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Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Quality Inn - Sudbury
Sunday, Jul. 23, 2017
Golden Shield success stories of 2016-2017
2017-03-22
by Randy Pascal

Though a large number of student athletes were recognized Tuesday evening at Cambrian College, it would be cross-country runner Mary Strain and men’s volleyball power hitter Isaac Claveau who would top the charts, earning Female and Male Athlete of the Year honours, respectively, at the 50th annual Golden Shield Varsity Athletic Banquet.

A native of Fort Frances and first year transfer student, Strain followed directly in the footsteps of Cambrian’s 2015 OCAA female cross country champion Emily Marcolini, finishing first in three straight preliminary races (setting course records at two of these venues), earning gold at provincials and walking away with a silver medal at the CCAA nationals.

“I’m incredibly overwhelmed and grateful,” said Strain following the ceremony. “I was literally shaking on my way up here. This was not at all what I expected when I first began running this season.”

An accomplished track athlete in high school who went on to eventually compete for two years with the Lakehead Thunderwolves, Strain enjoyed an immediate connection witb Cambrian coach Eric Leishman, leading to a season to remember.

“I need to thank Eric for being an incredible coach and leader, for helping me in becoming the athlete that I am,” said Strain. “Running 95% of the workouts at my side, protecting me from the dogs that come and jump at me – he’s a great support.”

Yet another product of northwestern Ontario, one of six boys in a highly athletic Hornepayne household, Isaac Claveau shares the credit for his breakthrough 2016-2017 season, one which not only would see him compete at the OCAA Men’s Volleyball All-Star game last weekend, but subsequently named “Player of the Game” for the West Division team.

“I put a lot of work in, but a lot of my thanks has to go to the guys (on the team),” said Claveau. “They’re really good guys and they keep me going all of the time. When I had a bad game, they do a really good job of helping me get past those and succeed in the next game.”

With an academic internship creating some uncertainty about his ability to re-join the team for the 2017-2018 campaign, Claveau left little doubt as to his preference as to exactly how things might play out.

“I love the sport, it’s my favourite thing to do,” he said. “If I’m stressed out, I’ll go and play volleyball for a couple of hours and I’ll be just fine, with a smile on my face. We haven’t always been incredibly successful, but I’ve always ended the year with a smile on my face. I have a really, really good time when I am playing here at Cambrian, so I really want to do it again.”

Rounding out the list of award winners are the following athletes, coaches and support staff:

Coach’s Award
Cross Country – Josh Murphy
Women’s Soccer – Clarissa McArthur
Men’s Soccer – Eric Sampson
Women’s Basketball – Makaila Alloway
Women’s Volleyball – Hayley Chisholm
Men’s Volleyball – Mitchel Reid

Rookie of the Year
Women’s Soccer – Sarah Cholewinsky
Men’s Soccer – Brandon Moxam
Women’s Volleyball – Kendra Muffo
Men’s Volleyball – Lucas Claveau

Most Valuable Player
Cross Country – Mary Strain
Women’s Soccer – Tiffany Johnson
Men’s Soccer – Marco Armiento
Women’s Basketball – Megan Desormeaux / Taylor Caverly-Grasby
Women’s Volleyball – Jillian Vallier
Men’s Volleyball – Isaac Claveau

VERN DOW MEMORIAL BURSARY: Sharon Marcotte (manager – women’s basketball)

PETER GUY MEMORIAL BURSARY: Kayla Wandziak

SUDBURY MASTERS RUNNING CLUB BURSARY: Wyatt Kennedy, Mary Strain, Josh Murphy
JOHN TYMCHUK BURSARY: Layla Pintar

JOHN TYMCHUK WOMEN’S BASKETBALL BURSARY: Alyssa Short

NERO PAINTING BURSARY: Megan Coutu

SIRC-CCAA ACADEMIC ALL-CANADIANS:
Amanda Kring, Jillian Vallier, Clarissa McArthur, Mary Strain

Graduating Athletes (minimum two years of OCAA participation)
Women’s Soccer: Layla Pintar, Casey Gouviea, Lauren Schandlen, Tiffany Johnson
Men’s Soccer: Evan Phillips
Women’s Basketball: Makaila Alloway
Women’s Volleyball: Kailey Bastien
Men’s Volleyball: Harry Singh, Ryan Marcotte

Coaching Appreciation (5 years of service) – Dayna Corelli

OCAA Women’s Volleyball West Division Coach of the Year – Dale Beausoleil

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