McMaster’s Nelles captures OUA Russell division Rookie of the Year

The No. 2 nationally ranked Guelph Gryphons and No. 5 McMaster Marauders, two teams undefeated in the women’s rugby OUA regular season, dominate this year’s edition of major award winners and all-stars. Major award winner prizing is provided by Gilbert Canada.

In the Shiels division there are six different players representing Guelph, including five all-stars and three major award winners to sweep the categories. For the second consecutive year, Jacey Murphy (Alliston, Ont.) takes home the Divisional Most Valuable Player award. Murphy finished the year with a league leading 12 tries, leaving her third in the conference with 60 points. The Gryphons continue to attract top talent to their squad and this year’s OUA Rookie of the Year award goes to Brittany Priddle. The flanker from Badjeros, Ont. helped Guelph retain balls to stay on offence and was solid on defence. Other Gryphons named to the all-star squad include fly half Brittany Benn (Napanee, Ont.), lock Caitlin Beaton (Hepworth, Ont.), wing Caitlin McNally (Guelph, Ont.), and fly half/centre Stephanie Tibelius (Ottawa, Ont.). Benn finished second behind teammate Murphy with 10 tries, leaving her fourth in the league with 50 points. Beaton recorded six tries and finished eighth in scoring with 30 points. McNally played in one less game than her all-star teammates but still recorded 25 points off five tries. Tibelius led the league this year in total points with 98 after posting a league high 42 converts and also chipping in with one try. Fifth year bench boss Colette McAuley has been named this year’s Coach of the Year. This is McAuley’s second time taking home the award and has led the Gryphons to four consecutive seasons with an undefeated record in league play.

The Waterloo Warriors are well represented with four all-stars this year. The team had a balanced attack throughout the season and several members were rewarded for their efforts. Fifth year forward Kaley Maksymyk (Cambridge, Ont.), senior flanker Shannon Holder (Waterloo, Ont.), fifth year back Savannah Gentile (Oakville, Ont.), and senior prop Brianna Cunningham (Waterloo, Ont.) have all earned all-star status. This is Cunningham’s second straight year being named to the Shiels all-star team.

Three players from Brock have been named to the all-star team. Rookie fly half Hannah Wilson (Trenton, Ont.), eightman Misha Maric (Toronto, Ont.), and fly/back Mariko Reilly (Pickering, Ont.) have all garnered all-star status. Wilson was instrumental in effectively directing the Badgers’ offence while third year Reilly was versatile in all situations. Maric picks up her second all-star award after leading the team with 31 points. These three players led the Badgers into the semifinals before succumbing to Guelph.

Second year wing/centre Arielle Dubissette (Toronto, Ont.) and senior Allie Walker (Waterloo, Ont.) represent the Western Mustangs on this year’s all-star team. Dubissette led the team with six tries and finished tied for eighth in league scoring with 30 points.

Rounding out the Shiels division all-stars is flanker Trish Shurrie (Caledon East, Ont.) from Laurier. A former OUA soccer player, Shurrie earns all-star status in her first season on the rugby pitch.

Turning to the Russell division, the McMaster Marauders have five all-stars and also pick up one major award. Cindy Nelles of Belleville, Ont. has been named this year’s Rookie of the Year in addition to being named to the all-star squad. The flanker was dangerous in a variety of ways, registering nine tries and 20 converts to earn 88 total points, good for second in the conference. Nelles is joined by teammates Natasha Turner (Rockcliffe, Ont.), Varsha Tripathi (Kincardine, Ont.), Kim Ngai (Markham, Ont.), and Maggie Cogger-Orr (Thornhill, Ont.) on this year’s all-star team. Turner, a fifth year eightman, was second on team scoring with seven tries for 35 points which put her sixth in the conference. Tripathi, a senior lock, was instrumental in retaining ball possession to help the offence score over 230 points.

The Queen’s Gaels posted the third best record in the conference, going 4-1 in league play, and have earned four all-stars and a major award winner. Rachelle Kranenburg (Lucknow, Ont.) has earned this year’s community service award for her contributions off the field. Scrumhalf Susan Heald (Burlington, Ont.), centre Andrea Wadsworth (Toronto, Ont.), flanker/prop Taylor White (Bancroft, Ont.), and prop Claragh Pegg (Barrie, Ont.) have all been named to the 2011 all-star team. Wadsworth led the No. 8 Gaels with six tries to finish tied for eighth in league scoring. This is the third time both Wadsworth and Heald have been selected to the all-star team.

Three players from the Trent Excalibur have been named to this year’s all-star team. Now two-time all-star Lauren Wizowski (Lindsay, Ont.) led the Excalibur with five tries, good for 25 points on the year. Eightman Kaitlin Newton (Port Hope, Ont.) was just behind Wizowski with four tries for 20 points. Fifth year scrumhalf Ashley Burton (Peterborough, Ont.) helped direct the offence to their highest point production in team history with 112 points scored. Head coach Nancy Marcotte has been named Coach of the Year in the Russell division after leading her team to a 3-2 record after a winless 2010 campaign.

The Toronto Varsity Blues boast the Russell division Most Valuable Player in fourth year full back Karla Telidetzki (Edmonton, Alta.). Telidetzki led the Blues with nine tries for 45 points, leaving her fifth in league scoring. Fifth year centre Lee-Anne Corrigan (Phelpston, Ont.) joins Telidetzki on this year’s all-star team. Corrigan was a leader on the Blues’ defence at the centre position and also contributed offensively to earn her fourth all-star nod.

York’s rookie scrumhalf Sarah Campbell (Guelph, Ont.) earns all-star status in her first year in the league. After a winless season, the Lions will build upon Campbell’s success for the future.