First-annual Journal Sports awards

In the thick of athletic awards season, Journal staff Amrit Ahluwalia, Jake Edmiston and Michael Woods give out the first Journal Sports awards

The football and women’s rowing teams take top honours as the best male and female teams.
The football and women’s rowing teams take top honours as the best male and female teams.
Photo: 
Despite leading the country in rebounds and coming fourth in scoring, Leger (left) was left off the CIS All-Star teams.
Despite leading the country in rebounds and coming fourth in scoring, Leger (left) was left off the CIS All-Star teams.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

BEST MEN'S TEAM

Football

The football team gave Gaels fans the most exciting fall of their lives in 2009 when they overcame their first regular season loss in two years to win the Yates Cup against the Western Mustangs, the Mitchell Bowl against the Laval Rouge-et-Or and the Vanier Cup against the Calgary Dinos to be crowned national champions. In a year of shining teams, the football team shone brightest.

Honourable mentions:
Men’s rugby
Men’s volleyball

BEST WOMEN'S TEAM

Women’s rowing

The women’s rowing team captured a provincial third-place and a national second-place finish at the CIS Championships in Montreal last November to cap off a successful season. The Gaels had four medal performances at nationals, including gold in lightweight singles.

Honourable mentions:
Women’s golf
Women’s soccer

BEST MALE ATHLETE: TEAM SPORT

Danny Brannagan (football)

Vanier Cup MVP Danny Brannagan was a force of power for the football team en route to their national championship this season. He became the first quarterback in CIS history to pass for 10,000 yards over his career. He passed for 515 yards against the Western Mustangs in the Yates Cup and led the Gaels out of an 18-point halftime deficit for the CIS banner.

Honourable mentions:
Ryan Kruyne (rugby)
Mitch Leger (basketball)
Joren Zeeman (volleyball)

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE: TEAM SPORT

Renée MacLellan (soccer)

The CIS player of the year scored 12 goals during the Gaels first-place OUA season that earned the team a second overall national ranking. MacLennan was the OUA East Most Valuable Player as well as a OUA First-Team All-Star for the third time in her five-year career. The fifth-year striker was also a First-Team All-Canadian.

Honourable mentions:
Liz Kench (hockey)
Brittany Moore (basketball)
Jocelyn Poirier (rugby)

BEST MALE ATHLETE: INDIVIDUAL SPORT

Matt Hulse (cross country, track and field)

Unlike most athletes, Matt Hulse doesn’t have an off-season. The dual athlete earned two silver medals at the track and field OUA championships along with another silver and a gold at the CIS championships. The track and field podium appearances add to Hulse’s community service awards and finishing 17th at nationals after helping his team to OUA bronze as a member of the cross-country team last term.

Honourable mentions:
Scott Bowman (fencing)
Morgan Jarvis (rowing)

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE: INDIVIDUAL SPORT

Erin Roberts (squash)

The first-year squash player went undefeated this season and led the women’s team to their second OUA banner in three years.

Honourable mentions:
Hailey Ingleson (golf)
Sarah Marshall (rowing)

MALE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Liam Underwood (rugby)

First-year fly half Liam Underwood came into the men’s rugby team to replace an injured player, and the team immediately gelled around him, eventually culminating in Underwood setting up the game-changing try during the OUA championship game against the Western Mustangs. After locking himself into the starter’s role, he scored 42 points for the Gaels, good for sixth in the OUA.

Honourable mentions:
Payton Liske (hockey)
Jordan Mirwaldt (hockey)
Matt Di Staulo (wrestling)

FEMALE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Erin Roberts (squash)

Honourable mentions:
Hailey Ingleson (golf)
Morgan McHaffie (hockey)
Mel Dodd-Moher (hockey)

BEST SINGLE-GAME PERFORMANCE: MEN'S TEAM SPORT

Danny Brannagan (football: Yates Cup vs. Western, Nov. 14)

Danny Brannagan led the Gaels to their first Yates Cup victory in over 30 years after passing for 515 yards against the Western Mustangs at Richardson Stadium.

Honourable mentions:
Chris Barrett (rugby: OUA final vs. Western, Nov. 14)
Winger Chris Barrett brought the men’s rugby team for the brink of disaster against the Western Mustangs during the OUA final. Down by a try from the get-go, Barrett set up two of the tries to bring the Gaels back within striking distance of the Mustangs, then scored the winning try with less than 20 minutes left to win the Gaels their first Turner Trophy since 2001.

Payton Liske (hockey vs. Nipissing Lakers, Jan. 23)
OUA All-Rookie team member Payton Liske notched two goals in less than three minutes en route to a hat-trick and a 6-3 win over the Gaels most surprising rival this season, league newcomer Nipissing Lakers.

BEST SINGLE-GAME PERFORMANCE: WOMEN'S TEAM SPORT

Andrea Wadsworth (rugby vs. Trent Excalibur Sept. 12)

Fullback Andrea Wadsworth’s two-try performance in a tight 36-30 win over the Trent Excalibur in their season-opener, putting the ghosts of the previous season to rest. In the 2008 OUA quarterfinal, the Excalibur beat the Gaels before going forward to finish fourth in the OUA.

Honourable mentions:
Mel Dodd-Moher (hockey vs. Windsor Lancers, Feb.6)
Rookie goaltender Mel Dodd-Moher stops 31 shots to secure her second shutout of the year for her 12th win of the season, putting the Gaels firmly in second place with the playoffs approaching.

Erin Skippon (basketball vs. Ryerson Rams Jan. 9)
With 14 seconds left during the last game in Bartlett gym, Ryerson Rams’ Ashley MacDonald sank a three pointer to cut Queen’s lead to two points. Erin Skippon scored a free throw to secure the last point scored in Bartlett was a Queen’s basket and the last game in Bartlett was a Queen’s win.

GAEL MOST ROBBED BY A SPORTING AUTHORITY

Mitch Leger (men’s basketball)

Forward Mitch Leger led the country in rebounds and was fourth in the country in scoring. After a season where he averaged a double-double, arguably single-handedly leading the Gaels to their playoff berth for the last two seasons. However, this wasn’t enough for the Kingston-native to snag a CIS All-Star nod.
Honourable mentions:

Danny Brannagan (football)
Quarterback Danny Brannagan, the first quarterback in CIS history to reach 10,000 passing yards despite missing two-and-a-half games of his final season due to injury, lost out on the OUA’s MVP award and subsequently a nomination for the Hec Creighton trophy to Western’s Michael Faulds. No big deal for Brannagan, he went on to claim MVP honours for the Yates Cup and Vanier Cup.

Payton Liske/Jordan Mirwaldt (men’s hockey)
The pair of Gaels rookies were a dynamic duo in their first year in the Tricolour. Tying with 40 points at the end of the season, Mirwaldt and Liske shared 10th place in the province for scoring, higher than any other rookies in the league. They also led the Gaels in point-scoring, the only Queensmen in the OUA top-20. That said, since they were both nominated for this year’s Rookie of the Year commendation, the votes split between them and neither of them won the prestigious award.

Queen’s Athletics is hosting the 74th-annual Colour Awards on Wednesday, March 31 at the Ambassador Hotel. Tickets are $35 for non-graduating athletes and $25 for graduating athletes.

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