OUA announces 2017 men’s rugby major award winners and All-Stars

Photo by Charity Matheson
Photo by Charity Matheson

BURLINGTON, Ont. – It’s been a year to remember on the pitch, and ahead of this weekend’s championship fixture, the OUA is pleased to announce the 2017 men’s rugby major award winners and All-Stars.

Player of the Year – Andrew Quattrin, Laurier Golden Hawks

When it came to making an impact on the pitch, no one was able to cement their value more than 2017 Player of the Year, Andrew Quattrin.

The Golden Hawks’ senior has had a decorated career at Laurier, both from a school and league perspective. Quattrin must recently earned Laurier’s Most Valuable Player honours last year (2016), but since earning the nod as team Rookie of the Year in 2014, Quattrin has gone on to great heights in the OUA as a whole as well. The Waterloo, Ont. native has picked up First-Team All-Star nods in all three years since stepping onto the scene, but his fourth season outdid them all.

Quattrin, an All-Star for the fourth straight season, ranked second on the team in tries this year with seven, but made his impact felt beyond the scoreboard as well. The Golden Hawks’ captain was instrumental in many facets of the game, but most notably showcasing his dominance in set pieces and breakdowns. Quattrin proved to be a tremendous tackler, a prolific poacher of the ball, and a strong all-around leader for a Golden Hawks squad that will play for bronze this Saturday at McMaster.

Coach of the Year – Ian McLeod, Laurier Golden Hawks

Quattrin’s ability on the pitch isn’t the only thing being celebrated amongst the purple and gold; however, as their sideline presence has also earned hardware for his efforts this year. Laurier’s head coach Ian McLeod has been named the OUA Coach of the Year for 2017, after leading the Hawks to a 5-3 record and a fourth place finish in the standings.

Not only did McLeod help the Hawks bounce back from a few sub-.500 seasons, but he also led them to their best record since 2006, when the club went 6-2. His guidance was felt further still; however, as the former Brock and Toronto assistant coach led the Laurier side to their first playoff win in modern team history (def. Western 36-12).

After flipping the script on his previous best record with the club – going 3-5 in both 2014 and 2015 – McLeod continues to make great strides on the sidelines and help his team make even greater strides on the pitch.

Rookie of the Year – Josh Engelbrecht, Queen’s Gaels

In what was just his first year with the team, Queen’s Gaels freshman Josh Engelbrecht made a massive impact on the pitch en route to earning 2017 Rookie of the Year honours.

Entering what has certainly become a culture of success amongst the Tricolour squad, Engelbrecht immediately played a key role in helping the club achieve great heights in 2017. In the team’s undefeated 8-0 regular season, Engelbrecht started four games, but played a part in all eight victories. His ability to play 9 and 10 at a high level was evident, but his biggest impact came at 9, highlighted by his 70m try against Laurier.

On defence, meanwhile, Engelbrecht showed a level of physicality not often shown by halfbacks, and his drive to make collisions as well as tackles has quickly earned him a lot of respect from the opposition.

On and off the pitch, the Oakville, Ont. native was a true team player in every regard. Engelbrecht, who has also been selected to the Canada U19 program, frequently carried the kit to and from training, was the last player on the field packing up, and remained a positive member of the First-Team squad. 

Trillium Award (Most All-Around Player) – Charlie Tremblay, Queen’s University

Engelbrecht has some company from another of his Gaels teammates as major award winners this season, as Charlie Tremblay receives the 2017 Trillium Award – given to the most all-around player in the OUA on and off the pitch.

As well as starting all but one game for Queen’s this season, Tremblay has also been a strong advocate of rugby across the Kingston community. He is a player who may not often stand out as the man of the match, but to any rugby connoisseur, he is the ultimate team player who consistently performs to allow others to succeed. But much of what makes Tremblay stand out is what he does off the field as well.

In the last seven months alone, the Glenburnie, Ont. native: organized school-wide clothing donations for youth at risk centres; represented Kingston’s “Rookie Rugby” initiative at 23 different schools to introduce the sport to students; raised $400 in pledges for breast cancer research and donated 12” of his hair for “Cuts for Kids” for child survivors that cannot afford wigs; coached the U18 Men’s Kingston Panthers team; and for the last seven years, has volunteered at bingos lower costs for minor rugby player fees.

The complete list of major award winners and All-Stars is as follows:

Player of the Year – Andrew Quattrin, Laurier
Rookie of the Year – Josh Engelbrecht, Queen’s
Coach of the Year – Ian McLeod, Laurier
Trillium Award – Charlie Tremblay, Queen’s

All-Stars

Patrick Lynott, Queen’s
Brendan Blaikie, Queen’s
Ruairidh MacPhail, Queen’s
Mike Douros, Queen’s
Alex Colborne, Queen’s
Kainoa Lloyd, Queen’s
Josh Sheridan, Guelph
Marcello Wainwright, Guelph
Erich Milne, Guelph
Jordan Hofstra, Guelph
Kyle Lagasca, Guelph
Connor Byrne, McMaster
Will Kelly, McMaster
Jack McRogers, McMaster
Mitch Richardson, McMaster
Mike Smith, McMaster
Andrew Quattrin, Laurier
Jeff Wood, Laurier
Nathan Roberts, Laurier
Chris Matsoukas, Laurier
Mike Coldwells, Western
Luc Boucher, Western
Trevor Noskiewicz, Western
Peter Milazzo, Western
Ryan Hickey, Brock
Jeremy Brownridge, Brock
Steven Commerford, Brock
Mitch Voralek, Waterloo
Aaron Goodridge, Waterloo
Paul Schroeder, Waterloo
Ian Smith, RMC
Caleb Shaw, RMC
John Stewart, Toronto
Faiyaz Lokhandwala, Toronto
Mo Yusuf, Trent