By Cascades Media. UFV Athletics celebrated the school’s 30th year of varsity competition on Friday, hosting the annual athletics award banquet at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre. The banquet is the only time during the year that all of UFV student-athletes can dress to the nines and be in the same room at the same time, and consequently it’s a unique and spirited event.
Cascades teams once again picked up some significant hardware during the 2013-2014 campaign. The women’s basketball team won a Canada West silver medal and a CIS bronze medal in mid-March, and the men’s soccer team picked up a Canada West bronze (their first program medal) last November. Additionally, the men’s and women’s golf teams won basically everything, claiming twin PACWEST championships, twin CCAA championships, and executing undefeated campaigns.
Each year UFV Athletics chooses recipients for eight major awards, in addition to MVP awards from each varsity team. The categories for these awards are Rookie of the Year (Male and Female), Athlete of the Year (Male and Female), Academic Award (Male and Female), the Outstanding Community Award, and the Jen Simpson Memorial Award (outstanding leadership).
This year’s award winners are:
Men’s Rookie of the Year: Dylan Jordan (Men’s Soccer) — Jordan is a first year Kinesiology student from Surrey, BC who started seven games this season as part of the Cascades’ defense. He played far more than most rookies are expected to, and performed well against competition with vastly greater experience. Jordan also accumulated two assists on the season, despite being on the back line.
Soccer coach Alan Errington praised Jordan’s first year with the program, explaining that he’d only had the chance to watch the former Coastal FC defender play for 10 minutes during the recruiting season, and made the decision to sign him based on the strength of his references. Errington has not been disappointed, saying “Technically Dylan is a very strong player and I look forward to four more years with him on the squad.”
Women’s Rookie of the Year: Carley Radomski (Women’s Soccer) — Radomski is a first-year Arts student from Langley, BC who was called upon to step up after season-ending injuries to both the Cascades’ starting midfielders. Despite having little experience at the CIS level, Radomski started all 12 games in the regular season, accruing two goals and an assist during the campaign.
“Carley was one of the most highly sought after recruits in the Fraser Valley,” said coach Rob Giesbrecht. “Her competitive drive and ability on the ball allowed her to outcompete elite midfielders across the Canada West.”
Male Athlete of the Year: Jasper Moedt (Men’s Basketball) — Moedt is a graduating senior from Abbotsford, BC who joined the Cascades program in 2008-2009 out of Yale Secondary School. Despite missing two seasons out of his six because of injury and illness, Moedt rebounded this year to claim both a Canada West Second Team All-Star and a CIS Ken Shields nomination. Averaging 14.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 34.6 minutes a game, Moedt was the heart of the Cascades defense, and often the team spokesman as well. His work with Fraser Health on the ‘Speak Up’ program, as well as his participation in Athletics events such as the “Speak What You know” initiative have added immeasurably to the depth of the Cascades’ involvement in the surrounding community.
“I’ve known Jasper sine grade 8 or 9,” said coach Adam Friesen. “He’s come a long way. We both had the same high school coach and we’ve both had the same lesson beaten into us: ‘the turtle will win the race’. And Jasper is, well…(laughs) he works and works and works. I’ve been honoured to have someone of his character on the team.”
Aieisha Luyken (2013)
Female Athlete of the Year: Aieisha Luyken (Women’s Basketball) — Luyken is a graduating senior from Mission, BC, and one of the strongest players the program has ever included. She started all five years with the Cascades, was awarded a Canada West Second Team All-Star this season, and was essential to the Cascades’ run to a CIS bronze medal. She scored 29 points in the Canada West semi-final against Alberta to help secure the UFV berth to nationals (and a first ever Canada West finals appearance), and then racked up a 20 point performance a week later against McGill to help UFV to a first ever win in the Final 8 tournament.
Luyken was tied for top-scorer on the team this season, averaging 10.8 points per game. She led the team in assists (averaging 4.4 per game) and minutes (29.5 per game). As well, she finishes her career at seventh all-time among Canada West three-point shooters with 169 treys made, and 11th all time among Canada West starters with 93 games started during her career.
Coach Al Tuchscherer said that a few days after he first recruited Luyken five years ago, a respected basketball coach in the area approached him and uttered something of a prophecy in light of Luyken’s signing. “The landscape of Canada West basketball is about to change,” said that coach, and five years and a national bronze medal later, Tuchscherer is proud to affirm that great change has indeed occurred.
Male Academic Award: Kree Byrne (Men’s Soccer) — Byrne is a second year Science student from Abbotsford who plays in the Cascades midfield. He has maintained a 4.06 GPA through his academic career to date, and also collected a goal and five starts on the season.
“I am delighted that men’s soccer can claim the student-athlete with the highest GPA on any men’s team,” said coach Errington. “Kree is a very smart young man and an integral part of our team.”
Female Academic Award: Nicole Wierks (Women’s Basketball)— This is Wierks’ second consecutive year as the recipient of this award, but, considering her perfect A+ (4.33) average, this is really no surprise. Wierks is a graduating senior from Chilliwack BC who averaged 9.1 points per game and a staggering .519 field goal percentage on the season. Wierks was actually unable to attend the banquet because she was gone for the weekend being interviewed for medical school!
Outstanding Community Award: Trevor O’Neill (Men’s Soccer) —O’Neill is a fourth year Kinesiology student from Abbotsford, and one of three O’Neill brothers on the squad. The defensive-minded Trevor is a product of an Abbotsford club, and now helps coach in the Abbotsford Magnuson Ford Mariners program. According to coach Errington, he is helping to raise a future generation of Cascades towards university excellence!
Jen Simpson Memorial Award: Stephen Wall (Men’s Rowing) — The Jen Simpson Memorial Award Is awarded to an athlete who demonstrates leadership in three areas: on the team, within the university, and in the community. The award is presented by Mr. and Mrs. Don and Ruth Simpson in memory of their daughter, Jen.
According to coach Liz Chisholm, this year’s winner, Stephen Wall, “is quiet and confident, a thinker and a doer” who “doesn’t shrink away from what is asked or expected.” Wall, a second year member of the men’s rowing team, hails from Coquitlam, BC, and is studying Kinesiology. He rows in the men’s 8+ in the five or seven seat, as well as the third seat in the men’s 4-.
Athlete: Dayle Jeras
Athlete: Nikolas Vojnovic
Athlete: Krista Hogewoning
Athlete: Jen Woods
Athlete: Kevon Parchment
Athlete: Aieisha Luyken
Athlete: Stefanie Schoenberger
Athlete: Scott Micona