The Brock Badgers had a lot to celebrate Wednesday night, marking the most successful sports season in University history during their annual Athletic Banquet.
In their first sports campaign since the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the 2020-21 season, the Badgers roared out of the pandemic to capture seven championship titles in men’s rowing, men’s lacrosse, women’s volleyball, women’s hockey, men’s basketball and men’s and women’s wrestling.
The Badgers had 10 teams compete at national championships and 30 teams represented Brock at the provincial level. A total of eight coaches were named Coach of the Year across various sports while student-athletes secured seven major awards and 45 all-star honours.
At the April 6 banquet at the Americana Conference Resort Spa & Waterpark in Niagara Falls, women’s hockey player Cassidy Maplethorpe and men’s rower Stephen Harris were named Brock University’s 2021-22 Female and Male Athletes of the Year.
Maplethorpe is the first women’s hockey player to be named Brock’s Female Athlete of the Year since Jessica Fickel in 2013-14, and fifth in school history.
A fourth-year Biochemistry student from Wetaskiwin, Alta., Maplethorpe led the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) in scoring with 11 goals during the regular season. She registered a total of 21 points in 16 regular-season and playoffs games.
Maplethorpe was named an OUA First-Team All-Star and capped off her nine-game point streak with a goal and an assist in the championship game to help the women’s hockey team win their first OUA McCaw Cup in program history.
Harris is the first men’s rower to be awarded Brock’s Male Athlete of the Year since David de Groot in 2015-16, and the fourth individual rower overall to win the award at Brock.
A second-year Economics student from Guelph, Harris secured a medal in every boat he rowed this season.
He won two gold medals in the men’s lightweight four and the lightweight eight at the OUA Rowing Championships to help the Brock men’s rowing team win its first title in four years.
Harris claimed two silver medals at the Canadian University Rowing Championships before winning a pair of golds at the National Rowing Championships in Victoria, B.C. Harris won gold in the Under-23 lightweight men’s single and the open lightweight single.
The Women’s Team Coach of the Year honour was awarded to head coach Steve Delaney of the women’s volleyball team.
Delaney was instrumental in helping guide his squad to an undefeated regular season and Brock’s first OUA title, the Quigley Cup, in program history. It was the team’s first perfect season since 1989-90. Earlier this year, Delaney also earned the OUA West Coach of the Year and U SPORTS Coach of the Year.
Brock men’s lacrosse head coach Vince Longboat received the Men’s Team Coach of the Year. In his first year at the helm, Longboat led his team to a .900 winning percentage en route to winning their first Baggataway Cup in 12 years, and the 19th title in program history. Longboat and the men’s lacrosse coaching staff also won the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association Coach of the Year award.
The women’s volleyball team was named Brock’s Female Team of the Year.
The Badgers marched undefeated through the regular season with the league’s No. 1 offence. A mix of seniors and first-years, the women’s volleyball team set a school-record win streak for the program’s first perfect season. They climbed as high as No. 2 in the U SPORTS rankings before making nationals for a second straight season as they hoisted their first OUA championship trophy in program history.
The Male Team of the Year went to the men’s basketball team, which was a dominant force all season. The Badgers led the country in scoring and were consistently ranked among the top teams in the national rankings, culminating in their first OUA Wilson Cup win since 1992. The Badgers entered the U SPORTS Men’s Final 8 as the No. 1 ranked team in Canada.
Women’s fencer Emily Bonisteel was awarded the David S. Howes Spirit of Brock Award, which is named after Howes for his commitment to Brock University and the community of Niagara. This award is presented annually to a student who best embodies the spirit of Sir Isaac Brock: leadership, courage, innovation, inspiration and community service.
Women’s hockey forward Emma Irwin and men’s hockey player Owen Guy earned the David Atkinson Surgite Award and R.M. Davis Surgite Award, respectively. These are awarded each year to current female and male student-athletes who excel both academically and athletically.
Student therapists Joshua Celebre (men’s basketball) and Tyler Nancekivell (men’s hockey) were named winners of the Joseph P. Kenny Student Therapist Award of Excellence.
The Brock Sports Performance (BSP) Awards went to men’s volleyball student sport performance coach Alex Tousignant (BSP Student Intern of the Year) and women’s basketball and rowing student sport performance coach Hana Parkin (BSP Impact Award).
The Marilou Iusi Memorial Service Award was presented to Anna Lathrop, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Students. This award recognizes an individual for their tireless dedication to Brock Sports. All previous award recipients have made a significant contribution to Brock Sports and gone above and beyond their standard call of duty to make the department and the experience for Brock’s student-athletes a positive one.
Lathrop was a student-athlete while she studied Physical Education at Brock University. She was named Female Athlete of the Year in 1977-78 while competing as a member of the fencing team.
During her storied career at Brock, Lathrop also served as a lecturer and professor in Physical Education and Kinesiology before becoming the Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning. In 2020, she took on a new role as Vice-Provost, Students, responsible for enhancing the student experience at Brock University. Her dedication to students, physical activity and sport have come full circle, as Brock Sports was added to her portfolio. She has worked tirelessly to advocate for Brock Sports and support all students.
2021-22 Brock Sports major award winners:
Female Athlete of the Year: Cassidy Maplethorpe (women’s hockey)
Male Athlete of the Year: Stephen Harris (men’s rowing)
Women’s Team Coach of the Year: Steve Delaney (women’s volleyball)
Men’s Team Coach of the Year: Vince Longboat (men’s lacrosse)
Female Team of the Year: Women’s volleyball
Male Team of the Year: Men’s basketball
David S. Howes Spirit of Brock Award: Emily Bonisteel (women’s fencing)
David Atkinson Surgite Award: Emma Irwin (women’s hockey)
R.M. Davis Surgite Award: Owen Guy (men’s hockey)
Joseph P. Kenny Student Therapist Award: Joshua Celebre and Tyler Nancekivell
BSP Student Intern of the Year: Alex Tousignant
BSP Impact Award: Hana Parkin
Marilou Iusi Memorial Service Award: Anna Lathrop