WATERLOO, Ont. - Monday evening Wilfrid Laurier University's Department of Athletics and Recreation hosted its annual athletic banquet recognizing the achievements of its coaches, players and staff at the Wilfrid Laurier Athletic Complex. Twenty-two rookies and MVPs were recognized for their performance on their respective teams. The department also awarded its 12 major awards to acknowledge contributors and outstanding athletes at Laurier. The major award winners are as follows:

The President's Award is for the most outstanding athletic performance from a male and female over the past year. This year's recipients are Mark Voakes and Andrea Bevan. Bevan, a fifth-year sociology student was named a first team all-Canadian and was also named the OUA player of the year in women's hockey. While being third on her team in scoring, this team captain helped lead her team to a sixth consecutive OUA championship. Voakes is a fourth year arts student from St. Thomas, Ont. Named a first team all-Canadian, Voakes was also the OUA's most valuable player on one of the highest scoring Golden Hawks squads in recent memory. He led the team in assists with 37 and was second on the team in scoring with 50 points.

The Rich Newbrough Rookie of the Year Award is for the most outstanding athletic performance from a male and female rookie over the past year. Amber Hillis from the women's basketball team and Sam Schachter from the men's volleyball team were the winners. Hillis, a first year sociology student hailing from Hamilton, Ont. was named to the OUA all-rookie team. Schachter was named the OUA rookie of the year and picked up the program's first national award by being named to the CIS all-rookie team. The Richmond Hill, Ont. native led the team in service aces and was second in kills and attacks.

Luke Fusco Academic Athletic Achievement Award honours the male and female athlete who best combines academic and athletic achievement. This year's recipients are Chris Mamo and Hollie Nicol. Mamo is a member of the Golden Hawk football team and posted an 11.27 GPA (out of 12) in his sociology major. This is also the second time he has won this award. On the field, the kicker/punter led the team in scoring. Nicol, the skip of Laurier's national champion women's curling team has a sparkling 10.17 GPA in kinesiology. More recently, this Markham native also claim silver at the FISU games in China and was received the 2009 Outstanding Women of Laurier Award.

The Marty Wamsley Junior Trainer of the Year Award is given to the student trainer whose performance of duties is deemed most valuable to WLU Athletics. This year the award recipient is fourth year kinesiology major Marie Cousineau. She has worked with the women's basketball program for the last three years as well as being the coordinator for the athletic therapy club. This student trainer is instrumental in the development and teaching of injury prevention exercises with the team, in and out of season.

Earle C. Shelley Unsung Hero Award goes to a person within the Wilfrid Laurier community who unselfishly gives much time and effort into the overall success of the athletics program. This year's recipient is Jim Rayburn. He has been an assistant coach and head scout for the women's hockey team since the 2003-04 season. Spending most of his time on the road identifying talent for the future, this dedicated individual has been a key component of the team's six straight provincial championships.

Tuffy Knight Award pays recognition to a person not affiliated with the university, for their untiring efforts over an extended period of time. This year's recipient is Arthur Stephen. Throughout his 30-plus years as an active member of the Laurier community, this individual has contributed to the success of athletics both on and off the field. As a men's squash team head coach in the early 1980s, to making athletics a key part of the Laurier experience, this former vice president can always be found on the sidelines cheering on the Golden Hawks. Having recently retired as the as the special assistant to the president, he has left a legacy of excellence that will be echoed into the future.

Golden Hawk Awards of Excellence pays recognition to the student leaders who help to make lasting contributions to the varsity athletics program. There are three awards; team manager, sports information assistant and event staff. The recipient of the team manager award is Mike Dow. As the men's hockey team's equipment manager for the past three seasons, this individual has always gone above the call of duty. From small to large task he is always willing to put in the time and effort to make sure the men's hockey program has what it needs to compete at the level it does.

The sports information assistant recipient is John Myhal. As a part-time summer student, this individual enlivened the office with his eager personality and diligent work efforts. He has managed to complete tasks in a timely manner while always striving to assist the Golden Hawk program.

Finally the event staff recipient is Kristen McWatters. Kristen has been one of the most dedicated event staff members this past year. Working everything from basketball, volleyball and hockey, she will be next year's basketball event coordinator.

Dean E. Brandon Award is awarded to the female contributing most to athletics. This year's recipient is Andrea Elliott. This year's award winner has been involved in many aspects of the Laurier athletic community. She has been an event coordinator for both basketball and volleyball after working as an event assistant in her first year. This year she was also the president of the Women's Athletic Association. Always willing to put in the extra time required to get the job done, she is consistently one of the top student leaders in Laurier Athletics & Recreation.

Bill Haggstrom Trophy is awarded to the male contributing most to Athletics. This year's award winner is David Hughes. This year this prestigious award goes to a former first team and second team provincial all-star. Along with his outstanding contributions to athletics and his solid academic pursuits, this swimmer help keep the Laurier pool a float in troubled times through the creation of a student referendum.

Glenn Carroll Team of the Year Award is presented to the women's curling team. In the past this award was a coach of the year award, however all coaches felt that this was always a team award and should be recognized as such. The team of the year repeated as national champions, only the second team in Laurier history to do so. They also garnered international recognition with a silver medal finish at the FISU games in Harbin, China.

The following are this season's Rookie's of the Year and Most Valuable Players:

Rookie's of the Year:
Men's Baseball – Ryan Panas
Men's Basketball – Travis Berry
Women's Basketball – Amber Hillis
Cheerleading – Carissa Lawther
Men's Cross Country – Brent Meidinger
Women's Cross Country – Courtney Brohart
Men's Curling – Shane Konings
Women's Curling – Sarah Wilkes
Figure Skating – Alitsha Burden
Men's Football – Courtney Stephen
Men's Golf – Jeff Colley
Men's Hockey – Phil Magistrale
Women's Hockey – Abby Rainsberry
Women's Field Lacrosse –Hanna Burnett
Men's Rugby – Jeff Pickle
Women's Rugby – Samantha Schmalz
Men's Soccer – Chris Walker
Women's Soccer – Jessica Carter
Men's Swimming – Wes Phillips
Women's Swimming – Jocelyn Gillespie
Men's Volleyball – Sam Schachter
Women's Volleyball – Alex Mingay

Most Valuable Players:
Men's Baseball –Scott Mahn
Men's Basketball – Jesse MacDonald
Women's Basketball – Renata Adamczyk
Cheerleading – Erin Dobson
Men's Cross Country – Duncan Macauley
Women's Cross Country – Dale Findlay
Men's Curling – Paul Arkilander
Women's Curling – Hollie Nicol
Figure Skating – Haley Tyers
Men's Football – Luke Thompson
Men's Golf – Kyle Asselstine
Men's Hockey – Mark Voakes
Women's Hockey – Andrea Bevan
Women's Field Lacrosse – Kirsten Gerrie
Men's Rugby – Jeff Cooper
Women's Rugby – Megan Wiles
Men's Soccer – Matt Smith
Women's Soccer – Heather Malizia
Men's Swimming – David Hughes
Women's Swimming – Whitney Rich
Men's Volleyball – Cameron Wheelan
Women's Volleyball – Teresa Wick

Source: Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks