CALGARY, AB – Tonight at the beautiful Bella Concert Hall, Cougars Athletics and Recreation held their annual Cougar Night year-end celebration. This event featured an awards-style show that honoured student-athletes, coaches, and staff for their excellence in the 2018-19 season.
The night was kicked off by two former MRU athletes who ran the show as emcees. Sarah Weninger, a women's hockey team member from 2012-17 and major award winner at the very same event two years ago, was accompanied by Ryan Clancy, a men's soccer program member from 2013-18. Their witty banter and positive energy created a memorable night for all guests.
The awards started by inducting two incredible former student-athletes to the prestigious Mount Royal University Wall of Fame. The first was Jeff Price, formerly of the men's basketball team from 2005-07. Jeff had a highly decorated career as a Cougar, receiving numerous honours including the ACAC Basketball Player of the Year and ACAC Athlete of the Year. The next Wall of Fame inductee was Chelsea Hobbs, who was a member of the women's volleyball team from 2005-08. She led the Cougars to two ACAC titles and national silver medal during her tenure as well as being recognized as team MVP and Mount Royal Athlete of the Year twice. Plaques for both inductees now hang on the Wall of Fame in the foyer of the Mount Royal Recreation Entrance.
Next casual and full time staff within Cougars Athletics and Recreation were recognized for their service to Mount Royal. These awards included Outstanding Graduating Employees, Work Culture Employee awards, and milestones for length of service (full list below). A highlight of these awards was recognition of Equipment Coordinator, Terry Klan, for his 25 years at MRU.
While there were a number of incredible awards presented throughout the night, possibly the most anticipated were the athletics major awards. The Rookie of the Year, presented by Made Foods, was given to men's volleyball's Luis Lange and women's hockey forward, Breanne Trotter. Luis had a phenomenal year, ending with a visit to the national championships and a U SPORTS all-rookie team nod. Breanne, on the other hand, compiled an impressive first season and was awarded the Rookie of the Year for the Canada West Conference, a highly sought after honour.
After the Rookies of the Year took a seat, the Al Bohonus Athletes of the Year, presented by Players Bench Team Apparel, took center stage. The female winner was Tatum Amy, who led the women's hockey team to the best U SPORTS record and season so far in their history. Following suit, the male winner, Tyler Schmidt from men's volleyball, also led his team to a record season, finishing sixth at the national championships. They made history this year as the first ever Mount Royal team to make it to the U SPORTS championship. To cap it off, this season Tyler became the all-time points and kills leader in the Canada West, a massive accomplishment.
Lastly, a pair of hockey players were honoured with the prestigious Brian Fleming awards, presented by the Calgary Booster Club. These awards recognize student-athletes who excel in academics, athletics, and the community. Colin Cooper (men's hockey) and Anna Purschke (women's hockey) received this season's honours. Both Anna and Colin were leaders on their teams and influential members of the community. A second-year business student, Anna's outstanding community service was also recognized with the Canada West award as she completed over 100 hours of volunteering with eight different groups and organizations. Colin, in his fourth year with the Business program, was a U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian, and volunteered, mentored, and coached in the hockey community. These two outstanding student-athletes closed out the event, setting the bar high for years to come.
A full list of award winners:
Wall of Fame
Jeff Price (Men's Basketball)
Chelsea Hobbs (Women's Volleyball)
Charity Marlatt (Women's Basketball)
Glen Yang (Men's Basketball)
Shawni Rodeback (Women's Hockey)
David Stephens (Men's Hockey)
Miah Godek (Women's Soccer)
Daniel Harrison (Men's Soccer)
Nicky Zalasky (Women's Volleyball)
Tyler Schmidt (Men's Volleyball)
Student Athletic Therapy Awards
Field award: Lauren Therriault (Women's Basketball)
Clinic Award: Nathan Hart (Men's Soccer, Women's Basketball and Men's Basketball)
Work Culture Employee Awards
Daniel Krol (Game Day Supervisor)
Carlos Lopez (Customer Service Associate)
Outstanding Graduating Employee Awards
Olivia Raposo (Aquatics)
Nicole Takeda (Customer Service)
Craig Lennon (Customer Service and Events and Promotions)
Full-Time Staff Milestones
5 years: Bjorn Billenhaug (Manager of Recreation), Bert Gilling (Men's Hockey Head Coach)
10 years: Scott Rivett (Women's Hockey Head Coach)
15 years: Shawn Sky (Men's Volleyball Head Coach), Marc Dobell (Men's Basketball Head Coach)
25 years: Terry Klan (Equipment Coordinator)
Rookie of the Year
Breanne Trotter (Women's Hockey)
Luis Lange (Men's Volleyball)
Al Bohonus, Athlete of the Year
Tatum Amy (Women's Hockey)
Tyler Schmidt (Men's Hockey)
Brian Fleming Award
Anna Purschke (Women's Hockey)
Colin Cooper (Men's Hockey)