Redeemer recognizes Royals athletic achievements


Left to right: Athletic Director Dave Mantel, Jeremy Stevens, Janelle Koopmans, Katherine Harvey. (Photo by David Bakker)

Redeemer University College handed out its athletic hardware on Saturday night as the top athletes were honored at the 25th Annual Athletic Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the Courtyard Marriott in Hamilton.

Among the Major awards handed out were Coaching Staff of the Year, Male and Female Scholar Athletes of the Year, Male and Female Athletes of the Year, as well as MVP and Rookie of the Year for each respective sport.

Another member was inducted into the Royal Road to Victory (Hall of Fame) as volleyball alumni Alison Lammers (2002-06) became only the 11th athlete accorded the honour.

Lammers had a very impressive career as a Redeemer Royal. She was a two-time Redeemer University College Athlete of the Year and was an Ontario Colleges Athletic Association First Team All-Star in all but her rookie year. She holds first place in points per game for her Redeemer career at 3.1. Until one month ago, she held the Redeemer record for career kills and career points until current player Erika Straatsma took over those categories. Lammers also sits in the top three in kills per game, blocks per game, and overall aces as she proves that she was an incredibly well balanced player with no weakness in her game.

Badminton coach Benno Kurvits took home his first Coach of the Year award in his initial season at Redeemer. Kurvits led his team to an impressive showing at the OCAA Regional Championships with four athletes qualifying for the OCAA championships. He was also a key contributor to Redeemer efforts as host for the provincial finals.

He led the women’s doubles badminton team to a provincial bronze medal and earned national recognition when the Redeemer team was given a national ranking of No. 12 in the final rankings of the season.

Taylor Prins (Soccer) and Erika Straatsma (Volleyball) were the recipients of the Male and Female Scholar Athletes of the Year award.

For Prins, there were not many competitions in which he participated that you did not include him among the list of the top athletes. He was one of the leaders of his team in every year of competition, and certainly no less so this year, one of his strongest.

Several high points marked this year for Straatsma. She tied the Redeemer record for kills in a game twice before establishing a new standard. She tied the Redeemer record for total points in a game on two separate occasions and was named a Redeemer Athlete of the Month. Straatsma capped it all off by breaking the all-time Redeemer career points mark.

For their exceptional abilities both on the field and in the classroom, women’s soccer players Kristi Van Duyvendyk and Rachel Passchier were presented with Canadian Collegiate Athletic Associations All-Canadian Awards. These national awards recognize athletes who have achieved all-star recognition while maintaining honours status in the classroom throughout the season.

The Redeemer Female Athlete of the Year went to co-recipients for the first time ever. Women’s badminton bronze medal winners Janelle Koopmans and Katherine Harvey shared the honour for their incredible efforts this past season. The duo had an excellent winning percentage, never finishing any tournament with less than three wins. Koopmans and Harvey combined to win a C flight championship, B flight championship, a provincial qualification and ultimately, an OCAA bronze medal.

Redeemer’s Male Athlete of the Year was awarded to Jeremy Stevens. He excelled in soccer, both outdoor and indoor, badminton, and hockey. His impressive resume and strong play made him a leader on each of his teams and a vital part of their successes. Over the course of the season, he had an incredible 25 wins across all of his sports. Stevens was an OCAA all-star in outdoor soccer and his team’s MVP. He was the second leading scorer on the Redeemer hockey team, which is currently the heavy favourite to win the Niagara Christian Hockey League.

His team finished in third place in two OCAA regional championships (badminton and indoor soccer), narrowly missing provincial championships twice.

The complete list of award winners is as follows:

Male Athlete of the Year: Jeremy Stevens (Soccer, Indoor Soccer, Badminton, Hockey).
Female Athlete of the Year: Katherine Harvey (Badminton).
Female Athlete of the Year: Janelle Koopmans (Badminton).
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year: Taylor Prins (Men’s Soccer, Men’s Indoor Soccer)
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year: Erika Straatsma (Women’s Volleyball)
CCAA Academic All-Canadians: Kristi Van Duyvendyk (Women’s Outdoor Soccer, Women’s Indoor Soccer); Rachel Passchier (Women’s Outdoor Soccer, Women’s Indoor Soccer).

Redeemer Royals Hall of Fame Inductee: Alison Lammers (Women’s Volleyball 2002-06).

Coach of the Year: Benno Kurvits (Badminton).

Active Lifestyle Award: Tracy Van Dijk.

Campus Recreation Player of the Year: David Bakker.
Student Leadership Award: April Passchier.
Cross Country: M.V.P – Taylor Kraayenbrink; Rookie of the Year – Julie Koopmans.
Men’s Outdoor Soccer: M.V.P – Jeremy Stevens; Rookie of the Year – Nick Dantuma.
Women’s Outdoor Soccer; M.V.P – Rachel Passchier; Rookie of the Year – Alicia Hubers.
Women’s Basketball: M.V.P – Kelly Kellendonk; Rookie of the Year – Esther Weima.
Men’s Basketball: M.V.P – Dhimitri Luarasi; Rookie of the Year – David Luth.
Women’s Volleyball: M.V.P – Erika Straatsma; Rookie of the Year – Curtiss Straatsma.
Men’s Volleyball: M.V.P – David Klomps; Rookie of the Year – Eric Heidbuurt.
Badminton: M.V.P – Randall Brus; Rookie of the Year – Katherine Harvey.
Men’s Indoor Soccer: M.V.P – Dirk Van Soelen; Rookie of the Year – Matt Koning.
Hockey: M.V.P – P.J. Buys; Rookie of the Year – David Dykstra.