Guelph's Rush and Lamenta Named Gryphon Athletes of the Year

Guelph's Rush and Lamenta Named Gryphon Athletes of the Year

With the New Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre set to open this coming September, the 2016 edition of the Gryphon Athletic Banquet may very well have served as the final time that this annual year-end gathering would be staged in the now nearly 60-year-old W.F. Mitchell Athletics Centre. With over 700 varsity athletes in attendance in the main gym celebrating a tremendously successful 2015-16 season, the W.F. Mitchell Centre added yet another memorable moment to its already rich history of Gryphon Athletics.

Fifth year football player John Rush and second year goalie Valerie Lamenta (women's hockey) headlined the award winners as they were named the University of Guelph's male and female athletes of the year. For John Rush, a Niagara Falls native and star middle linebacker with the Gryphon football team, the Athlete of the Year award comes on the heels of a remarkable season, both at the team and individual levels. Rush and the Gryphons defeated the No. 1-ranked Western Mustangs in the Yates Cup to secure the school's first OUA title in football since 1996. In the process, Rush was named Yates Cup M.V.P. to go along First Team All-Star nods at both the OUA and CIS level. At the Vanier Cup banquet in Quebec City, Rush was named the recipient of the CIS President's Trophy as the top stand-up defensive player in the country. He became the first Gryphon football player to ever receive the national honour. John has recently signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL and will head west to Manitoba to begin his professional career in May.

Valerie Lamenta made some school history of her own on the national stage. The second year goalie from Montreal became the first Gryphon women's hockey player to ever be named the CIS Player of the Year. The mechanical engineering student led the country in several key statistical categories while also helping the Gryphons bring home the school's first OUA title in women's hockey since 1998 thanks to a convincing 5-1 victory over Western on home ice. Lamenta's incredible 2015-16 season marked her first season as the team's starting goalie after having served as a backup last year as a rookie. Lamenta posted a sparkling goals against average of just 0.99 while leading the Gryphons to OUA supremacy and a fourth place finish at the CIS Championships.

The 2016 Athletic Banquet also featured a new award as the "Gryphie Moment of the Year" award was introduced for the first time. Taylor Boers from the men's basketball team took home the inaugural "Gryphie" trophy for his dramatic buzzer-beating shot versus the Windsor Lancers. 

Overall, the Gryphons had a total of 28 athletes named CIS All-Canadians, 101 OUA All-Stars, 7 different coaches named either CIS or OUA Coach of the Year and 86 individuals who earned a spot on the academic honour roll.

A complete list of award winners from the night listed below.

Major Award Winners

Male Athlete of the Year
John Rush - Football
Female Athlete of the Year
Valerie Lamenta - Women's Hockey

"Gryphie" Moment of the Year
"Boers at the Buzzer" - Taylor Boers - Men's Basketball

W.F. Mitchell Sportsman of the Year
Evan Van Moerkerke - Men's Swimming
W.F. Mitchell Sportswoman of the Year
Allison Chute - Field Hockey

Male Rookie of the Year (Scott Yanchus Award)
Benjamin Workman - Cross Country
Female Rookie of the Year (Dr. Mary Beverley-Burton Award)
Danielle Jossinet - Cross Country & Track

Dr. John T. Powell Award (Exemplary Devotion to Athletics at U of G)
Larry Pearson - Men's Volleyball

The Fred Ramprashad Scholarship
Katrina Allison - Cross Country & Track
President's Trophy – Male
Charles Sutton – Track & Field
President's Trophy – Female
Katelyn Ayers - Cross Country & Track
Don Cameron Award (3-year M.I.P.)
Johnny Augustine – Football
Shirley Peterson Award (3-year M.I.P.)
Kelly Gribbons – Women's Hockey
Student Trainer of the Year (Gunner Obrascovs Award)
Josh Smith - Men's Basketball & Women's Rugby
Student Manager of the Year (Cathy Rowe Award)
Michelle St. Pierre – Rowing

Team Award Winners

Baseball:  M.V.P. – Matthew Forer
Basketball (M):  Jack Tanner M.I.P. – Drew Walford

Basketball (M):  Bill Dimson Memorial M.V.P. – Jonathan Wallace
Basketball (W):  M.I.P. – Dana Van Balkom

Basketball (W):  M.V.P. – Bridget Atkinson
Cross Country (M):  Rookie of the Year (Al Claremont Freshman Harrier Trophy) – Benjamin Workman

Cross Country (M):  M.V.P. (Art Hackett Trophy) – Aaron Hendrikx
Cross Country (W):  Rookie of the Year – Danielle Jossinet
Cross Country (W):  M.V.P. (Vic Matthews Award) – Katrina Allison
Field Hockey:  M.I.P. - Morgan Kelley
Field Hockey:  M.V.P. - Allison Chute
Figure Skating:  M.V.P. - Kelsey Sobkowich
Football:  Rookie of the Year - Job Reinhart
Football:  M.V.P. (President Forster Award) – John Rush

Football:  Ted Wildman Trophy – Patrick McGrath
Golf (M):  M.V.P. - Scott Banks
Golf (W):  M.V.P. (Grace Glofcheskie Award) - Breanna Shannon
Hockey (M):  Rookie of the Year (Walter Rickard Memorial Award) – Cody Thompson

Hockey (M):  M.V.P. (Jack Pos Trophy) – Andrew D'Agostini
Hockey (W):  Rookie of the Year – Claire Merrick
Hockey (W):  M.V.P. – Valerie Lamenta & Jessica Pinkerton
Lacrosse (M):  M.V.P. – Michael Lalani
Lacrosse (W):  M.V.P. – Jessica DeMars
Nordic Skiing (M):  M.V.P. – Lucas Parsons
Nordic Skiing (W):  M.V.P. – Celeste Noble
Rowing (M):  M.V.P. – Gregory Hanta
Rowing (W):  M.V.P. – Ainsleigh Hennig
Rugby (M):  Rookie of the Year (Robin Best Award) – Riley Di Nardo
Rugby (M):  M.V.P. (Ieuan Evans Rugger Award) – Eric Howard
Rugby (W):  Rookie of the Year – Julia Schell
Rugby (W):  M.V.P. – Daria Keane
Soccer (M):  M.I.P. – Jalen Noronha
Soccer (M):  M.V.P. (Bill McAnuff Memorial) – Ethan Danielli
Soccer (W):  M.I.P. – Meredith Langston
Soccer (W):  M.V.P. – Holly Miller
Swimming (M):  M.I.P. – Jacob Dosen
Swimming (M):  M.V.P. (C.M. Kinnear Memorial) – Evan Van Moerkerke
Swimming (W):  M.I.P. – Emma Jackson
Swimming (W):  M.V.P. – Emily Anzai
Track & Field (M):  Rookie Award – Eric Chatten

Track & Field (M):  M.V.P. (Hamilton Olympic Club Award) – Sean Cate & Jared Skeath
Track & Field (W):  Rookie Award – Hailey Hitchings
Track & Field (W):  M.V.P. – Katelyn Ayers
Volleyball (M):  M.I.P. – Samuel Kloke

Volleyball (M):  M.V.P. – Kendrick Kerr
Volleyball (W):  M.I.P. (Makala King Memorial) – Cayte Wilson
Volleyball (W):  M.V.P. – Becky Breau
Wrestling (M):  M.I.P. – Alexander Chaves

Wrestling (M):  M.V.P. – Oren Furmanov
Wrestling (W):  M.I.P. – Chelsey Sicard
Wrestling (W):  M.V.P. – Alison Carrow                        

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