Rookies of the Year
Karl Forgues, a 5’9”, 200-pound linebacker from Repentigny, Quebec was named RSEQ defensive Rookie-of-the-Year this past season and was arguably the best player for the Redmen footbal team. Forgues was one of the lone bright spots for the team this season, finishing second in the CIS in tackles and third in sacks. He showed off his athletic ability in October, recording an incredible 47 tackles and five sacks over a four-game stretch against the Laval Rouge et Or, the Bishop’s Gaiters, and the Sherbrooke Vert et Or. As Forgues continues to develop his skills under newly-named Head Coach Ron Hilaire, who served as his defensive coordinator at the beginning of this season, he should blossom into one of the best defensive players in the CIS and anchor McGill’s defence for the next three years.
Although she missed part of the season due to injury, Myriam Robitaille still managed to put forth an impressive rookie season for the Martlet volleyball team. The 6’0” middle-blocker was named to both the RSEQ and the CIS All-Rookie teams. Robitaille impressed in the time she did get to spend on the court, ranking 10th in the league in points-per-set with 2.78. Her best effort came against the RSEQ-leading Montreal Carabins as she tallied 18 points, including 12 kills and three service aces. Robitaille’s talents were not limited to the offensive side of the ball, as she averaged 0.86 blocks per set, ranking eighth in the league. The Martlets missed the playoffs this season despite finishing with a winning record. Robitaille’s continued development will be crucial if McGill is to be successful going forward.
Athletes of the Year
McGill hockey’s rookie defenceman, who transferred this year from the NCAA, had himself a season for the record books. He led all CIS defencemen with 13 goals and broke the McGill record by recording six game-winners this season. Not content with that production on its own, Labrecque also recorded a CIS-leading seven power play goals and also contributed nine assists. He also recorded the first hat trick by a Redmen defenceman since 1996. The OUA coaches recognized his statistical and team achievements, naming him an OUA East All-Star and voting him second in the Defenceman-of-the-Year race.
Labrecque played a huge part in McGill’s 21-5 OUA East regular season record and its overall 28-11 record against CIS opposition. They lost in the OUA bronze-medal game after winning their first two playoff-rounds with four regulars sidelined. Labrecque, along with goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard and centre Cedric McNicoll, all stepped up to help an injury-ravaged McGill through the playoffs. The way Labrecque has meshed so effectively into the McGill’s system has been fun to watch. Hopefully, he can continue this success next year.
Forward Mariam Sylla has now extended her RSEQ dominance for McGill over three seasons. This year, she was named RSEQ Player-of-the-Year for the second year in a row and led the Martlets to their best ever silver-medal finish at a CIS National Championships. Sylla was a double-double machine over the year, averaging 12.3 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game in the RSEQ regular season. She contributed to McGill’s front-court dominated offense with the most offensive boards in the league (4.1) whilst shooting efficiently from the field (.430) and from the charity stripe (.768). Sylla ended the entire year with an astonishing 13 double-doubles.
Although her shooting efficiency decreased somewhat during the playoffs, Sylla maintained her statistical consistency with 9.3 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game on the national stage. After two excellent wins, McGill fell short of national winners, the Windsor Lancers, largely due to a poor shooting performance. However, McGill’s excellent defence, led by Sylla’s 10 boards, managed to hold the Lancers 20 points under their season average offensive output. Her tough, consistent style of play has now been married with playoff experience. With the way that Sylla has developed thus far, a CIS Player-of-the-Year trophy and a future gold medal are firmly within grasp.
Teams of the Year
The McGill Redmen baseball team was the only Redmen program to win a National Championship this year. The club defeated the Concordia Stingers 6-1 in the CCBA Final, avenging a previous 3-1 defeat during which the Stingers captured the CCBA Northern Division title.
The formidable trio consisting of junior shortstop Tyler Welence, rookie infielder Robert Sedin, and rookie starting pitcher Ryan Kramer led the squad to a 21-9 record, and was named to the All-CCBA First Team. Welence and Kramer continued to excel in the CCBA National Championships, where they were awarded Tournament MVP and Most Outstanding Pitcher, respectively.
The National Championship was the fourth in team history and the first since 2010. In the years following that championship, the team struggled with consistency and injuries, which ultimately limited its potential. This year, however, the team was able to have an excellent season, buoyed by the efforts of a strong group of freshmen. Though the team will be losing five seniors to graduation, the core of the team remains intact and looks primed for another run at the title.
Despite failing to win a CIS National Championship—the Martlets fell in the Finals to five-time defending CIS champions, the Windsor Lancers, 60-47—the Martlet basketball team capped off a historic season with a silver medal. Capturing the RSEQ title for the fourth consecutive year, the Martlets finished this season with a 26-5 overall record, with only one loss to an RSEQ opponent.
The Martlets’ previous best season was in 1996, when they won the CIS bronze medal. Head Coach Ryan Thorne, who completed his 12th season at the helm of the Martlet basketball team, has been steadily improving the program, with an average .813 winning percentage in the last five years compared to .315 in his first seven years coaching.
Junior forward Mariam Sylla once again led the team and was named a first-team CIS All-Canadian and RSEQ Player-of-the-Year. Sylla’s prowess was bolstered by the efforts of junior centre Alex Kiss-Rusk and senior point guard Dianna Ros, who put up 7.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, respectively. While three seniors will not be returning for the next season, the trio will be back to work with Thorne. Considering the immense strides the program has made under Thorne, the team led by Ros should contend for a title once again in 2015-2016 season.