla’s consistency that separates her from the rest,” women’s volleyball coach Dennis Bokenfohr said of Bruce, who was also named the national women’s volleyball player of the year and the PacWest female athlete of the year.
Justin Sekhon, a midfielder on the men’s soccer team, was the male rookie of the year after notching three goals and two assists in his inaugural season.
Volleyballer Kira Tome picked up the women’s rookie of the year award for orchestrating the Cascades’ potent offence from the setter position.
Alexa McCarthy of the women’s basketball team won the outstanding community service award for her tireless efforts, including the Halloween walk and knock food drive and UFV’s Shoot for the Cure fundraiser for breast cancer research. Last month she won the Sylvia Sweeney award, the national women’s basketball award for community service.
Another women’s hoopster, Nicole Wierks, won the UFV academic award for having the highest GPA in the athletic department, among athletes who started at least half their team’s games. She averaged 12 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and helped the Cascades to their first CIS national championship berth.
Bethany Whitehead, a third-year rower who helped the Cascades to an eighth-place overall finish at the Canadian university rowing championships, was the recipient of the Jen Simpson Memorial Award for the second straight year. The award recognizes a UFV rower with outstanding leadership qualities.
UFV team awards are as follows.
Most valuable players:
Men’s basketball – Sam Freeman
Women’s basketball – Aieisha Luyken
Men’s soccer – Mark Village
Women’s soccer – Carly Neeson
Men’s golf – Aaron Pauls
Men’s volleyball – Trevor Nickel
Women’s volleyball – Kayla Bruce
Men’s rowing – Anthony Dayton
Women’s rowing – Debra Neufeld
Individual team awards:
Men’s basketball most inspirational – Kyle Grewal
Women’s basketball most inspirational – Celeste Dyck
Men’s soccer rookie of the year – Justin Sekhon
Women’s soccer rookie of the year – Kara Delwo
Men’s volleyball rookie of the year – Kurtis Stromdahl
Women’s volleyball most inspirational – Brittany Stewart
Men’s golf rookie of the year – Connor O’Dell