Doroodian and Zufelt named Algoma's athletes of the year

Doroodian and Zufelt named Algoma's athletes of the year
On Friday evening, Algoma University and the Algoma University Thunderbirds Varsity Athletics Program recognised the hard work, dedication, skill, and academic achievements of their student-athletes at the annual Varsity Athletics Banquet.

Held at the Marconi Club, this year's banquet celebrated the Thunderbirds' first season in Ontario University Athletics (OUA).

At the opening of the award ceremony, Dr. Celia Ross was inducted into the Thunderbirds Wall of Fame in the Builders category, and was lauded for her visionary efforts to bring a varsity program to Algoma U over a decade ago, at a time when the University was struggling financially and the future was uncertain.

Dr. Ross commented on how far the program has come, calling the men's basketball victory this season over her alma mater, the Queen's Gaels, a watershed moment for Thunderbirds Athletics.

Student-Athlete of the year honours went to women's wrestler Natasha Doroodian (Korah Collegiate, Sault Ste. Marie), who was the first Thunderbird athlete to compete at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Championships, earning a fourth-place finish.

For the men, post player Brett Zufelt (Denison Secondary, Newmarket) won the honour for his gritty play as an under-sized big matching up in the paint against the best in the OUA.

Coach of the year honours went to wrestling's Trevor Manchester for the outstanding success his team showed in their first year of competition.

The following awards were also handed out:

Dr. Lukenda Thunderbird Service Award
Arja-Lisa Gallo

Academic Achievement Awards (highest academic achievement for their sport)
Leah Hodgson
Josh Porco
Tina Newell
Ryan Alcock
Lauren Towell
Brent Beaulieu
Danielle Dupuis
Corey Ellah
Laura Thibodeau
Courtney White
Jamal Muckett-Sobers

Men's Basketball
Reynaldo Carnakie - MVP
Tristan Forbes - Rookie of the Year
Jon Gordon - Defensive Player of the Year
Andre Barber - Most Improved
Cailum White - Coaches Award

Women's Basketball
Karissa Kajorinne - MVP, Defensive Player of the Year
Sydney Resch - Rookie of the Year
Laura Meadows - Most Improved
Taylor McAllister - Coaches Award

Cross Country Running
Danielle Dupuis - Rookie of the Year
Kian Brooks - Coaches Award

Men's Curling
Jesse Chiang - MVP
Andrew Bric - Most Improved
Josh Porco - Coaches Award

Women's Curling
Leah Hodgson - MVP
Avery Harrison - Most Improved
Jieun Kim - Coaches Award

Nordic Skiing
Alex Lake - MVP
Laerke Lindemann - Rookie of the Year
Laura Thibodeau - Most Improved
Corey Ellah - Coaches Award

Men's Soccer
Joseph Iferi - MVP
Nick Burnie - Rookie of the Year
Abdullah Ablrakati - Most Improved
Alex Fera - Best Defensive Player
Daniel Scarpino - Coaches Award

Women's Soccer
Taylor Smith - MVP
Enya Farrelly - Rookie of the Year
Chelsea Sabourin - Most Improved
Tina Newell - Best Defensive Player
Arja-Lisa Gallo - Coaches Award

Men's Wrestling
Ammar Bin Dhaban - MVP
Ryan Vilaca - Coaches Award

Women's Wrestling
Natasha Doroodian - MVP
Lauren Towell - Coaches Award

Thunderbird Award (to graduating student-athletes)
Andrew Bric
Dennon Armstrong
Tina Newell
Arja-Lisa Gallo
Chelsea Sabourin
Corey Ellah
Jamal Muckett-Sobers
Amanda Orr