There’s life after graduation. At its annual awards banquet last Tuesday, UFV’s athletics department tried their best to not let student athletes forget this.
“If you search the internet, you’ll find countless articles on why people should hire former student athletes,” Steve Tuckwood, the director of athletics and campus recreation said to the audience of student athletes, coaches, and staff. “I think that UFV offers each and every one of you the opportunity to excel academically and athletically and be a wonderful prospect upon graduation.”
The athletics department hosts the banquet every year to award the year’s top achievements, recognize graduating athletes, and encourage those returning next year.
UFV president Dr. Mark Evered continued Tuckwood’s argument by sharing the results of a survey.
“There’s nearly a million jobs going to become vacant in B.C. over the next decade and at least 80 per cent of those are going to require people with post secondary education,” he said. “One of the top attributes that all these employers were looking for, regardless of what kind of employee they needed … was the ability to work as team,” he said. “We talk a lot about leadership, sometimes we forget about the skills of teamship that are so vital.”
Other than talk of getting hired after graduation, the event featured the usual annual awards.
While most teams took something home, athletes for the men’s and women’s basketball teams were awarded the 2015-16 athlete of the year awards.
Fourth year guard forward Kayli Sartori took home the award following her most successful season, where she won the Canada West women’s basketball scoring title with an average of 18.4 points per game, all while maintaining a GPA of over 3.5. Sartori was also named a division first team all-star and a national second team All-Canadian. Sartori was one of three finalists for the award, including Tristan Corneil (soccer), and Hannah Dirksen (golf).
“Kayli is a player that has undeniable talent — I’ve known that ever since she stepped on our court when she was a 13-year-old in our Junior Cascades program,” said Al Tuchscherer, head coach of the women’s basketball team. “The thing that’s probably the most rewarding to see in her is not the on-court stuff, but just how she’s embraced the academic side of things, embraced being a better teammate this year, and embraced being a better leader.”
Kevon Parchment was awarded the male athlete award, with the other nominees being Adam Chaplin (volleyball) and Connor O’Dell (golf). Parchment, the men’s basketball team’s only graduating player, finished off his final season with division first team all-star and defensive player of the year honours, and was also the first UFV men’s basketball player to be named a national second team All-Canadian.
“Kevon’s had a great four-year career with us [and] he definitely saved his best for last,” said men’s basketball head coach Adam Friesen. “He’s been terrific, he’s impacted the game in so many different ways. In all my time as a player and as a coach, I’ve only seen a couple guys that could impact a game quite as much as Kevon.”
Rookie of the year awards went to Taylor Claggett (women’s basketball), Gurneet Dhaliwal (women’s soccer), and Brady Weir (men’s soccer).
Amelia Worrell (women’s basketball) and Nick Bruce (men’s volleyball) were recognized for their academic efforts and took home the female and male individual academic awards for their GPAs of 4.22 and 3.91, respectively.
Worrell’s high GPA contributed to the women’s basketball team’s cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the fall semester, which gave the team the president’s shield team academic award.
Athletes were also recognized for community involvement.
Hailey Kendall (women’s basketball) and Risa Venuto (women’s soccer) were both awarded the outstanding community award for their involvement on campus, while Riley Dueck (men’s rowing) won the Jen Simpson leadership award.