It was another successful year in RDC Athletics and the student-athletes, coaches, volunteers, officials and supporters were recognized at the 2017 RDC Athletics Awards Night on Tuesday.
This past season, Red Deer College Athletics added 17 medals to their already impressive totals. The RDC squads, along with individual athletes, earned 13 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) medals (2 gold, 6 silver and 5 bronze) and 4 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) medals (2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze).
Two teams earned the honour of the top collegiate team in Canada. In London, Ontario, the Kings Volleyball team won their 3rd CCAA gold in the past 4 years. In Camrose, Alberta, the RDC Queens Curling team picked up CCAA gold, which was their 2nd national gold since 2014.
Many student-athletes and coaches were recognized on a provincial and national level this past year. RDC student-athletes were named the ACAC Athlete of the Week on 7 occasions and CCAA Athlete of the Week 3 times. Red Deer College coaches received 2 ACAC and 1 CCAA Coach of the Year award.
Jordanna Cota was named the 2017 Red Deer Bottling RDC Female Athlete of the Year after she had an incredible season with the Cross-Country and Indoor Track teams. At the ACAC Cross-Country Running Championships in Grande Prairie, the Bachelor of Science (Nursing) student earned silver with a time of 20:25 on the 5 km course and helped lead the women's team to an ACAC gold medal. Cota was named the RDC Female Athlete of the Week 3 times and ACAC Athlete of the Week once, and she was also named a member of the ACAC Women's Cross-Country All-Conference team.
The 4th year student-athlete helped lead the RDC Queens to a CCAA silver medal at the Cross-Country Running National Championships in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, with a strong 6th place finish (19:21) and was named a CCAA Cross-Country Running All-Canadian. "Jordanna had a fantastic season. At nationals, she not only placed higher this season but ran a personal best," says Kari Elliott, RDC Cross-Country and Indoor Track Head Coach.
In Lethbridge, Cota picked up a silver medal at the ACAC Indoor Track Championships in the 3,000 metre finals, added another silver in the women's 4 x 400 metre relay finals and helped lead the RDC Queens Indoor Track team to a silver medal finish. "Jordanna is a hard worker and a leader. She would finish a long day at a nursing clinical and then give 100% at a training session," says Elliott. "She wants to win and knows how to push to the finish without saving anything. I have high hopes for her for next year, her last season with RDC, and I know she does too."
Cota was caught off guard by her award.
"I was extremely surprised. The past two weeks have been absolutely amazing," says Cota. "I am extremely honoured to be the recipient of the Scott Builders Leadership Scholarship and the RDC Female Athlete of the Year."
Cota, a student-athlete from Red Deer, is happy with her choice in post-secondary schools and the athletic opportunities, and hopes that future student-athletes will see the many benefits of attending Red Deer College.
"I think it's humbling growing up here, and having all the successes that I have been able to experience has been absolutely amazing. It's made the last 4 years incredible and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Being around my family, peers and growing new friendships has been great," says Cota. "Being from Hunting Hills High School and a part of the cross-country program, I've been able to talk to a lot of girls and guys about coming to school here and let them know what it's like. Seeing someone be successful from their hometown gives them some positive encouragement to come to RDC."
Cota is anticipating that next season will be an exciting final year for her at RDC.
"I'm looking forward to next season. I'm hoping for a medal at the CCAA Nationals and that would probably be the highlight of my college years," says Cota. "Being part of this school and team have already been highlights."
Regan Fathers was chosen as this season's Red Deer Bottling RDC Male Athlete of the Year after he put up some amazing numbers on the volleyball court. The Kinesiology and Sport Studies student led ACAC Men's Volleyball with a total of 316 kills and averaged 3.95 kills per set. Fathers was chosen as the RDC Male Athlete of the Week 4 times and the ACAC Athlete of the Week twice. The 3rd year student-athlete from East Fremantle, Western Australia, played a significant role in helping the RDC Kings win their 4th ACAC Men's Volleyball Championship in the past 5 years. Fathers received the player-of-the-game honours in all 3 of RDC's matches and was named the tournament MVP. The talented student-athlete was named to the ACAC Men's Volleyball South All-Conference team.
At the CCAA Men's Volleyball National Championship, Fathers elevated his game and helped the RDC Kings win their 13th national gold since 1995. Against Fanshawe College, Fathers was chosen as the player-of-the-match and was eventually named the CCAA Men's Volleyball National Championship Most Valuable Player. "Regan had a tremendous season for us and got better week after week. We knew when he first came to RDC that his ceiling would be quite high, but I think that we are only beginning to see what he is capable of in the sport of volleyball," says Aaron Schulha, Kings Volleyball Head Coach. "By the end of the season, he was the most complete player in the CCAA in my opinion. Regan wanted the ball as much as possible, especially in high pressure situations. He elevated his game in the last month of the season as the stakes of each match rose, and he was instrumental in the Kings winning back-to-back ACAC and CCAA Championships. He was named the MVP at both championships and rightfully so."
Fathers was appreciative of winning the RDC Male Athlete of the Year award among a talented group, and as he prepares for the University of Calgary he fondly reflects on his time at Red Deer College.
"The athlete pool from RDC is just incredible. It could have been anyone. I'm very thankful," says Fathers. "Red Deer College changed me, not only as an athlete, but mostly as an individual. The volleyball program means more than anything in the world to me. I made the decision recently to attend the U of C. I'm excited for the experience but will certainly miss somewhere that I call home now."
Fathers humbly credited the RDC Kings coaching staff and his teammates for a strong season.
"Luke (Brisbane), one of the best setters in Canada, made the move to the right side easier for me this year. I have to give the credit to the coaches and my peers. Everyone trusted me and pushed me. I told them that I want to be the best that I can be," says Fathers. "I'm forever grateful. This year we went through a lot of adversity and it's a credit to a program that's continually working hard and wants the best every single year."
While the RDC student-athletes strive for excellence during competition, their efforts extend into the classroom. At the Awards Night, 98 student-athletes who maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher were named RDC Academic Excellence recipients.
"We had a great season, not only with the number of ACAC and CCAA medals we won, but with the individual awards and academic performances of our student-athletes. Success goes beyond just the championship banners," says Diane St-Denis, RDC Athletic Director. "This night gives us a chance to reflect on the accomplishments and also acknowledge the people who help set the stage for the student-athletes to pursue their passion – the donors, support staff, sponsors and coaches."
Additional 2017 RDC Athletics Awards Winners
Al Ferchuk Athletic Leadership Scholarship – Nolan Dyck (Cross-Country and Indoor Track)
Coach's Award – Matt Matear
Most Improved Player – Shayne Stumpf
Rookie of the Year – Kevin Szymanek
Most Valuable Player – Ian Tevis
Coach's Award – Eva Bonde
Most Improved Player- Lauren Bailey
Rookie of the Year – Brooke Kirkpatrick
Most Valuable Player – Emily White
Coach's Award – Jeff Willoughby
Most Improved Player – Breanna Berridge
Rookie of the Year – Jill Stewart
Most Valuable Player – Jordanna Cota
Coach's Award – Ty Parcels
Most Improved Player – Ashlyn Wozny
Rookie of the Year – Andrew Jones
Most Valuable Player – Marla Sherrer
Coach's Award – Ryan Skoreyko
Most Improved Player – Hayley Phillips
Rookie of the Year – Shaye Leidenius
Most Valuable Player – Cole Morrison
Coach's Award – Riley Simpson
Most Improved Player – Tanner Butler
Rookie of the Year – Trevor Costello
Most Valuable Player – Tyler Berkholtz
Coach's Award – Suze Vanderlinde
Most Improved Player – Landry Derdall
Rookie of the Year – Kirsten Baumgardt
Most Valuable Player – Cassidy Anderson
Coach's Award – Tanner Steenbergen
Most Improved Player – Timmo van Klaveren
Rookie of the Year – Theoren Gill
Most Valuable Player – Mark Ibbotson
Coach's Award – Krysten Strand
Most Improved Player – Kaitlin D'Arcy
Rookie of the Year – Riley Morey
Most Valuable Player – Chelsea Webster
Coach's Award – Mike Sumner
Most Improved Player – Regan Fathers
Rookie of the Year – Parker Biletsky
Most Valuable – Regan Fathers
Coach's Award – Hanna Delemont
Most Improved Player – Katrina Dawe
Rookie of the Year – Kaylee Domoney
Most Valuable Player – Miranda Dawe
ACAC Minor Officials Award – Chais Avery and Natasha Bjornson
Major Volunteer Contributor Award – Dave Kolesnik