2017-2018 Martlet Awards
Team of the year: Martlet basketball
The Martlets’ 2017-18 season couldn’t quite follow up on their prior campaign’s record highs—including a first-ever national championship title. Regardless, this year should be considered a success. Led by veterans Alex Kiss-Rusk and Frederique Potvin, among others, the Martlets made it to the U Sports semifinals by constantly improving throughout the season.
After winning just one of four matchups with the Université Laval Rouge et Or in the regular season, McGill put Laval away with a close win in the RSEQ championship, earning the squad a trip to Regina for nationals. The Martlets comfortably closed out the McMaster Marauders in the quarterfinal, and then gave the undefeated, eventual-national champion Carleton Ravens all they could handle in a hard-fought, two-point semifinal loss.
Athlete of the year: Alex Kiss-Rusk, Martlet basketball
After earning The McGill Tribune’s nod for athlete of the year last year, Alex Kiss-Rusk’s 2017-18 campaign was similarly monstrous. The six-foot four centre easily led the RSEQ in both rebounds (11.8 per game) and double-doubles (11 total) again, while also proving to be one of its best scorers (14.3 points per game), shooters (45 field goal percentage), and shot-blockers (1.2 blocks per game). Impressive showcases like her 27-point, 14-rebound performance against Concordia on Nov. 18 and her 18-point, 17-rebound, five-block outing versus the University of New Brunswick during non-conference play added more than enough exclamation points to her concluding season. With her memorable days of wearing a McGill jersey over, she traded McGill’s red and white for Canada’s at the Commonwealth Games from April 5-15 in Australia.
Coach of the year: Rachèle Béliveau, Martlet volleyball
Despite her team falling to Laval in the RSEQ semifinals, there was plenty for Martlet volleyball Head Coach Rachèle Béliveau to be proud of this season. Her squad proved to be a thorn in the sides of the RSEQ’s other top two squads—the Université de Montréal (UdeM) Carabins and the Laval Rouge et Or. With a combined 4-4 regular-season record against the two, the Martlets showed that they belong in the RSEQ’s top tier. Still, most notable for Béliveau was her 600th career win, which came in a Jan. 27 victory against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.
Rookie of the year: Kellyanne Lecours, Martlet hockey
Since scoring the first Martlet goal of conference play this season, forward Kellyanne Lecours made an instant impact on Martlet hockey in 2017-18. She followed that performance up with consistently stellar play throughout the year—including two three-point outings against UdeM—leading to OUA all-rookie honours. Despite missing eight games, Lecours finished the season with the team’s third-highest point total and second-best points per-game mark.
2017-2018 Redmen Awards
Team of the year: Redmen basketball
A perfect combination of experience and young talent aligned for the Redmen this season. Combining an upper class chock-full of veteran fourth- and fifth-years with an injection of youth, McGill rolled through the RSEQ and through to the U Sports semifinals with ease. After a dominant conference season that saw the Redmen beat RSEQ opponents by nearly 22 points per game—including five 30-plus-point annihilations—the squad took down the University of New Brunswick by 31 points in the national quarterfinals. Unfortunately, their offence faltered against the eventual national champion University of Calgary Dinos in the semifinals. McGill nearly bounced back to give the Carleton Ravens a scare during the subsequent third-place game, but ultimately had to settle for fourth place.
Player of the year: Dele Ogundokun, Redmen basketball
The 2017-18 season was business as usual for fifth-year guard Dele Ogundokun, who capped a remarkable McGill career in familiar, outstanding fashion, earning RSEQ First Team All-Star and U Sports Second Team All-Canadian honours once again. This season, Ogundokun’s contributions rewarded the Redmen with another impressive campaign.
Ogundokun’s stifling defensive effort helped him nab 2.4 steals per game—tied for the highest mark in the conference—while he added the second-best per-game stats for McGill in almost every other category: Points (11.4), rebounds (5.4), and assists (2.1).
Coach of the year: Peter Carpenter, Redmen swimming
Peter Carpenter, head coach of both the Redmen and the Martlet swimming teams, built on last year’s success to help push his athletes to new heights in 2018. At the U Sports national championships, the Redmen stepped from an 11th-place 2017 finish up to seventh place this season. The Redmen and Martlets combined to break seven school records at the meet in Toronto, while second-year Samuel Wang’s silver medal in the 50m butterfly highlighted the weekend—and Carpenter took home U Sports Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year honours alongside the University of British Columbia’s Steve Price.
Rookie of the year: Keanu Yamamoto, Redmen hockey
On June 23, 2017, the Edmonton Oilers took Keanu Yamamoto’s younger brother, Kailer, with the 22nd pick in the NHL draft. However, after a standout rookie year with the Redmen, Keanu has made a name of his own. In just his ninth career OUA match, he broke out with a hat trick against the Royal Military College Paladins on Nov. 3. Yamamoto finished his inaugural campaign with 14 goals and 19 assists—good for the Redmen’s third-best points total.