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With big seasons in University of Saskatchewan Huskie uniforms, Koren Pitkethly and Kit Hillis have been named Huskie Athletics’ female and male athletes of the year.
Not letting an injury hamper her season, Pitkethly, a College of Kinesiology student, rebounded after missing two months of the Canada West wrestling season to claim a silver medal at the conference championship in the 59-kg weight class. The fifth-year from MacKenzie, B.C. added a silver medal at the CIS Championship. The podium finish was her third straight on the national stage. Pitkethly becomes just the second wrestler to win the Mary Ethel Cartwright Trophy for Female Athlete of the Year.
Hillis’ season will enter the record books as one of the best by a Huskie Athletics receiver in history. The third-year Business student led the Canada West in receptions per game, receiving yards per game, total reception yards and receptions. His 797 yards marks the third best performance in a single season in Huskie history. His 57 catches in 2013 and 14 in a game against UBC broke school records. Hillis is the 13th football player to win the E. Kent Phillips Trophy for Male Athlete of the Year.
Huskie Athletics handed out five other major awards at the annual Huskie Salute Friday night at TCU Place. The event also featured the achievements of the athletes of the University of Saskatchewan’s 15 CIS teams. Canada West and CIS All-Stars/All-Canadians and award winners, along with fifth-year athletes were also honoured at the celebration.
Hockey players swept the rookie of the year awards. Jimmy Bubnick was awarded the Howard Nixon Trophy for Male Rookie of the Year after finishing the season as one of the top offensive players for his team. Bubnick led all rookies in the Canada West men’s hockey scoring race with 11 goals and 13 assists, playing in 26 games. The engineering student added one goal and four assists in eight playoff games. Goaltender Cassidy Hendricks was handed the Patricia Lawson Trophy for Female Rookie of the Year. The Arts & Science student from Vancouver started 25 games in the 2012-13 season, the most of any rookie goaltender in the CIS and second most in the Canada West among all goaltenders. She recorded a conference-best three shutouts and was first in saves with 653.
Wrestling captain Natasha Kramble was the winner of the Valerie Girsberger Trophy handed to an upper year Female All-Around Athlete. The men’s version of the trophy – the Rusty McDonald Cup – was given to wrestler Landon Squires
Kramble has been a leader on and off the wrestling mat for the Huskies. Captain for the last two seasons, Kramble has found herself on the Canada West podium in four of her seasons in either the 51-kg or 48-kg weight class. She has also won three CIS bronze medals. An All-Academic in her career, Kramble has won numerous scholarships and graduated from the College of Kinesiology in 2012 with Great Distinction. The fifth-year has given back to the community by volunteering as a youth group leader with Holy Family Parish, with the Athletes in Action “Huskie For A Day” program that brings underprivileged children to the university to work with an athlete for a day, as well as working with the Walk of Hope for Ovarian Cancer.
Squires, a fifth-year wrestler in the 90-kilogram weight class, joined the Huskies in 2008-09. An Urban Planning student, squires has had big success on the mat appearing on the Canada West podium in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 – the last three year’s as a gold medalist. He was also a Second Team All-Canadian in 2010, 2012 and 2013. He has consistently been a Huskie Athletics All-Academic. On top of helping lead the wrestling team, Squires has made an impact on Huskie Athletics as a representative on HAC and in 2012-13 was president. His volunteerism doesn’t stop with HAC. He has worked with community events such as Walk of Hope for Ovarian Cancer. In 2011-12, he won the Canada West and CIS Student-Athlete Community Award.
The Colb McEwon Trophy for Coach of the Year was handed to men’s volleyball coach Brian Gavlas. In his 20th season, Gavlas led the Huskies, who were ranked in the CIS Top 10 all season, to a 15-7 record, finishing third after winning 12 of their last 14 matches. A year ago, the Huskies finished 4-16 and in 10th spot in the conference.
Huskie Athletics also handed out the Dr. Walter Hader Student Trainer of the Year Award. The trophy given annually to a student trainer who displays dedicated volunteer service to Huskie Athletics and shows promise in the pursuit of a career in sports medicine was won by men’s hockey’s Scott Cyr and Kaden Johnson.
More than 300 athletes, fans, sponsors, alumni and supporters gathered at TCU Place to celebrate the special event.
Previous Major 7 Award Winners
Major Seven Award Winners:
Patricia Lawson Trophy Female Rookie of the Year – Cassidy Hendricks, hockey
Howard Nixon Trophy Male Rookie of the Year – Jimmy Bubnick, hockey
E. Kent Phillips Trophy Male Athlete of the Year – Kit Hillis, football
Mary Ethel Cartwright Trophy Female Athlete of the Year – Koren Pitkethly, wrestling
Rusty McDonald Cup All-Round Male – Landon Squires, wrestling
Valerie Girsberger All-Round Female – Natasha Kramble, wrestling
Colb McEwon Trophy Coach of the Year – Brian Gavlas, men’s volleyball
Trainer of the Year – Scott Cyr & Kaden Johnson