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Athletics banquet honours Providence student athletes
Amber Harms and Mitchell Martens were named Athletes of the Year at the annual Providence Athletics Banquet, held Friday, March 18 on the Otterburne campus.
The event also recognized the 2015-16 season’s top rookies, the most improved players, and the outstanding scholar athlete and served as the official wind-up for the Pilots teams that once again represented Providence with distinction. Additionally, outgoing men’s volleyball coach Jason Peters was honoured for his 13 years of service.
Harms, who impressed with both the women’s soccer and basketball teams, claimed the Female Athlete of the Year award and also took home the MVP prize for women’s basketball.
“Amber is a special athlete. She is strong in so many areas and this allows her to be dominant in many different sports,” explained Joel Coursey, who coached Harms on the field and on the court. “She has a natural ability to play a new sport and quickly become strong at it. A great example of this was her ability to pick up soccer this season and develop into one of the most dominant players on the field.”
Martens, too, excelled in soccer, and along with his Male Athlete of the Year award garnered men’s soccer MVP and Leadership honours.
Citing “quickness,” a “willingness to attack defenders,” and the “ability to score with either foot or his head,” men’s soccer coach Martin Ward labelled Martens an “outstanding player,” a “nightmare” for opponents.
“Every coach wants players who are skillful, who work hard to improve, and who are competitive and confident, but coachable,” remarked Ward. “You get all of that with Mitchell. What you also get is a godly man who respects and cares for others, who encourages those around him, and who makes the game fun. Mitchell embodies what makes Providence athletics special.”
The men’s soccer team also recognized Steve Ruchkall, who was named Most Improved Player, while the women’s squad presented Courtney Engel with the MVP award, Jess Caul with the Leadership accolade, and Lauren Wiebe with the Most Improved designation.
In men’s basketball, Romeo KC accepted the MVP trophy while Thomas Janzen and Cash Blanca won Leadership and Most Improved honours, respectively. Isabella Selk captured the Leadership award for the women’s team; Alison Zajack was named its Most Improved player.
Erik Wiebe rounded out a fine season with the MVP prize in men’s volleyball, and teammates Lucas Pappel and Greg Dueck collected Leadership and Most Improved distinctions. The women’s MVP award went to Sam Bridle while Emily Van Der Meer and Savannah Friesen claimed Leadership and Most Improved honours.
The Rookie of the Year awards went to Sam Toews (men’s volleyball) and Danella Alvaro (women’s volleyball). Renata Nyhof, finally, was named Scholar Athlete of the Year. She played both soccer and basketball in 2015-16.
“We had a great time celebrating the accomplishments of our teams and athletes from this past season,” said Providence Director of Athletics Scott Masterson following the banquet. “I am very proud of all our athletes and coaches, as well as our administrators, for making this such a great year.”
He added: “Overall it was a very special evening, and it bookended a great year of varsity athletics at Providence.”
(Top: Mitchell Martens and Amber Harms; Middle: Jason Peters; Bottom: Renata Nyhof.)
Steve Ruchkall.
Lauren Wiebe, Courtney Engel, Jess Caul.
Thomas Janzen, Cash Blanca, Romeo KC.
Amber Harms, Alison Zajack, Isabella Selk.
Lucas Pappel, Sam Toews, Erik Wiebe, Greg Dueck.
Sam Bridle, Savannah Friesen, Emily Van Der Meer, Danella Alvaro.
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Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
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