Dalhousie's Jonathan Doucett earns national student-athlete community service award
GUELPH, Ont. (U Sports) –Jonathan Lao, a fourth-year midfielder from York University, was named the U Sports player of the year in men's soccer, Wednesday evening.
The native of Unionville, Ont., became the second Lions standout to merit the Joe Johnson Memorial Trophy.
Other national award winners announced during the All-Canadian Gala at the Delta Hotel & Conference Centre were Ryerson defender Robert Boskovic, who received the Lou Bilek Award as rookie of the year; defenders Jonathan Doucett of Dalhousie and Sanchit Gupta of McGill, co-winners of the Student-Athlete Community Service Award; and Acadia's Findlay MacRae, who was voted coach of the year.
The 2016 CIS championship kicks off Thursday at the University of Guelph and concludes Sunday with the gold-medal final at 2 p.m. All 11 matches from the eight-team tournament will be webcast live on SportsCanada.tv.
Official championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/msoc/index
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Jonathan Doucett, Dalhousie & Sanchit Gupta, McGill
Jonathan Doucett is the second Dalhousie winner of the men's soccer community service award in as many years, and fourth overall, after Sangmuk Choi took home the honour last season.
A fourth-year defender, Doucett has proven himself to be a dedicated U Sports student-athlete achieving academic all-Canadian and Dean's List status every season he has competed. His ability to manage time and stay focused on his goals has been a key to his success. A nuclear medicine student, he hopes to attend medical school after graduation.
In addition to excelling in the classroom and on the field Doucett is also dedicating a tremendous amount of time to community work.
A member of the Varsity Council at Dalhousie, Doucett has spent over 1,600 hours volunteering at hospitals in Nova Scotia, working with patients with everything from stress fractures to cancer. He is also involved with the Time Lasts Forever project that studies previously incarcerated male inmates with mental health issues, to develop methods of how to successfully reintegrate them back into their communities.
Doucett also spends time organizing Free the Children campaigns to raise funds for under privileged children in third world countries and to educate others on the program and the impact these funds can have.
A native of Dartmouth, N.S., Doucett is also very active with the Special Tigers Day program at Dalhousie, providing sporting activities for youth with cognitive disabilities and is a regular fixture at a booth during Dalhousie's annual White Ribbon campaign, working to end violence against women.
"Jonny Doucett is a great example of what a U Sport student-athlete is all about," said Dalhousie head coach Pat Nearing. "He is excelling in the classroom and on the field, and he is also making a difference in the community. He not only dedicates hours to his studies and to soccer, but puts his community high on his priority list with his volunteerism. He is a shining example to his teammates and classmates."
Gupta, a 19-year-old science sophomore majoring in biochemistry with a minor in management achieved a perfect grade-point average of 4.0 in his freshman year. He earned a Faculty of Science Scholarship, merited Academic All-Canadian status and made both, the Dean's List and the Principal's Student-athlete Honour Roll. On the field, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound defender has had a tough start to his collegiate career, with concussion and ankle injuries that have limited his play to nine games this season.
Off the field, Gupta has taken a leadership role in his team's annual indoor soccer tournament fundraiser and has volunteered as a tutor. He also serves as a volunteer with the Montreal chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and is a member of the organizing committee of Relay for Life, which has partnered with the Canadian Cancer Society. Last February, he joined Enactus, a worldwide organization that encourages businesses to act as an agent of positive change. As part of that group, he helped co-found Meal-care, a student-run initiative that offers meals to the homeless and low-income families in Montreal.
"Sanchit epitomizes what a student-athlete should be," said Marc Mounicot, head coach at McGill. "Aside from his academic success and ability as a varsity athlete, he has taken a leadership role in team functions. He tutors fellow students and volunteers his time for numerous worthy causes, including feeding the homeless."
The other nominees were Lethbridge defender Cormac Southam and McMaster striker Kristian-Anson Ferreira.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Findlay MacRae, Acadia
Earning the award in his eleventh season at the helm of the Axemen program, MacRae led his squad to a 9-1-2 regular season record, a first-place finish in the AUS standings.
MacRae's Acadia squad allowed just four goals against all season for a goals against average of 0.33 per game. The team tied for first in shutouts with nine in 12 games.
This is the fourth consecutive year MacRae has led the Axemen squad to the postseason.
Over the last eleven years, MacRae has been involved in the local soccer community serving most recently as the head coach of the Valley United Premiere Men's team.
His Canadian soccer roots began in Truro as a player with the Nova Scotia Agriculture College soccer club. He then moved his soccer interests towards coaching, acting as a co-coach with the NSAC squad in 1985-86 following his four years as player.
Findlay has completed the Canadian Soccer Association's 'B' Licence Program's provincial course. He currently works on the Acadia campus as the director of the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship.
"For a couple of reasons, I couldn't be more pleased this is being awarded to Findlay," said Acadia director of athletics Kevin Dickie. "I can't say enough about him as an asset to our campus, a mentor to young men, a tremendous family person, and as a friend. He's been the foundation of our men's soccer program since its re-inception a few years ago, and the players have taken on his personality of class and professionalism. As an athletic director, I really appreciate Findlay MacRae's extra effort and all he's done for Acadia, on and off the pitch."
Alberta's Len Vickery, Ryerson's Filip Prostran and Laval's Samir Ghirb were the other finalists.
The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.
Joining U sports player of the year Jonathan Lao, conference MVPs Ajeej Sakaria, Louis-Thomas Fortier and Andrew Snyder, and U Sports rookie of the year Robert Boskovic on the first team were UQAM goalkeeper Valentin Lamoulie, defenders Bryan Fong of UBC and Kevin Jean-Michel Le Nours of UQAM, midfielders Raheem Rose of Ryerson and Joel Eckert-Ayensa of Cape Breton and Calgary striker Dominic Russo.
In addition to conference rookies of the year Yanis Zoraï and Evan Barker, the second unit for 2016 is comprised of defenders Daniel Pritchard of Cape Breton, Justin Springer of Guelph, Niko Saler of Alberta, Dominick Zator of Calgary, Daniel Gogarty of York and Billal Qsiyeof UQTR, midfielders Freddy Bekkers of Dalhousie and Ryan Paris of Acadia, and Laurier Striker Niklas Bauer.
U SPORTS MEN'S SOCCER: 2016 AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS
*Atlantic conference winners in bold
Joe Johnson Memorial Trophy (player of the year): Jonathan Lao, York
Lou Bilek Award (rookie of the year): Robert Boskovic, Ryerson
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Jonathan Doucett, Dalhousie & Sanchit Gupta, McGill
Coach of the year: Findlay MacRae, Acadia
Pos. Athlete University Year Hometown Program
G Valentin Lamoulie UQAM 2 Aix-en-Provence, Fra. English (certificate)
D Louis-Thomas Fortier UQTR 5 Trois-Rivères, Que. Physical & Health Education
D Andrew Snyder Acadia 5 Bridgewater, N.S. Business
D Bryan Fong UBC 5 Vancouver, B.C. Kinesiology
D Robert Boskovic Ryerson 1 Mississauga, Ont. Geographic Analysis
D Kevin Jean-Michel Le Nours UQAM 5 Isres, France English
M Jonathan Lao York 4 Unionville, Ont. Economics
M Raheem Rose Ryerson 3 Toronto, Ont. Arts & Contemporary Studies
M Joel Eckert-Ayensa Cape Breton 2 Pulhiam, Germany Business
S Ajeej Sarkaria Alberta 1 Edmonton, Alta Arts
S Dominic Russo Calgary 5 Calgary, Alta Arts/Business
G Evan Barker UNB 1 Winnipeg, Man. N/A
D Daniel Pritchard Cape Breton 2 Nuneaton, England Business
D Justin Springer Guelph 5 Burlington, Ont. History
D Niko Saler Alberta 5 Lethbridge, Alta. Graduate Studies & Research
D Dominick Zator Calgary 5 Calgary, Alta Business
D Daniel Gogarty York 3 Scarborough, Ont. Busniess/Economics
D Yanis Zoraï UQTR 1 Marseille, France English
M Freddy Bekkers Dalhousie 2 Halifax, N.S. Engineering
D Billal Qsiyer UQTR 5 Mulhouse, France MBA
M Ryan Parris Acadia 3 Pembrooke, Bermuda Business
S Niklas Bauer Laurier 4 Newmarket, Ont. Business