Brent Forster - RDC
It was another exciting year in RDC Athletics and the student-athletes, coaches, volunteers, officials and supporters were recognized at the 2018 RDC Athletics Awards Night, held on Tuesday evening at the RDC Arts Centre.
This past season, Red Deer College Athletics added 15 medals to their historic totals. The RDC teams earned 10 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) medals (including three gold). Our student-athletes captured five ACAC individual medals (including two gold), 22 ACAC awards and two Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) awards. Trevor Keeper, Head Coach of Kings Hockey, was selected as an ACAC Coach of the Year.
Many student-athletes were recognized on a provincial and national level. RDC student-athletes were named the ACAC Athlete of the Week on 12 occasions and CCAA Athlete of the Week five times.
Sara McMann was chosen as the 2018 Red Deer Bottling RDC Female Athlete of the Year after a great season with RDC Queens Curling. The Queens finished third (8-4) overall after the Fall and Winter Regionals but elevated their game at the ACAC Curling Championships to earn gold, and Sara was recognized as an ACAC Athlete of the Week. The third-year student-athlete also excelled in the classroom and received an Academic Excellence Award.
"Even though Sara switched from third to skip on the Queens this season, she made a smooth transition during the ACAC season," says Brad Hamilton, Head Coach of RDC Curling. "She had a strong year in the conference and was recognized by being named the ACAC Female Curler of the Year."
Sara and the RDC Queens enhanced their game during competition against Alberta colleges on their way to a conference title. "Sara and the team steadily improved throughout the ACAC season, which resulted in gold and a spot at nationals," says Hamilton.
The skip felt honoured after being recognized among a talented group of RDC female student-athletes. "Getting this award means so much being surrounded by great women who are dominating in their sport," says McMann.
The Bachelor of Science Nursing student is thankful for the experience with her dedicated team. "After all the hard work that my team and I put into the season, it means a lot," says McMann. "Some of my fondest memories are spending weekends with my teammates and those are the moments that I cherish the most. I am so proud of our thriving RDC Curling program and coaches, and all that we have accomplished."
The student-athlete from Chauvin, Alberta is appreciative of this year's conference title but the goal for next season is clear. "Winning ACAC gold was a great experience and we hadn't won that in 36 years," says McMann. "Nationals was a bit disappointing but it makes me more motivated for next year as we go for that second title. Once you taste it, you want to achieve it again."
Tanner Butler was chosen as this season's Red Deer Bottling RDC Male Athlete of the Year after he put up some amazing numbers on the ice. The Kinesiology & Sport Studies student helped lead the Kings to an outstanding 19-7-2-0 regular season record and a bronze medal. In 28 games, the defenceman recorded 12 goals and 21 assists, which included six goals on the power play and one game winning goal. The all-star from Souris, Manitoba, was a consistent contributor all season.
"Tanner had an excellent season and was recognized with an ACAC First All-Conference team selection. He led all defencemen in scoring and finished fourth in league scoring. I think that Tanner is the best two-way defenceman in the league. He is very good defensively, on special teams and one-one-one," says Keeper. "He leads by example, says the right things, and is very respected by his teammates."
The captain of the RDC Kings Hockey team dedicated his award to others in the hockey community dealing with adversity. "My thoughts and prayers go out to my teammate Nick Fountain and the Humboldt Broncos, and this award is for them," says Butler. Fountain is recovering in the University of Alberta Hospital after he suffered an arteriovenous malformation hemorrhage (AVM) while playing recreation hockey.
The fourth-year student-athlete humbly deflected praise from personal achievement to others within Kings Hockey. "I can't take all of the credit for my season," says Butler. "It comes from my teammates and the coaches, and I thank them for making it enjoyable to go to the rink."
There has been steady growth to Tanner's game in his time at RDC and some of that can be attributed to experience and hard work. "Coming here from junior hockey, it was a bit of a change and over the years I think that I have improved," explains Butler. "Being in my fourth year, my confidence grew. I want to give myself a chance to get better everyday on the ice and in the weight room."
The well-rounded defender is already looking forward to the 2018 - 19 season and likes how the Kings roster is filling out with more speed and skill added to an already deep lineup. "We have a lot of guys returning and we added some good recruits," says Butler. "They will help us a lot." Keeper received commitments from Ross Heidt, a local forward who suited up most recently with Alaska-Fairbanks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Chance Longjohn, from the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), and Ryley Smith who spent most of his junior hockey career with the Olds Grizzlys of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL).
RDC student-athletes strive for excellence during competition and in the classroom. At Awards Night, 102 student-athletes, who maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher, received an RDC Academic Excellence Award. Five student-athletes were recognized as Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Academic All-Canadians. Tracie Kikuchi (Queens Hockey), Chelsea Webster (Queens Soccer), Miranda Dawe (Queens Volleyball), Chanelle Kayser (Queens Volleyball) and Adam Turlejski (Kings Volleyball) achieved honours (3.5 GPA or higher) at RDC and were selected to a 2017 – 18 ACAC All-Conference team.
Additional 2018 RDC Athletics Awards Winners
Al Ferchuk Athletic Leadership Award – Spencer Klassen
Coach's Award – Spencer Klassen
Most Improved Player – Solon Ellis
Rookie of the Year – Omon Edobar
Most Valuable Player – Eric Bakker
Coach's Award – Eva Bonde
Most Improved Player – Mary Krause
Rookie of the Year – Paige Schultz
Most Valuable Player – Emily White
Cross Country Running & Indoor Track
Coach's Award – Adam Wass
Most Improved Player – Devon Gurney
Rookie of the Year – Lucas Wessner
Most Valuable Player – Jordanna Cota
Coach's Award – Chloe Logelin
Most Improved Player – Austin Kelts-Larsen
Rookie of the Year – Shelby Primrose
Most Valuable Player – Sara McMann
Coach's Award – Logan Hill
Most Improved Player – Paige Tichkowsky
Rookie of the Year – Justin Loro
Most Valuable Player – Shaye Leidenius
Coach's Award – Michael Salmon
Most Improved Player – Tyler Berkholtz
Rookie of the Year – Lynnden Pastachak
Most Valuable Player – Tanner Butler
Coach's Award – Jade Petrie
Most Improved Player – Camryn Wallan
Rookie of the Year – Catherine Longchamps
Most Valuable Player – Tracie Kikuchi
Coach's Award – Matthew Elphick
Most Improved Player – Hugo Janssen
Rookie of the Year – Kyle Bett
Most Valuable Player – Koltan Childs
Coach's Award – Reesa Garez
Most Improved Player – Nicole Phillips
Rookie of the Year – Erin Gill
Most Valuable Player – Krysten Strand
Coach's Award – Mark DeWit
Most Improved Player – Ben Hankins
Rookie of the Year – Tom Wass
Most Valuable Player – Adam Turlejski
Coach's Award – Hanna Delemont
Most Improved Player – McKenna Olson
Rookie of the Year – Kelly Heinemann
Most Valuable Player – Chanelle Kayser