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Lakers celebrate with Athletics Awards

​Lakers Athletes of the Year: Kajsa Heyes and Cam Branch

Every year there are new successes to celebrate, new records to be broken and new reasons to be excited for the future.

From the introduction of basketball, to solid seasons from soccer, improved volleyball campaigns, impressive showings by cross country, Nordic skiing, the inaugural season of lacrosse in CUFLA, the men’s hockey team continuing their great run of playoff appearances and the women’s hockey team making history by qualifying for the playoffs, there were a lot of reasons to be a proud Laker this year.

The Nipissing Lakers honoured their student-athletes Thursday night at the 22nd annual athletics awards banquet.

Female Athlete of the Year

This year’s female athlete of the year – and back-to-back winner – saved her best for last, claiming three medals at nationals, including a gold and finished tied for first overall.

Nordic Skier Kajsa Heyes is the 2014-15 Jack and Mary Ann Jones female athlete of the year.

She performed well all season and built to a strong showing at Nationals, with three-peat medal performances in the team sprints with Shelby Dickey, the 10km classic, and 1.5km classic sprints. Heyes was an OUA all-star and member of the OUA bronze medal team, again with teammate Shelby Dickey.

The second-year athlete brought a laser focus to races under pressure-cooker situations, and performed when it mattered. She brought a practice-positive attitude to training and was willing to step up and speak for her team, advocating for the needs of teammates.

Male Athlete of the Year

When you rank in the top 10 in four major offensive categories and in the top five of three of those, you’re bound to earn some respect around the league.

There couldn’t be more try to Lakers men’s volleyball right side Cam Branch, who had a great season and was named the 2014-15 Al Carfagnini male athlete of the year.

Branch was an offensive force from the right side, leading the OUA in kills per set, he ranked second in points per set, was third in kills and sixth in total points.

All that added up to a great year and a second team all-star nod.

Branch’s numbers were impressive, especially since he missed two matches due to injury during the season.

And as impressive as his stats are in Ontario, they ranked almost just as high nationally, including two top five spots in the CIS.

His 4.08 kills per set were first in the OUA and third in the CIS, along with his 4.6 points per set, which placed him second in the OUA and fifth in the CIS.

He also ranked in the top 26 in both kills and points nationally.

Throughout the season, he had three matches where hit powered his way to at least 20 kills, including the first match of the season. He also recorded 20 or more points five matches.

His season-high was recorded twice, as he fired 21 kills against both Queens and Windsor.

Lakers Award Winners

Women’s Hockey

  • PRIDE – Brittany Crago
  • Rookie – Kaley Tienhaara/Zosia Davis
  • MVP – Kaley Tienhaara/Zosia Davis

Men’s Hockey

  • PRIDE – Brogan Bailey
  • Rookie – Jimmy McDowell/Erik Robichaud
  • MVP – Matt Paton

Women’s Volleyball

  • PRIDE – Victoria Taylor
  • Rookie – Annabelle Harvey
  • MVP – Tracy Hammerton

Men’s Volleyball

  • PRIDE – Andrew McWiggan and Shawn Humphrey
  • Rookie – Steve Wood
  • MVP – Cam Branch

Women’s Basketball

  • PRIDE – Leisa Wierenga
  • Rookie – Maeve Therriault
  • MVP – Claire Abbott

Men’s Basketball

  • PRIDE – Jerron Rhodes
  • Rookie – Marcus Lewis and Marcos Clennon
  • MVP – Marcus Lewis and Marcos Clennon

Women’s Soccer

  • PRIDE – Shannon Russell
  • Rookie – Kristen Farkas
  • MVP – Selena Innamorati

Men’s Soccer

  • PRIDE – Zach Cameron
  • Rookie – Matt Simard
  • MVP – Grainger Munro

Nordic Skiing

  • PRIDE – Kevin Durkee (Men), Shelby Dickey (Women)
  • Rookie – Connor Psiuk (Men), Carina Eberhardt (Women)
  • MVP – Thomsen D’Hont (Men), Kajsa Heyes (Women)

Cross Country

  • PRIDE – Terry Doiron (Men), Stephanie Boland (Women)
  • Rookie – Connor Psiuk (Men), Jessica Mazzonello (Women)
  • MVP – Jordan Cascagnette (Men), Jessica Mazzonello (Women)


  • PRIDE – Patrick Fitzgerald
  • Rookie – Nick Chaykowsky
  • MVP – Zachary Kozlowski


  • Marcus Lewis - Men's Basketball - OUA All-Rookie Team
  • Marcos Clennon - Men's Basketball - OUA All-Rookie Team
  • Zosia Davis - Women's Hockey - OUA All-Rookie Team
  • Kaley Tienhaara - Women's Hockey - OUA All-Rookie Team
  • Jimmy McDowell - Men's Hockey - OUA All-Rookie Team
  • Erik Robichaud - Men's Hockey - OUA All-Rookie Team
  • Jean-Michel Paulin - Men's Soccer - OUA Second Team All-Star
  • Shelby Dickey - Nordic Skiing - OUA All-Star
  • Kajsa Heyes - Nordic Skiing - OUA All-Star
  • Thomsen D'Hont - Nordic Skiing - OUA All-Star
  • Jordan Cascagnette - Nordic Skiing - OUA All-Star
  • Annabelle Harvey - Women's Volleyball - OUA All-Rookie Team
  • Cameron Branch - Men's Volleyball - OUA Second Team All-Star


  • Zosia Davis - Women's Hockey - CIS All-Rookie Team
  • Kaley Tienhaara - Women's Hockey - CIS All-Rookie Team

Leckie Award

  • Mitch McNeill – Men’s Hockey

M.E. Follis Award

  • Female: Carly Marchment – Women’s Hockey
  • Male: Andrew McWiggan – Men’s Hockey

Constable Andrew Keating Memorial Award

  • Steven Wood – Men’s Volleyball

Student Trainer of the Year

  • Heather Donovan – Women’s Basketball

Lakers P.R.I.D.E. Award

  • Leisa Wierenga – Women’s Basketball
  • Jerron Rhodes – Men’s Basketball
  • Terry Doiron – Cross Country
  • Stephanie Boland – Cross Country
  • Brittany Crago – Women’s Hockey
  • Brogan Bailey – Men’s Hockey
  • Patrick Fitzgerald – Men’s Lacrosse
  • Shelby Dickey – Nordic Skiing
  • Kevin Durkee – Nordic Skiing
  • Shannon Russell – Women’s Soccer
  • Zach Cameron – Men’s Soccer
  • Victoria Taylor – Women’s Volleyball
  • Shawn Humphrey and Andrew McWiggan – Men’s Volleyball

Rookies of the Year

  • Female – Kaley Tienhaara and Zosia Davis – Women’s Hockey
  • Male – Jimmy McDowell and Erik Robichaud – Men’s Hockey

Athletes of the Year

  • Female – Kajsa Heyes – Nordic Skiing
  • Male – Cam Branch – Men’s Volleyball
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