Waldheim natives selected for top awards at 2014-15 Briercrest Athletic Banquet

Posted: March 27, 2015

Two Waldheim natives stole the show the evening of March 26 at the Briercrest College and Seminary Athletics award banquet.

Samantha Zacharias and Zac Ens were selected as the Briercrest Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

Samantha Zacharias was the star of the night as she was also recognized with several other awards including ACAC Women’s Volleyball Player of the Year, and CCAA Women’s Volleyball Player of the Year. She was also selected ACAC South All-Conference Team, and CCAA All-Canadian. She led the CCAA in kills and kills per game, while breaking a 23-year ACAC record for kills in a season with 88 and breaking a 16-year ACAC record with 14 service aces in one game. She helped lead her team to an 18-6 record and fourth place at the ACAC championships. These are both team bests since joining the ACAC in 1996-97. The Business Administration student was ranked first in the CCAA with 304 kills, and led the ACAC in aces, aces per game, points and points per game this season.

Briercrest Male Athlete of the Year was fifth-year outside hitter Zac Ens who had a huge impact on the men’s volleyball team this year. He was named Player of the Game on multiple occasions, including twice in one weekend several times. The AA Social Sciences student provided a physical presence for the team as well as providing mature leadership. He was tied for the ACAC south lead with 3.82 kills/set while ranking second with 302 kills in 79 sets. He ranked eighth in the CCAA for kills/set. He also ranked 13th in the ACAC south with 18 service aces, 16th for blocks with 25 and seventh with 160 digs. At the end of the year he was named to the ACAC South All-Conference Team.

Other nominees for the Athlete of the Year Awards were Amy Wanvig (women’s basketball), Brandon Friesen (men’s basketball) and Josh Dufresne (men’s hockey).

A new award was presented this year for Junior Varsity Female Athlete of the Year. This is awarded to student-athlete that demonstrates the Briercrest way through their character, athletic ability, team success, community standards, and league awards in non-ACAC sports. The inaugural award was presented to Kenzie Derdall of the women’s softball team. She led the team in their first year of competition (in the Western Collegiate Softball Association) this season, being awarded with WCSA second-team all-star as well as Rookie of the Year. She was the first Briercrest softball recruit and ranked third in the WCSA with 46 strikeouts.

Four student-athletes were recognized for their five years of service at Briercrest. Men’s basketball recognized Brandon Friesen (BA Business Administration), hockey recognized Manny Schellenberg (BA Business Administration), men’s volleyball recognized Josh Wendel (BA General Studies) and women’s volleyball recognized Erin Anderson (BA Humanities).

Schellenberg, Friesen, Wendel and Anderson were joined by Brooke Olmstead (BA Biblical Studies), Amanda Lundquist (BA Applied Linguistics:TESOL), Erik Robitaille (BA Business Administration) and Carter Reimer (BA Christian Ministry) in being recognized as graduating student-athletes.

“Fifth year awards symbolize the student athlete’s commitment to Briercrest, commitment to finishing a degree and a commitment to making sacrifices to be part of our program,” Athletic Director Nigel Mullan said.

“We want to honour these graduating athletes because we feel that commitment is what allows our teams to develop the culture. Without fourth and fifth year players on our teams it is hard to develop that culture that we’re after.”

Other awards presented at the March 26 banquet included:

Community Involvement Award: Jacob Baribeau was this year’s recipient of the Community Involvement Award for his contributions to the community this year. In addition to serving the men’s hockey team as part of the leadership team and bringing his best every game with a great attitude and work ethic, he was also very involved in the overall Briercrest community. He poured himself into students in the high school dorm by living in the dorm with them as well joining them in activities. He also travelled to Montreal Lake as part of a service weekend.

Other nominees for this award were: Erin Anderson (women’s volleyball), Josh Wendel (men’s volleyball), Nathan Archer (men’s basketball), Amy Wanvig (women’s basketball), and Marissa Burns (women’s softball and basketball).

Female Rookie of the year: Janae Rapley had an immediate impact on the women’s volleyball team this year, in particular with her serving and attacking. She was tied for second in the ACAC South in aces per game (third overall in the entire ACAC). She led all rookies on the team in games played, attack percentage, service aces per game, kills per game, and earned points per game.

The other nominee for this award was Lauren Janzen (women’s basketball).

Male rookie of the year: Aaron Armstrong was a revelation for the men’s hockey team this year. The Teeswater, ON native was named ACAC First Team All-Conference as well as ACAC Rookie of the Year. He was tied for fifth in ACAC with 39 points  (only second behind a high powered NAIT team), sixth in goals and assists with 16 and 23 respectively, and second in ACAC rookies for points and first in goals. He also led the ACAC with 10 powerplay assists.

Other nominees for this award were Julian Apakoh (men’s basketball) and Josh Nickel (men’s volleyball)

Female athlete of the year: Sam Zacharias

Male athlete of the year: Zac Ens

Most Improved Players: volleyball – Jason Wendel and Kathleen Bruce; basketball – Josh Tippe and Lauren Janzen; hockey – Mark Langford.

Most Valuable Players: volleyball – Josh Wendel and Mikayla Reinhardt; basketball – Brandon Friesen and Amy Wanvig; hockey – Aaron Armstrong.

Minor Official Award: Alec Robitaille

ACAC All-Academic team (based on 2013-14 marks): Josh Dufresne, Caleb Willems, Christian Mueller, Dirk de Waal, Amy Wanvig, Krista Wiens, Elly Wendel, Steve Guenther, and Jason Wendel.

CCAA National Scholar Award winners (based on 2013-14 marks): Amy Wanvig, Krista Wiens, Elly Wendel, Steve Guenther, and Jason Wendel.

ACAC All-Conference: First Team - Aaron Armstrong – hockey; South – Zac Ens – volleyball, Carter Reimer – volleyball, Josh Wendel – volleyball, Amanda Lundquist – volleyball, Sam Zacharias – volleyball; Second Team – Brandon Friesen – basketball, Amy Wanvig - basketball.

WCSA Women’s Softball All-Star: Second Team – Kenzie Derdall, Alexis Ferguson

ACAC Women’s Volleyball Coach of the Year: Nolan Weinmaster

ACAC Women’s Volleyball Player of the Year: Sam Zacharias

ACAC Men’s Hockey Rookie of the Year: Aaron Armstrong

CCAA Women’s Volleyball Player of the Year: Sam Zacharias

CCAA Academic All-Canadian: Amy Wanvig - basketball

CCAA All-Canadian Team: Sam Zacharias

WCSA Women’s Softball Rookie of the Year: Kenzie Derdall

WCSA Women’s Softball Coach of the Year: Carlie Pagens

Graduating player awards: Brandon Friesen, Brooke Olmstead, Erin Anderson, Amanda Lundquist, Manny Schellenberg, Erik Robitaille, Josh Wendel and Carter Reimer.

Fifth year player awards: Manny Schellenberg, Brandon Friesen, Josh Wendel, and Erin Anderson.

For photos of the Awards Banquet like Briercrest Athletics on facebook.