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Loyalist honours top athletes

Dan Cannataro

[1]On Wednesday evening Loyalist College held its 45th annual athletic banquet to recognize the excellence of its athletes, coaches and trainers.

Samantha Goff, varsity basketball player, was named Female Athlete of the Year. Patrick Kalala, from the men’s varsity basketball team, won the Male Athlete of the Year and also the MVP award. The MVP award is awarded to the player that meant the most to his team. Kalala felt like he reached one of his goals as a varsity player after winning two awards in the same season.

“It feels great, I guess it goes to show everyone noticed the hard work I put in throughout the year,” said Kalala.

The men’s basketball team had to go through many challenges in the 2012-2013 season, highlighted by a coaching change at the halfway point of the campaign.

“I definitely think we as a team went through as much turmoil than any other team here at the college, had key role players drop out in the middle of the year to a whole new system put in place with the new coaching staff also,” said Kalala.

Kalala finished with an outstanding season. He averaged 19.2 PPG (points per game) and that put him second in the Ontario College Athletic Association (OCAA) mens basketball league leaders. In 18 games he also shot nearly 75 % from the free throw line. That statistic was at the top of the league when you factor in how many shots he took.

“The thing is I got more confidence going into this year and I was in much better shape compared to starting training camp last year. But as far as skill level I still don’t think people have seen me at the top of my game or my peak,” said Kalala.
Athletic Director Jim Buck was the organizer of the event.

“Pat was that guy that every team probably lost sleep before every game because they had to try to figure out how to stop him. He was always the last in the gym working on his game and he grew with confidence but the skill has always been there,” said Buck.

Samantha Goff,  a three-year veteran centre for the women’s team had just as an impressive season as Kalala.

Goff finished the season averaging 12.3 RBG (rebounds per game) and led the entire OCAA with 98 offensive rebounds. Goff was third in the league in rebounding period. All together she completed the 2012-2013 campaign with 222 rebounds.

There were other awards handed out throughout the evening, for the women’s rugby team. Kailey Lawrence won the coaches award, Lyndsie Baxter won fair respectful award and Kellee Young won MVP.

The coach’s award is awarded to the competitor that shows the most promise and potential. The fair and respectful award is awarded to the participant that shows fair play on and off the field.

“Learned a lot about teamwork, we worked together as a team and we did a lot of things right. We learned how to use our individuality as a team but when we put it together it worked a lot better,” said Young.

For the men’s rugby team, Chris Thompson won the MVP award and Jake Ascott won the Coaches award. The club finished third in the East region division with a 2-4 record.

“We were a young team, had a lot of new young players and we didn’t achieve as much as we wanted to as I would call this year in our rugby program a rebuilding year,” said Ascott.

Every Athletic Banquet the OCAA All Academic Awards are presented to varsity athletes who are on their colleges Deans List. They are also presented to an athlete for their outstanding commitment and dedication to varsity athletes.