Foley and de Vries earn York Athlete of the Year honours

Sport York held its 38th Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday night at the Montecassino Place Banquet Hall in Toronto. Dignitaries from the University joined coaches, therapists and more than 400 student-athletes from 23 teams in celebrating the 2005-2006 season at York University. Here are the award winners:

Kristy DevriesThe Athlete of the Year awards go to a male and a female athlete who has exhibited outstanding athletic skill, character and fair play in his or her sport and, as a result, contributed to the success of the team.

Female Athlete of the Year
Kristy de Vries
Fifth-year nursing student Kristy de Vries was named a first team OUA All-Star, OUA North/South Division Player of the Year and a CIS All-Canadian. A team captain, she led the women’s soccer team to its first-ever OUA Championship and first-ever appearance at the CIS National Championship. The Niagara on the Lake product also played for Canada at the 2005 World University Games in Izmir, Turkey.

Ricky FoleyMale Athlete of the Year
Ricky Foley
(Football/Track and Field)
Courtice, Ont. product Rickey Foley was a first team OUA All-Star as a member of the Lions football team. The fourth-year history major played at five different positions and was seventh in the OUA in tackles. As a member of the track and field team, Foley broke a 27-year old school record in the shot put and was ranked fifth in the country.

Female Rookie of the Year
Tara Minicuci
Tara Minicuci made an immediate impact in her first season, leading the women’s basketball team in assist-to-turnover ratio, while finishing fifth in team scoring. The Kinesiology and Health Science student from Richmond Hill was second on the team in field goal percentage and was named to the OUA East All-Rookie Team. The rookie of the year awards go to recipients who are 21 or younger as of Dec. 31 in the first year of eligibility in university competition.

Male Rookie of the Year
Chris Theriau
(Track and Field)
Biology major, Chris Theriau was a finalist in every race he participated in this year. The Kentville, Nova Scotia product was ranked sixth in Canada in the 60 metre hurdles and was the top rookie hurdler in the CIS. He just missed the podium at the CIS National Championships, where he finished fourth.

Most Improved Team
Women’s Basketball
This award goes to the team that has demonstrated the greatest improvement over the previous year. In 2004-05, the women’s basketball team finished fifth in the OUA East Division with 10 wins, 12 losses and 20 points. This year, the team finished first in the Division and tied for the overall conference lead with 19 wins, three losses and an impressive 38 points. The team also qualified for the CIS National Championship where it won the consolation bracket after defeating the number one ranked Saskatchewan Huskies.

Charles Saundercook Award
Phil Knapp
The Charles Saundercook Memorial Trophy is presented to a male athlete within the men’s interuniversity sport program who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, enthusiasm for life, and the consideration of others. A fifth-year Kinesiology and Health Science student from Athens, Ont., Phil Knapp is a three-time Sport Excellence Award winner and a 2004-05 Academic All-Canadian. An outstanding leader, he conducted presentations to prospective York students and was an assistant captain with the men’s hockey team.

Bryce Taylor Award
Kristy de Vries
The Bryce Taylor Award is presented to a female athlete within the women’s interuniversity sport program who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, enthusiasm for life and the consideration of others. In her fifth season, Kristy de Vries is a two-time OUA All-Star and was a first team CIS All-Canadian this year. The OUA North/South Division MVP, she led the women’s soccer team to its first ever OUA Championship. A team captain, she led by example through her determination and dedication.

Sport Council Award
Phil Knapp
The Sport Council Award is presented to the sport council member that made outstanding contributions to Interuniversity sport at York University. Leadership, dedication, enthusiasm and participation in all aspects of sport council will be considered qualifications for this award. A fifth-year member of the men’s hockey team, Phil Knapp has held a position on the Sport Council for the past three years. He regularly attended meetings, provided senior leadership and was the key organizer of the Sport Council’s fund raising projects.

Spirit Cup Award
Rob Dyba
This award, donated by President Marsden is presented to the individual or group within York University that best exemplifies the spirit of York University and their involvement. Third-year kinesiology & health science student Rob Dyba supported several  York teams and regularly attended home games. The Newmarket native made kilts, sun glasses and capes fashionable at York events, while teaching fans that it is okay to be loud!

2005-2006 MVP’s

Badminton: Yearnney Tam, Mimi Lam
Basketball: Tut Ruach, Laura MacCallum
Cross Country: Kyle Vance, Kaitlin Coopman
Field Hockey: Leanne Kelly
Football: Ricky Foley
Hockey: Marcus Smith, Melanie Quinn
Rugby: Cheryl Phillips
Soccer: Joseph Vaz, Kristy de Vries
Swimming: Adam Richard, Chantelle Hadjikezian
Tennis: Stanislav Nevolovich, Joelle Fisher
Track and Field: Marlon Nangle, Kaitlin Coopman
Volleyball: James Battiston, Antonia Stathakos
Water Polo: Jamie Halla, Julie Csikos

This article was submitted to YFile by Jim McLarty, sports information officer in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science.