Lesher recieves ACAC's highest honour

Nigel Mullan | Mar 25, 2011

The 2010-11 Briercrest Clipper season came to a close last night, as it culminated with the annual Briercrest Athletic Awards Banquet. There was a great deal to celebrate, not only with individual accomplishments this year for both players and coaches, but also some great team successes, and even more importantly, the opportunity to celebrate a group of fourth and fifth year athletes who are graduating with their BA degrees or have given their entire five years of eligibility to a Briercrest Clipper program.

<strong>Scott Lesher ACAC Athlete of the Year (across all sports) </strong>
The highlight of the night from an individual award perspective was the announcement of Clipper men’s volleyball player, Scott Lesher, being named the ACAC Athlete of the Year which is the ACAC’s highest honour for an athlete and is given to the league’s choice for the most outstanding athlete across all sports in the league. In other words, Lesher was chosen as the best athlete in the entire ACAC! The award is voted on by the ACAC executive and based on criteria such as athletic achievement in the current season (ACAC All-Conference awards, CCAA All-Canadian awards, individual stats, team success), academic achievement, community and college involvement, sport ethics and leadership. Lesher was an excellent choice for the award based on his personal achievement and leadership development this season, and also for his team’s achievement. Lesher’s ACAC Athlete of the Year is a first-ever for Briercrest Athletics and Briercrest College and Seminary, so this is a huge accomplishment and something to be very proud of as an institution! Congratulations Scott!

Each team had a lot to celebrate in recognizing the achievements of their athletes last night. The following is a list of award winners in the different categories:

<strong>Team Awards (Most Improved Player and Most Valuable Player</strong>
Women’s Basketball: Kailee Kalmring (MIP), Valerie Robinson (MVP)
Men’s Basketball: Gianni Iradukunda (MIP), Matt Meyers (MVP)
Men’s Hockey: Dan Warkentin (MIP), Jesse Chenard (MVP)
Women’s Volleyball: Ariel Townsend (MIP), Alexis Loewen (MVP)
Men’s Volleyball: Josh Wendel (MIP), Trevor Klassen (MVP)

<strong>ACAC Player of the Week Awards</strong>
October 4–8, 2010: Jesse Chenard (Men’s Hockey)
November 1–7, 2010: Janelle Threlfell (Women’s Basketball)
February 21–28, 2011: Joel Dyck (Men’s Volleyball)

<strong>ACAC All-Conference Awards</strong>
ACAC Coach of the Year: Nigel Mullan (Men’s Volleyball)
First Team All-Conference: Gradyn Childershose (Men’s Basketball), Scott Lesher (Men’s Volleyball)
Second Team All-Conference: Valerie Robinson (Women’s Basketball), Alexis Loewen (Women’s Volleyball), Trevor Klassen (Men’s Volleyball), Matt Meyers (Men’s Basketball)
ACAC Academic Awards: Brooke Olmstead (Women’s Basketball), Colin Kubinec (Men’s Volleyball), Brandy Brown Siebenmorgen (Women’s Basketball), Aaron Frede (Men’s Hockey, Dare Mably (Men’s Hockey), Kendrew Friesen (Men’s Hockey).
ACAC Minor Official of the Year: Jackie Senneker

<strong>CCAA Awards</strong>
CCAA Coach of the Year: Nigel Mullan (Men’s Volleyball)
CCAA All-Canadian: Scott Lesher (Men’s Volleyball)
CCAA Academic All-Canadian: Trevor Klassen (Men’s Volleyball)
CCAA Academic National Scholar Awards: Brooke Olmstead (Women’s Basketball), Colin Kubinec (Men’s Volleyball), Brandy Brown Siebenmorgan (Women’s Basketball)

<strong>Briercrest Athletic Department Awards</strong>
Community Involvement Award: Colin Kubinec  (Men’s Volleyball)
Male Rookie of the Year: Travis Krahn (Men’s Basketball)
Female Rookie of the Year: Brooke Peterson (Women’s Volleyball)
Male Athlete of the Year: Scott Lesher (Men’s Volleyball)
Female Athlete of the Year: Valerie Robinson (Women’s Basketball)

<strong>Honoring BA Graduates and Fifth Year Athletes</strong>
Briercrest Athletics also honoured four athletes who are graduating with BA degrees this year: Blake Proudfoot, Josh Dueck, Jarren Shultz and Dan Warkentin. Another big highlight from the banquet was hearing the speeches from the five athletes who have played their entire five-year career at Briercrest. Amara MaCormack, Jarren Shultz, Josh Dueck, Dan Warkentin and Colin Kubinec were all recognized for their contributions to their respective programs. It was a great opportunity to celebrate these athletes and what they have given to Briercrest Athletics by giving them their framed game uniform. They each shared inspiring words of how being a Briercrest student and being a Briercrest athlete has shaped their lives and formed them to be more of the people God desires us to be. It was clearly evident that their time here has helped develop them into Total Champions – battle-ready leaders who want to make a difference in the world for Jesus, who know how to take responsibility, do productive things, make tough decisions, want to serve others, and have trained others to take over for them. Each one had such great things to say about their experience as a Briercrest athlete and that being a part of a program that is not just about athletic excellence, but developing future leaders of character who put God and others first is something they have and will continue to cherish. As Clipper hockey captain Josh Dueck said, “It is [athletics] with a difference.” Fifth-year men’s volleyball player, Colin Kubinec, summed it up well when he quoted the Apostle Paul from 1 Corinthians 9:25 “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

<strong>Good-byes to great guys</strong>
Finally, it was fitting to celebrate the Briercrest coaching careers of both Gene Wolverton and Shane Sowden, who are resigning from their head coaching positions with the Briercrest basketball programs. Both Wolverton and Sowden have done outstanding work to turn programs around and develop Total Champion student-athletes during their time with Briercrest Athletics. Briercrest Athletics is grateful for their service and passion for their programs. They will be dearly missed in the athletic department and Briercrest Athletics wants to wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

<strong>Thanks for the support! </strong>
Briercrest Athletics would also like to thank all of the athletes, parents, alumni, Briercrest staff and faculty, as well as the Caronport, Moose Jaw and surrounding communities who made the 2010-11 season a great one! Briercrest Athletics is thankful for all those who make up an amazing group of athletes and an outstanding support team that make possible the invaluable opportunity to build into young leaders who want to serve God and others, while striving for athletic excellence!