Cota & Fathers recognized as Red Deer Bottling RDC Athletes of the Years

Cota & Fathers recognized as Red Deer Bottling RDC Athletes of the Years

Two of the premier college athletes in the country were front and centre at the annual RDC Awards Night at the Arts Centre Tuesday. Cross-country running star Jordanna Cota and volleyball Kings outstanding right side Regan Fathers were named the Red Deer Bottling female and male athletes of the year. For Cota it’s been a outstanding week as she added the top athlete award to the Scott Builders Leadership Scholarship. “I’m extremely surprised, the last two weeks have been amazing,” she said. “I was so honoured to receive the Scott Builders Scholarship with this … I’m looking forward to next season and to do what I can.” Cota was up against outstanding competition for the award and beat out volleyball’s Miranda Dawe, hockey’s Jade Petrie, CCAA curling champion Marla Sherrer and basketball’s Emily White. “They all set the bar high and I’m shocked to receive this,” said Cota, who is in her second year of nursing and fourth year at RDC. She put together an impressive season, consistently finishing in the top three on the Grand Prix circuit and was second in the ACAC championships. She was on the ACAC All-Conference team and an CCAA All-Canadian. She helped the RDC Queens win the ACAC team title and finish second at the nationals, where she was sixth out of 115 competitors. I haven’t told anyone but my goal next year is to medal at the nationals,” she said. “Being a part of this program has been a highlight for me and a medal would top it off.” Cota came out of a strong cross-country program at Hunting Hills and is glad to have committed to RDC. “In some ways it’s humbling to grow up here and compete here,” she said. “But all the success I’ve been able to experience is amazing and made the last four years incredible. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And to have my family and friends around has been great.” She would like nothing more than to see otter local runners stay at home. “I’ve talked to a lot of them about going to school here and to have success at home is a positive.” As for her highlight of the year. “It’s being a part of an amazing and dedicated team. I couldn’t have done it without them.” Fathers, who was in his third season at RDC, put together an unbelievable finish to the season as the Kings won their second straight ACAC and CCAA titles. The Australian native was on the All-Conference team and was named the tournament MVP at both the ACAC and CCAA championships. He edged hockey Kings winger Tyler Berkholtz and basketball’s outstanding guard Ian Tevis for the award. “It’s the same every year you look at the names on the board and it could be any one of them,” he said. “It was a lot of hard work this season and I’m proud of what I achieved.” Still the award takes second place to the gold. “At the end of the day I’d gladly give away all individual awards for the team championship,” he said. “But it’s nice they acknowledge individuals as it’s a credit to the program and coaches.” Fathers moved to the right side from power this year and it took time to adjust. “It was a big change, but having Luke (Brisbane), who is one of the best setters in the country at college or university, made it easier for me. I think things switched on for me toward the end of the season. I’m not sure what happened but we pushed both as individuals and as a group. “I give all the credit to the coaches, who I consider friends. I didn’t like some of the stuff they told me, or the running, but it all paid off. I know I changed a lot over the last three years, mostly as an individual. This program means more than anything to me and I made a decision to attend the University of Calgary next year, but I’ll miss somewhere I call home.” The Kings needed Fathers to step up this year as it was a battle from start to finish. “This year we really embraced the grind. We went through a lot with injuries and individual issues, but once again it was a a credit to the program and coaches. They work hard and they want to be the best every year.”