TORONTO – The Ryerson Rams celebrated another memorable season at the 69th Annual Athletic Awards Celebration on Saturday night at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel. Basketball players Sofia Paska (Etobicoke, Ont.) and Adika Peter-McNeilly (Scarborough, Ont.) took home the top prize as athletes of the year.
Third year forward Sofia Paska had a season to remember, averaging a double-double with 18.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. A former Ryerson rookie of the year, Paska picked up her second major award of her career after being named an OUA First-Team All-Star and becoming the second women's basketball player in program history to earn national recognition as a U SPORTS Second-Team All-Canadian.
Fencer Marcena Lau (Markham, Ont.) and volleyball player Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) were the other finalists for the award.
Fifth year guard Adika Peter-McNeilly took home the Ryersonian Male Athlete of the Year award after an impressive season. Peter-McNeilly led the Rams to their second consecutive OUA championship and the U SPORTS silver medal, the best ever finish for the team. Peter-McNeilly became the first men's basketball player to be named a U SPORTS First-Team All-Canadian and was also a Final 8 tournament all-star.
Also nominated for this award this season was Aaron Armstrong (Teeswater, Ont.) from men's hockey, Lucas Coleman (Brooklin, Ont.) of the volleyball team, and Raheem Rose (Etobicoke, Ont.) from the soccer team.
First year volleyball player Lauren Veltman (Brampton, Ont.) was named the RSU Female Rookie of the Year. In her first season Veltman was named to the OUA All-Rookie Team and ranked eighth in the OUA in blocking while scoring 2.7 points per set out of the middle position.
Also nominated for the award this season was Emma Fraser (Toronto) and Bronwyn Williams (Toronto) from the basketball team and fellow volleyball rookie Cailin Wark (Georgetown, Ont.).
This year's Eyeopener Male Rookie of the Year award went to Robert Boskovic (Mississauga, Ont.), a first year defenceman with the soccer team. In his first season Boskovic helped the Rams defence claim the top spot in the OUA with a league-low eight goals against. Boskovic was named the OUA and U SPORTS Rookie of the Year and was an OUA and U SPORTS First-Team All-Star.
Also a finalist for the award this season was hockey player Charlie Graham (Toronto) and basketball player Keevon Small (Montreal, Que.).
Women's basketball player Nicole DiDomenico (Niagara Falls, Ont.) won this year's G.L. Dobson Outstanding Contribution to Interuniversity Sport, Campus and Community Life Award. The fourth year guard became a regular face in the Ryerson community this season. DiDomenico volunteered at the Nike Basketball events held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre and spoke to the group of Toronto youth about bullying and interacting with others. DiDomenico also volunteered at the Jays Care Big Sports Day events that bring in Toronto youth for physical activity and educational support. The Early Childhood Studies major played a large role in the Rams Shoot for the Cure initiative where over $5,000 and over 50 inches of hair were donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Society. DiDomenico was also honoured as the OUA's Joy Bellinger Award winner for her accomplishments in athletics, academics, and community service.
Also nominated for this award this year was hockey player Justine Glover (Wasaga Beach, Ont.), volleyball player Julie Longman (Newmarket, Ont.) and soccer player Gillian Rossi (Mississauga, Ont.).
Men's hockey player Aaron Armstrong (Teeswater, Ont.) took home this year's D.H. Craighead Outstanding Contribution to Interuniversity Sport, Campus and Community Life Award. Armstrong regularly volunteered at Regent Park Arena where he and the rest of the Rams men's hockey team taught a developmentally-disabled class from Nelson Mandela P.S. how to skate. Armstrong is an active member of Ryerson's SAMHI team as a mental health advocate and is heavily involved with Light Patrol and "Curb Light" where he hands out clothing, food and coffee to the homeless youth in Toronto. Armstrong will be traveling to Cambodia in May with five other student-athletes to volunteer at local schools, run sports programs and provide day care for mothers with young children so they are able to work. Armstrong received OUA and U SPORTS recognition with the Dr. Randy Gregg Award for his work in combining athletics, academics, and community work this season.
Also nominated for this award this year was Brodie Barrick (Welland, Ont.) from the hockey team and Kyle Stewart (Kingston, Jamaica) from the soccer team.
See below for a full list of this year's award winners.
H.H. Kerr Female Athlete of the Year
Ryersonian Male Athlete of the Year
RSU Female Rookie of the Year
Eyeopener Male Rookie of the Year
G.L. Dobson Female Outstanding Contribution
D.H. Craighead Male Outstanding Contribution
Gold 'R' Recipients
Jamie Baker (men's soccer)
Michael Fine (men's hockey)
Juwon Grannum (men's basketball)
Luka Lee (men's soccer)
Veronica Livingston (women's volleyball)
Adika Peter-McNeilly (men's basketball)
Julia Withers (figure skating)
Claude LaJeunesse Award (Academics)
Jade Griffiths (Women's Volleyball)
Jim Peffers Award (Staff)
U SPORTS President's Team Award
OUA President's Team Award
Badminton: Allan Zhu & Bernita Ng
Women's Basketball: Kellie Ring
Men's Basketball: Adika Peter-McNeilly & Ammanuel Diressa (co-winners)
Fencing: Samuel Hardwicke & Marcena Lau
Figure Skating: Chris Berneck
Women's Hockey: Ailish Forfar
Men's Hockey: Aaron Armstrong
Women's Soccer: Brittney Clendenan
Men's Soccer: Luka Lee
Women's Volleyball: Julie Longman
Men's Volleyball: Lucas Coleman
Athletic Therapy Awards
Victor Lanzillotta (men's basketball)
Jessica Van Winden (women's basketball)
Jason Lee (men's hockey)
Marlon Tejada (men's hockey & volleyball)
Shueb Ahmed (men's volleyball & soccer)
Sabrina Albanese (women's soccer & volleyball)
Ruth Yeung (women's volleyball & hockey)