Knowles, Harrington share athlete honours at Mohawk

Volleyball star Jennifer Knowles and champion curler Jenna Harrington shared the honours as Mohawk College announced co-winners of the Outstanding Female Athlete Award for the 2009-10 varsity season at the annual Athletics Banquet at Michelangelos on Saturday (April 10).

Knowles was a member of the Mountaineer volleyball team which captured the bronze medal at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Women’s Championship. She was an OCAA First Team League All-Star and a CCAA All-Canadian, one of only two from Ontario. Earlier, the CCAA named her the women’s volleyball player of the Month in Ontario for November.

Knowles was also an OCAA and CCAA All Academic Award Winner. The first-year Recreation and Leisure student led Mohawk in scoring and was second in the OCAA, playing in ALL 20 matches, totaling 69 games. She had 204 kills, 16 aces and 37 blocks for 257 points, which is an average of 3.72 points-per-game. Knowles also contributed 130 digs.

Harrington skipped Mohawk’s Women’s Curling Team to an undefeated weekend and the OCAA Gold Medal in Sault Ste. Marie. The rink was also honoured as OCAA Women’s Team of the Week. Harrington, a second-ear Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science student, is an elite player in Ontario outside of college having won many other titles along the way. She is generally a quiet individual, but is a real leader on and off the playing surface. Not only did she plot strategy and make the difficult shots when required, she utilized her experience to guide her team to victory.

A third-year Mechanical Engineering student, who was a key component of Mohawk’s OCAA Gold Medal winning rugby team, Steven Johnston, was named winner of the Wes Hicks Outstanding Male Athlete Award. Johnston scored only one try but his great overall play led to his being selected as an OCAA Division One League All-Star. A true leader by example, just his presence on the field tended to change the team’s direction. He won more than 90% of the team’s line-outs and he often stole or disrupted the opponents line-outs.

Johnston was not as heavy as most flankers, but very strong and fit and would be ‘on the shoulders’ of his mates, ready to receive a pass or secure the ball if their player was tackled. He bore a tremendous workload. The ultimate testimony to his abilities is that he was awarded the highest individual honour in OCAA Rugby, Player of the Year, by all opposing coaches.

Jenna Gignac of the Bronze Medal winning women’s volleyball team won the Female Freshman Athlete Award. The first year Bachelor of Nursing student was an OCAA Second team league All-Star. She played in 13 matches for a total of 47 games, and despite being injured from mid-November to January, STILL finished second on the team in scoring and sixth in the OCAA West with 126 kills, 12 aces and 11 blocks for 149 points, which is an average of 3.17 points-per-game. Gignac was also very strong on defense with 102 digs.

Mohawk’s top Male Freshman Athlete was Joel Clarke from the OCAA Division One Gold Medal winning men’s rugby squad. Clarke was selected as Rookie of the Year in both the OCAA and West Region and his team sported an impressive 6-1 league record. He was second in team scoring with eight tries and 40 points over those seven games. But nothing could match what this first year Cardiovascular Technician did in the dying seconds of overtime during the Gold Medal game at Fletchers’ Fields in Markham, as Clarke scored the winning try in a breathtaking finish.

Another rugby star, James Cumpson, was named winner of the highest honour awarded in Mohawk Athletics, The Dr. Sam Mittminger Award, for Academic and Athletic Excellence in a student athlete’s senior year. Cumpson, was unable to play for the Mountaineers in 2009-10, because of a co-op conflict. But this third year Electrical Engineering Technology Control student averaged 87% over six semesters. He was a member of the 2008-2009 Mohawk team which was 6-1 in league play and went on to take the OCAA Bronze Medal. He was an OCAA League All-Star, led the Mountaineers to an OCAA Team of the Week Award and was named Most Valuable Player at that year’s Mohawk Banquet. In 2007-08 Mohawk finished fourth in the OCAA with a 5-3 record. Again, Cumpson was a OCAA League All-Star and Most Valuable player at the Banquet. In 2006-2007 he was a huge part of the Gold Medal winning team, a OCAA League All-Star, was Male Athlete of the Week in the OCAA October 17th that year. His team was ALSO honoured that same week as they would be again November 6th of ’06. Cumpson was the OCAA League scoring champ, picked up a Coaches award at the Banquet and was the Male Freshman Award winner.

Devin Johnston won the Department of Athletics and Recreation Award for outstanding participation in both the varsity and campus recreation programmes. Some of his activities included two semesters of coed volleyball and ice hockey, touch football, pairs volleyball, a slo-pitch tournament, four sport league and handball. On the varsity side Johnston came third in team scoring for Mohawk’s brand new golf team, at the OCAA Championships

Mike Soluk won the Hap Holman Business Award for outstanding participation in Varsity Athletics by a second or third year Business Student. The third year business marketing student led the men’s basketball team in rebounds and averaged eight points per game. He also represented Mohawk in the Ontario College system-wide ‘Marketing Challenge’ for the second straight year.

The Barb Moore Spirit of Athletics Award was captured by Sarah Edwards, who ‘laced them up’ in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament and the ‘Hot-Shot’ competition and assisted as a scorekeeper for the Mohawk Junior Girls Basketball Tournament.