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Joensen and Marzouk named Ontario Tech athletes of the year

OSHAWA, Ont. – Regent Theatre hosted Ontario Tech's 17th annual athletic awards gala on Thursday night. The gala recognized Ridgebacks student-athletes for the incredible achievements accomplished this past season. 

Omar Marzouk (Cairo, Egpyt) was named the Male Athlete of the Year after an amazing season with the Ridgebacks, scoring 11 goals while only playing eight games. Omar was second in the OUA for total goals and fourth for total points this season. Marzouk also impressively won the OUA East's Most Valuable Player award and is looking to continue his soccer career in Saudi Arabia, as he signed a professional contract with Wej Sports Club.

Jailyn Joensen (Whitby, Ont.) picked up the Female Athlete of the Year award after an outstanding year with Badminton and Lacrosse. She had a great season with the women's lacrosse team, totaling 30 goals in the regular season and nine goals in the postseason. Joensen had a dominant season that started with an incredible 10-goal game from Jailyn to capture the first win of the season. Joensen was named an OUA all-star on the final day of the Lacrosse Championships after scoring all of the Ridgeback's goals against the eventual silver medalists. She was also named an OUA All-Star in Badminton, and picked up a Bronze medal in women's doubles at the YONEX Canadian University and College Badminton Championships.

The freshman athletes of the year featured Felicity Villarin (Calgary, Alta.) and Ben Roode (Dartmouth, N.S.) taking home the award, being acknowledged for their success in their first seasons with the Ridgebacks.

Villarin finished her rookie season with an impressive average of 11.4 points per game, four assists per game, and five rebounds per game. Felicity played in and started 13 games for the Ridgebacks and played 407 minutes for the team. Villarin looks to continue her success next year in her sophomore season with the team.

Roode had a great freshman year with the men's hockey team, scoring five goals and getting seven assists through 26 games. Roode helped contribute to the team's success this season and hopes to have an even better season next year with the Ridgebacks. 

Other major award winners were Nicholas Biscaro (Whitby, Ont.) and Jasmine Groleau (Hearst, Ont.), who won the Gary Polonsky Leadership Awards.

Shannon Galea was presented with the Alumni Award of Distinction. The award goes to a respected Ridgeback alumni who represents the school throughout their varsity career as well as later on in their professional careers. The award recognizes someone who has proven leadership skills, exceptional achievements in business or industry, and exceptional contributions to the community. 

The Sase Narayan Unsung Hero Award was given to Katrina Pappas (Toronto, Ont.). The award recognizes a Ridgeback student who has positively impacted a program from behind the scenes and has a commitment to excellence and a willingness to help others. 

Kelton Sutherland (Courtice, Ont.) was presented with the Rob Milikin Award for serving as an example of academic success and heart and passion for the rowing team this season. 

Zoe McGee (Kanata, Ont.) and Braiden Koran (Kimberley, B.C.) received the James-Baun Cup, which is given to students on the men's and women's hockey teams who show commitment, dedication, perseverance, leadership, responsibility, and are great teammates. The cup is named after Bobby Baun and his long-time friend Don James. 

MAJOR AWARDS

Female Athlete of the Year
Jailyn Joensen (Whitby, Ont.) – Badminton/Lacrosse

Male Athlete of the Year
Omar Marzouk (Cairo, Egypt) – Men's Soccer

Female Freshman Athlete of the Year
Felicity Villarin (Calgary, Alta.) – Women's Basketball

Male Freshman Athlete of the Year
Ben Roode – (Dartmouth, N.S.) Men's Hockey

Dr. Gary Polonsky Leadership Award
Jasmine Groleau (Hearst, Ont.) – Curling
Nicholas Biscaro (Whitby, Ont.) – Rowing

James-Baun Cup
Zoe McGee (Kanata, Ont.) – Women's Hockey
Braiden Koran (Kimberley, B.C.) – Men's Hockey

Rob Millikin Award
Kelton Sutherland (Courtice, Ont.) – Courtice, Ont.

Athletic Therapy Student Trainer of the Year
Joshua Balk

Athletic Therapy Student Coach of the Year
Andrew Morris

Sase Narayan Unsung Hero Award
Katrina Pappas (Toronto, Ont.)

Alumni Award of Distinction
Shannon Galea

ETS Captain's Award
Jared David – Men's Soccer
Emily Davis-Tope (Bendigo, Australia) – Women's Hockey

Carleigh Taggart Women's Hockey Award
Nicole Escano (Kingston, Ont.) – Women's Hockey
Lauren Beaulieu (Caistorville, Ont.) – Women's Hockey

OEM Corporation Award
Joshua Nguyen (Markham, Ont.) – Badminton

Black or Indigenous Heritage Student-Athlete (BIHS) Bursary
Keon Baker (Pickering, Ont.) – Men's Basketball
Ellycea Burke (Hamilton, Ont.) – Women's Basketball
Selena Hamilton (Milton, Ont.) – Women's Soccer
Matthew Keeler (Thunder Bay, Ont.) – Men's Soccer
Aliya Sweeney (Oshawa, Ont.) – Women's Soccer

Nustadia Recreation Award
Tombe Pitia (Kitchener, Ont.) – Men's Basketball
Kendra Orr (Brooklin, Ont.) – Lacrosse
Katrina Pappas  (Toronto, Ont.) – Women's Soccer
Omar Marzouk (Cairo, Egpyt) – Men's Soccer

AT the Dentist Junction Award
Emma Dang (Ottawa, Ont.)  – Women's Soccer
Paulo Spadaccini Ottawa, Ont.)  – Men's Soccer

Vaso Vujanovic Bursary
Omar Marzouk (Cairo, Egpyt) – Men's Soccer
Tia Schaffer (Saskatoon, Sask.) – Women's Soccer

Team Awards
Men's Badminton
MVP: Bryan Zhang (Toronto, Ont.)
Leadership: Kaushik Krishnakumar Raman (Dubai, UAE)
Rookie of the Year: Eddie Ly (Toronto, Ont.)

Women's Badminton
MVP: Jailyn Joensen (Whitby, Ont.)
Leadership: Venuga Kariharan (Scarborough, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Kartiki Balsekar (Mumbai, India)

Men's Soccer
MVP: Omar Marzouk (Cairo, Egpyt)
Leadership:  Kevon Grant (Oshawa, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Noah LaRonde (Scarborough, Ont.)

Women's Soccer
MVP: Alicia Chisholm (Woodbridge, Ont.)
Leadership: Katrina Pappas (Toronto, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Mackenzie Scott (Peterborough, Ont.)

Men's Rowing
Oarsman of the Year: Owen Nicholls (Pelham, Ont.)
Leadership: Nicholas Biscaro (Courtice, Ont.)
Novice Oarsman of the Year: Thomas Yellowlees

Women's Rowing
Oarswoman of the Year: Kierstyn Hawke (Oshawa, Ont.)
Leadership: Alexie Linardatos (Toronto, Ont.)
Novice Oarswoman of the Year: Erin McCready

Men's Hockey
MVP: James White (Peterborough, Ont.)
Leadership: Sean Ross (Bracebridge, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Ben Roode (Dartmouth, N.S.)

Women's Hockey
MVP: Julia Jackson (Uxbridge, Ont.)
Leadership: Alyssa Denney (Keswick, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Mackenna Krulicki (Wellesley, Ont.)

Lacrosse
MVP: Jailyn Joensen (Whitby, Ont.)
Leadership: Kendra Orr (Brooklin, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Jordyn Merriam (Kingston, Ont.)

Men's Curling
MVP: Danton Kellington (Oshawa, Ont.)
Leadership: Alexander Cole (Sarnia, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Zachary Bowles (Atwood, Ont.)

Women's Curling
MVP: Jasmine Groleau (Hearst, Ont.)
Leadership: Jasmine Groleau (Hearst, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Lillianne Wrigley (Oshawa, Ont.)

Golf
MVP: Brendan Smith (Whitby, Ont.)
Leadership: Nathan Frasar (Uxbridge, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Benjamin Hilditch (Cookstown, Ont.)

Women's Basketball
MVP: Felicity Villarin (Calgary, Alta.)
Leadership: Elliot Cowan (Chatham, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Felicity Villarin (Calgary, Alta.)

Men's Basketball
MVP: Zubair Seyed (Cambridge, Ont.)
Leadership: Levi Ogbonna (Toronto, Ont.)
Rookie of the Year: Emmanuel Okonkwo (Toronto, Ont.)