Volleyball players grab Mountaineers awards spotlight

Volleyball star Steve Pawelczyk is this year’s winner of the ‘Wes Hicks’ Outstanding Male Athlete at Mohawk College.

The fourth year Mountaineer and Police Studies student, a graduate of Barton Secondary School, received his honour at the 42nd annual Mohawk Athletics’ Awards Banquet at Michelangelo Banquet Centre on Friday (April 3).

Pawelczyk led Mohawk to a 12-4 record and first place in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association’s West Region. The Mountaineers went on to take the OCAA bronze medal.

He was the OCAA league scoring champion. In 16 matches and 54 games, Pawelczyk had 226 kills, 40 aces, and 23 blocks for 289 total points. He averaged 5.35 points per game and added 67 digs. A first team OCAA All-Star and OCAA Championship Tournament All-Star, he was named the very best player in Ontario as OCAA Men’s Volleyball Player of the Year.

He then flew to Alberta to receive his Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) All Canadian award. He was Mohawk’s representative at the OCAA Volleyball All-Star game.

For the second straight year, the Outstanding Female Athlete award was captured by another Mountaineer volleyball ace, fourth year Bachelor of Nursing student, Leah Waxman. The Port Dover native led her team to the quarter-finals in women’s volleyball following a third place finish and a 16-4 record in the OCAA West Region.

She played in 15 of those matches for a total of 52 games, had 214 points, including 187 kills, 23 aces and four blocks, which works out to a very impressive 214 points for an average of 4.12 points per game.

Waxman was Mohawk’s top point producer and third overall in the dominant OCAA Western Division.

First-year general Arts and Science Student Michelle Abella of the women’s basketball team won the Female Freshman Athlete Award for 2008-2009. The product of St. Jean de Brebeuf, led her team from her point guard position on offense and defense with a determination and hustle second to none. Playing in all 14 League games, Abella averaged eight points and almost three steals per game. She was also her team’s MVP and OCAA All-Academic.

Men’s volleyball player Zac Schulz took home the Male Freshman Athlete honour. A member of the OCAA bronze medal winning Mohawk side, Schulz, from St. Catharines Eden, was an OCAA Second Team League All-Star. He played in all 16 Mountaineer matches, for a total of 53 games. He recorded 34 kills, 13 aces and 20 blocks for 67 points, averaging 1.26 points.

But more importantly, he played that vital position of setter allowing the big hitters to do their job so well.

Amanda Edmonds, a third year Child and Youth Worker student from Burlington Lord Elgin, was named winner of the All Round Female Athlete Award which goes to the athlete who plays for more than one varsity team in the same year.

Edmonds played almost every position on the soccer field, including three games in goal and also played in the outfield for the OCAA bronze medal winning women’s fastball team. She had 28 at-bats, nine hits, six runs scored with 4 RBIs. She also had a .321 batting average, which was second on the team.

The highest honour awarded in Mohawk Athletics is the Dr. Sam Mitminger Award, which recognizes a student for consistent Academic and Athletic Excellence in his or her graduating year. And the 2008-2009 winner is volleyball player Sean Lowe. In just 2 years, the Construction Engineering Technician student from Westdale, captured an OCAA gold and bronze medal, and Mohawk’s first CCAA bronze medal in volleyball as a member of that team.

In 2008 he was an OCAA First Team All Star and in 2009 an OCAA Second Team pick. He is regarded by his coaches and competitors as one of the very best in Ontario at his ‘Libero’ position. In both of these years he achieved the rare accomplishment of attaining both OCAA and CCAA All Academic team status with an 86% grade point average.