It is with heartfelt thanks and congratulations that we salute you, the graduating student-athletes! For the past four or five years you have demonstrated skilled play, and dedication to academics, athletics and leadership. These have grown exponentially over the years and you have served as such a fine example to younger student-athletes during your time here. We have watched you “Bleed Blue” at King’s and your contributions have inspired us to strive to be the best we can be.
Please take note that the journey for a student-athlete does not stop here; you had your family of teammates while you are here but as a graduate you will be part of a much larger Blue Devils family that goes on forever!
You can continue to get involved by being active in the King’s Alumni Association and attending or lending your expertise to meetings or gatherings organized in various cities across the country. “Staying connected” may sound cliché but it will keep you in touch long after your Blue Devils student-athlete experience ends!
We are so sorry that this COVID-19 crisis brought an end to your graduation, but nothing can dampen our spirits! Please know that we are infinitely proud of each and every one of you and we thank you for spending so much time with us and hope you have made great friends and lasting memories! We wish you all the best, wherever your next journey takes you!
Go Blue Devils!
|Women’s Soccer||Morgan MacIntosh|
|Men’s Soccer||Brendan Irish|
|Women’s Rugby||Dylan Leiper|
|Men’s Rugby||Josh Baker|
|Women’s Volleyball||Taryn Neufeld|
Rebecca is an extremely talented and technical midfielder that quickly earned the respect of both her own team as well as opposition players and coaches. Becca was a tremendous addition to our midfield this season; her skill helped us control the midfield against many opponents.
Natalie is a true force to be reckoned with on the field. She played the game in such a way that opponents would do what they could to avoid the hard, bone-crushing tackles Natalie would dole out on the field. She literally putt her body on the line for her team. A co-captain for this group, Natalie stepped up to this challenge and pushed everyone to not accept anything less than 100%.
Morgan has been a driving force for this team over the past couple of years. As captain, she has been a great leader both on and off the field. She is a true competitor and would always look to put the team first, offering numerous thoughts and opinions on how to take this team further. She was always willing to step into whatever role the
coaches asked of her to help her teammates out.
We are blessed with four or five other top class leaders in their final year (you know who you are) and we want to thank you. One of our main goals of our program is to develop compassionate leaders that we hope move on to become major positive contributors to their own community, wherever they land. The growth from Brendan Irish as a player and leader over his four years has been phenomenal. Leadership starts with being a role model, being on time, being consistent, putting in focused effort. From there, it is a commitment to the interests of your team above your own. Leaders need to have a dedication to their craft and their teammates. Brendan Irish has been an absolute gift to this program, and we can only hope that younger players model his example for the next wave of Blue Devils.
Nick is a player every teammate and Coach is going to miss next season. This is because Nick is the type of guy who adds positivity to his environment. Nick gives energy to the people around him, provides support, positivity, celebration and encouragement. Over his time at King’s, Nick has grown exponentially as a player, an individual and as a leader—while also growing some excellent moustaches.
Jack was delayed getting to camp this season, and the team had three days of sessions without him. When he returned, his presence had such an impact that I will never forget it. He was yelling, increasing intensity and holding players accountable. It was uncomfortable, but so necessary. As an important team leader, Jack leads by example, and by setting a high standard for himself and his teammates. He has had a stellar varsity career and will be truly missed next season
This award is given to the player who leads the team in Grits, which are effort-based stats taken from both practices and games. Claire also had the most wins which are tracked in all competitive drills in practice, both individual and team. Claire was instrumental in our team’s success this season; not only did she lead in our statistical categories, she led by example on and off the floor.
This award is given to the player who puts the team first in everything they do and is chosen by their teammates. Sian showed great maturity in putting the team’s needs ahead of her own regardless of the situation, giving her very best in practice and games in whatever role was needed that day. Sian was an important part of our success this season!
Reese’s presence as a dynamic, talented first-year player was felt immediately as he started in every game he played in the ACAA. He is known for his relentless play at both ends of the floor and will be one of the keys to the future success of this young King’s basketball team. As a rookie, he averaged 15.2 points per game, recording three double-doubles throughout the season. He will be counted on in future years to be a leader in this growing program.
The McConnell Award for dedication and commitment to Men’s Basketball is awarded to second-year guard Ethan Merlin who night after night, whether it be in practice or in games, brings a level of intensity that is matched by very few. Known as a defensive stopper and natural leader, Ethan is a dream teammate who is so encouraging to others and a pleasure to have in any program. His future is very bright as this program grows to a contender.
Jayden jumped back into the ACAA after a two-year absence. His offensive impact was exceptional, finishing third in the league in scoring. He isregarded as one of the most difficult players to guard in the ACAA. Known more as a slasher/driver, he proved on many occasions that he was a threat from outside and could lock up many of the league’s best players on defense. As team captain, Jayden was a natural leader who brought a wealth of experience to a young team that looked to him for guidance. Honored as an ACAA Second Team All-Star, Jayden will be key to the Blue Devils bright future.
Emma joined the team this year and not only earned herself a starting spot, but became known as one of the most talented, fiercest hitters and blockers in the entire league. Unstoppable when set, Emma hit balls so hard that teams were forced to put up a triple block against her. Emma was a key factor in shutting down many hitters on other teams as well, with her amazing blocks. She brought a competitive edge to our team and we can’t wait to see her continue to dominate at the net and on the service line in future years.
Taryn and Isabelle were our two outstanding players of the year. Each in a specialized position, these two were the glue that held the team together on and off the court but also were a huge reason why we made history in many aspects of our record this season. Isabelle, the quarterback of our team, made smart choices and delivered our hitters with incredible sets. The first contact is known to be the most important in volleyball and whether it was from the serve receive line or on defence, Taryn delivered a ball to the target every single time, no matter what. A huge congrats to our two, very deserved MVPs.
Rosa joined us enthusiastically this year during training camp. No matter the practice, game, or challenge, she was always bringing the team spirit up. She always works hard on and off the field, constantly asking other players and coaches how to improve her game. We are looking forward to seeing her grow as a player and person even more each season.
Bridget was such an excellent and consistent leader this season. She always led by example on and off the field. Midseason, the coaches asked a lot of her. She answered by stepping into a new role and kept her own and the team’s spirits high during the challenges of each game. Bridget was always dedicated, tenacious and resilient, and is very well deserving of this award.
Our Rookie of the Year, characteristic of his position of scrum half, has a fiery disposition and an intense playing style. He demands a lot out of himself and others in the way that a seasoned veteran might. He was our leading scorer, and whether well-advised or not, our leading ball-stealer. He’s a very elusive player, a bourgeoning game manager, and along with our stellar crop of rookies this year, he will surely be a key asset going forward. Congratulations to Dylan.
Our Coaches’ Award goes to a player who has been with us through ups and downs, and more downs. Over his time at King’s, he’s been a stable link on an unstable team. He probably holds the King’s record for most teammates in a career, but he makes it simple: If you bleed blue, he’s with you. We’ll remember this player as someone who could wear any jersey number in the forwards and he’d excel. A player you’d have to drag off the field. Be it black eyes, or hobbled ankles, there is very little that could keep him from giving everything for his teammates. I’m not sure if he plans on continuing playing rugby beyond university, but I hope he does. Any club would be lucky to have Travis.
Our MVP is Gabe Isenor. Gabe is the consummate lead-by-example player. He’s fearless in the tackle and at the breakdown, he’s a strong ball carrier, and he never gives up on a play. What impressed me most about him, and I believe what impressed his teammates, was that he was completely unwilling to be intimidated. Though we had a lot of new players with varying levels of experience, he really set the tone that we were going to outwork the other team every chance we had. Each success we had this year sprung from that, and that’s why he is our MVP.
Bryce has grown a great deal over the past three years while playing for King’s. He shows up to practice every day, ready to work, and puts in time outside of our team practices to work on his game. He has now represented King’s at three national championships and has won silver at two of those— the most recent with partner Jack Ronahan. He went undefeated in all events he played in the ACAA this year and was also named the conference’s male player of the year. We look forward to seeing Bryce back next year to take one last kick at the can to win that gold medal!
This was Jack’s first year with the team and he had an incredible season, going undefeated in all events that he played in the ACAA. He is a player that shows up to every practice ready to work, and also boasts a light, energetic personality that everyone on the team loves to be around. He represented King’s at the national championships with partner Bryce Mason where they won the silver medal. He was also named male rookie of the year for the ACAA. We look forward to having Jack for another three or four years!
Congratulations to the following varsity athletes, who earned a GPA 3.7 or higher (based on first term grades).
|Ally Brien||Dylan Leiper|
|Andrew Burroughs||Morgan MacIntosh|
|Lucy Carolan||Cartar May|
|Dara Carr||Ethan Merlin|
|Alison Clarke||Sian Nielsen|
|Jack Gillies||Taryn Neufeld|
|Taryn Hanrahan||Owen Porter|
|Lydia Hanson||Lindsey Puddicombe|
|Sophie Harriman||Isabelle Roach|
|Victoria Hatheway||Anna Read|
|Abby Hourigan||Sabreen Somji|
|Brendan Irish||Riel Tetreault|
|Geevon Janday||Dimitra Tsimiklis|
|Claire Jansen-Faught||Sophie Vaisman|
|Cash Layden||Jonathan Werbitt|
The CCAA Academic All-Canadian Award recognizes student-athletes who achieve an honours standing in academics combined with an elite athletic achievement.
This award is given to the varsity athlete with the highest overall GPA.
It has been quite a year for fourth-year and graduating student-athlete, Isabelle Roach (captain and starting setter for King’s Women’s Volleyball Team). She was an integral part of one of the best years in 15 for King’s Women’s Volleyball. Her academic accomplishments speak for themselves as she is a four-time honour roll and CCAA National Scholar Athlete Award winner. Isabelle has also won this academic excellence award on two other occasions.
On a cold Saturday in November 2019, playing the last volleyball game of the first semester, she got a call as she was getting on the team bus to go home. The call was from the Rhodes Scholarship Committee chair informing her that she had won the Rhodes Scholarship for her academic accomplishments at school, in the community and on the volleyball court. This is the highest honour that any student can achieve and anyone who knows her can vouch for how much she deserves it. In September, Isabelle will head to Oxford to begin a Master of Science degree as a Rhodes Scholar.
Ellery strolled into the Athletics office three years ago, introduced herself and said that she wanted to volunteer to take some action shots of the teams. I had no idea after that day that she would become such an integral part of the Blue Devil family.
Ellery devoted a staggering amount of her time and energy into capturing the Blue Devil athletes during games, practices, trips and championships. She developed unique relationships with each team and truly listened to their photography needs. She evolved her position into being THE UKC Blue Devil photographer and social media guru. Her passion and love for all things UKC shone through our social media platforms and her amazing photography work.
Ellery was a ray of light every time she stepped into the Athletics Office. She was always happy and eager to help and I sincerely enjoyed her office visits. I came to depend on her and she never let me down. She has an unbelievable skill for the work she does, and always manages to do it with a smile on her face.
During her final year as a student, she earned herself a spot the varsity badminton team, finally donning a Blue Devil jersey. Though she was already considered a Blue Devil, this cemented it.
I cannot express how much I will miss Ellery as an employee, athlete and person next season.
The Badminton team had a historic season, capturing another ACAA championship and sending five players to the CCAA national championships. The pair of Jack Ronahan and Bryce Mason won King’s second-ever national medal, a silver in Men’s Doubles.
Jack hails from Charlottetown, P.E.I. and as a first-year player made an amazing impact at three levels, first as a talented member of the King’s Badminton Team, secondly as ACAA Rookie of the Year and Atlantic category winner, and third as a National silver medalist. He was very well liked by his teammates and will be a force in the upcoming years on the badminton court.
Fiona comes from Bedford, N.S. and has made an amazing impression on collegiate sports. As a first-year player, she produced an exceptional regular season, culminating in an ACAA Championship. Having been named ACAA Rookie of the Year for her accomplishments on the court, Fiona and her doubles partner Katherine Zhu represented the ACAA at the CCAA National Badminton Championships, narrowly missing out on bronze medal finish. Fiona has made an amazing impression on King’s, the ACAA, and the CCAA, with the best part of her career still to come.
The Gary MacLean Award for outstanding contribution and dedication to Athletics at King’s was equally merited by two members of the women’s rugby team: Sophie Vaisman and Makaela DeClute. As Co-Chairs of the King’s Athletic Committee, these two student-athletes were fixtures at nearly all varsity events. Aside from planning fundraisers and campus events, Makaela and Sophie fostered a level of support at varsity games that has been unparalleled in recent years. Their efforts have been instrumental in bringing together student athletes to talk about ideas and input on our athletic program, and have created an inclusive atmosphere where all teams feel welcome.
The Norman Grant Award for dedication and commitment to varsity athletics is presented this year to fourth-year UKC Men’s Soccer player and Mahone Bay, N.S. native, Jack Creaser. Jack has been instrumental in many successful seasons. As a dedicated team member, Jack has been a role model for younger soccer players both on and off the field. He has also been a student-athlete who can be counted on by his coaches to be part of organizing and attending many off-field activities like fundraising, and contributing to the overall morale of the team. Jack has been a well-decorated athlete winning numerous ACAA All-Conference Awards. His presence will be missed at King’s.
Cole Harbour, N.S. born badminton superstar Bryce Mason is an outstanding choice for Male Athlete of the Year. As a badminton player, he has literally won everything
possible in the ACAA. He is undefeated in all competitions in league play and has made a tremendous impact on the school, local badminton, and as a role model for his teammates. Bryce came up through the local Sackville Badminton Club where he had excellent training and has brought this to King’s and the ACAA. The pinnacle of his accomplishments has been winning two straight CCAA National silver medals which is unequaled by any ACAA athlete in the history of the organization. He is a fierce competitor who makes high demands of himself and brings this excellence to every competition he enters. He also has high praise for his doubles partners who have taken the nationals journey with him (Ben Van Ryn in 2018-19 and Jack Ronahan in 2019-20).
The 2019-20 Female Athlete of the Year Award is equally merited by two well-deserving female student-athletes: representing Badminton, Katherine Zhu, and representing Women’s Basketball, Jenna Bain.
As a Halifax native, Katherine Zhu brought a talented badminton pedigree to King’s and the ACAA and made an immediate impression in her first year, winning every match and every category she entered. Her impact on ACAA Badminton was obvious, advancing to the National bronze-medal match in her rookie season. Very few first-year players receive this honor at King’s but Katherine would not be denied. The future is very bright for her in ACAA and CCAA badminton circles.
Jenna Bain absolutely exploded as a dominant player in the ACAA and has been a huge part of the Blue Devils rise to prominence in the ACAA. In what was a breakout season for Women’s Basketball, Jenna’s efforts were rewarded with an spot on the ACAA All-Conference First Team. Jenna was a crucial member of the team’s post-season campaign, as they defeated the top ranked St. Thomas en route to King’s first ACAA final in 15 years. Though their run came up short, Jenna validated her position as an elite ACAA player and showed great leadership skills along the way. Jenna will be a big part of her team’s quest of winning the ACAA Women’s Basketball Championship next year!