Guelph’s Murphy named player of the year
Photo credit Guelph athletics
PETERBOROUGH, Ont. (CIS) – Fourth-year University of Guelph eight man Jacey Murphy was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport player of the year in women's rugby, Wednesday night.
The native of Alliston, Ont., became the third Gryphon to earn the honour since the sport made its CIS debut in 1998, following Barbara Mervin in 2005 and Lauren Smithson in 2001.
Other CIS major award winners announced during the All-Canadian Banquet in Peterborough, Ont., were UBC's Megan Hamm of Aldergrove, B.C., who was named rookie of the year; St. Francis Xavier's Jamee George of Brandon, Man., who received the Student-Athlete Community Service Award; and Concordia's Graeme McGravie, who was chosen coach of the year, an award presented by Coaches of Canada.
The CIS women's rugby championship, hosted for the first time by Trent University, gets under way Thursday and culminates Sunday with the gold-medal final at 2 p.m. All nine games from the competition will be webcast by SSN Canada (available at www.cis-sic.ca or www.ssncanada.ca).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jacey Murphy, Guelph
Murphy was dominant this season for the OUA champion Gryphons as she tallied a league-best 17 tries in only five conference games - six more than any other player - while finishing second in scoring with 85 points, trailing only teammate Britt Benn (99) in that department. The 5-foot-9 science student (agriculture) kept her torrid pace in the playoffs with 11 tries in three contests, including a pair of scores in a 54-5 Ontario final win over Queen's, when she was chosen game MVP.
Named an OUA all-star and a CIS all-Canadian for the second straight year, Murphy was a major factor in the Gryphons outscoring their opponents by an astounding 551-12 in eight overall matches en route to a perfect OUA campaign and a third straight conference title. A three-time bronze medallist in three previous appearances at the CIS championship, Murphy now hopes to lead her team to a first national title since 1998, which marked the inaugural CIS tournament.
"Jacey is an excellent leader by example. Her work rate around the field is exceptional," said Guelph head coach Colette McCauley. "She is both effective in close contact as well as open field play, which makes it difficult for the opposition to stop her. As pack leader, she has control over the pace the forwards want to play and adapts well to the opposition."
StFX eight man Tyson Beukeboom of Uxbridge, Ont., Concordia centre Jackie Tittley of Kirkland, Que., and Lethbridge flanker Kelsey Willoughby of Lethbridge, Alta., were the other nominees for CIS MVP honours.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Megan Hamm, UBC
Hamm is the first UBC player to earn CIS rookie-of-the-year honours since the inception of the award in 1999.
The 5-foot-3 scrumhalf was so impressive in her university debut she was named a conference all-star and was one of only two freshmen – and the only one from Canada West - to earn a spot on the CIS all-Canadian team, along with St. Francis Xavier's Magali Harvey. The human kinetics student scored her first try of the season in the Canada West bronze medal game, a 26-10 win over Victoria.
Hamm came to the Thunderbirds from the Abbotsford Rugby Club, where she has been a standout, as well as the national champion BC Senior Women's provincial program. With trademark seamless delivery and tenacious defensive tackles, she is also highly ranked as a scrumhalf within the Canadian National system.
"I was thrilled to attract Megan to university rugby this year," said UBC head coach Lesley McKenzie. "Her leadership at the base of the breakdown has given us dynamic options to attack with, and the combination of Megan, Radha Jain at 10 and Darcy Patterson at fullback has given us a serious attacking threat on third and fourth phase ball."
Harvey, a native of Quebec City, McGill's Brianna Miller of Pointe-Claire, Que., and Guelph's Dominique Monaghan of Markham, Ont., were also in the running for the top freshman award.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Jamee George, StFX
George became the first AUS recipient of the Student-Athlete Community Service Award, which is presented since 2007.
On the pitch, the third-year lock tallied four tries and 20 points in six conference games for the Atlantic champion X-Women – good for ninth in league scoring - and was named an AUS all-star for the third straight season. In the classroom, the human kinetics student was on the Dean's List each of her first two years at StFX.
George has been the X-Women rugby representative on the StFX Varsity Council for the past two years and her volunteer work and community involvement has been extensive over the past year. Last summer she was involved with Sport Manitoba running a kayaking club in her hometown of Brandon. She was also the co-coach of the first ever dragon boat team from Brandon and competed in a Winnipeg Festival.
At StFX, she has volunteered at various events including the Tim Horton's Cupful a Cure fundraiser for the local hospital, the Halloween Safe Crossing Program and the Olympic torch relay celebration. She has been involved with the annual X Athletes for Charity, a multi-sport fundraising event ran by StFX athletes for the benefit of local charities. She has participated in door-to-door fundraising for the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) and is enrolled in the service learning program at StFX where she is working with Special Olympics.
"Jamee is a very well-rounded student-athlete," said StFX head coach Mike Cavanagh. "Between her academics and playing schedule she still manages to take part in a very worthwhile amount of volunteer work and community service both in the StFX community and back in her hometown of Brandon in the off-season."
Ottawa's Jackie Comeau of Toronto, Queen's Katie Pasic of Oakville, Ont., and Calgary's Kimberly Gould of Calgary were also nominated.
COACH OF THE YEAR (presented by Coaches of Canada): Graeme McGravie, Concordia
McGravie is honoured as CIS coach of the year for the second time since taking over as Concordia head coach in 2005. He previously received the distinction in his third campaign at the helm, in 2007.
The Stingers enjoyed yet another successful season in the Quebec conference in 2010, finishing first in the RSEQ standings with an unblemished 6-0 record and adding two wins in the playoffs, including a 13-8 victory over nationally sixth ranked Laval in the gold-medal final for their second straight RSEQ title, and their third in four years. Concordia was 3-0 overall over archrival Laval this fall and recorded a fourth Top-10 win in the pre-season against (then) No. 7 Western of the OUA.
McGravie, who previously coached the school's men's squad for three seasons from 2002 to 2004, has enjoyed tremendous success with the Concordia women guiding his troops to six consecutive playoff appearances, three CIS championship berths and an overall mark of 46-21-1. His Stingers, who were ranked No. 4 in all eight national coaches' polls this fall, hope to become the first team from Quebec to capture the Monilex trophy as CIS champions this week.
A fully-certified Level 3 coach, McGravie was head coach of the Quebec men's entry at the Canada Summer Games in 1997 and as an assistant coach with the 2001 team. He was at the helm of the Montreal Menace, which represented Quebec in the Canadian Rugby Super League from 2000 to 2002. He served as head coach of the Dawson College men's team from 1997 to 2001.
"I know the game of rugby well and I'm prepared for whatever the game has to offer," McGravie said. "My biggest job is to get the team physically and mentally prepared. There are a lot of young athletes making the jump to university rugby, and it's a big jump. But the 18 to 23-year-old athletes are the ones you can have the most fun with. They are very focused."
Matt Durant of Acadia, Jay and Leslie Shaw of Waterloo and Brad Skene of Victoria were named coach of the year in the AUS, OUA and Canada West, respectively, in 2010.
The all-Canadian team was also announced on Wednesday.
Joining Murphy and Hamm on the all-CIS squad were conference most valuable players Beukeboom, Tittley and Willoughby, AUS rookie of the year Magali Harvey, as well as StFX prop Asya Bartley of Ottawa, Guelph centre Britt Benn of Napanee, Ont., Alberta fullback Karlee Carbert of Edmonton, McGill eight man Amandra Mongeon of Ile Bizard, Que., Victoria eight man Jesse Olynyk of Kamloops, B.C., Laval centre Élie Papineau of Sainte-Croix, Que., McMaster centre Natasha Turner of Rockcliffe, Ont., Lethbridge prop Brandi Van Eeuwen of Duncan, B.C., and Queen's eight man Ashley Ward of Barrie, Ont.
Tittley and Benn were both selected for the third straight year.
2010 CIS WOMEN'S RUGBY AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS
Player of the year:
Jacey Murphy, Guelph
Rookie of the year:
Megan Hamm, UBC
Student-Athlete Community Service Award:
Jamee George, StFX
Coach of the year, presented by Coaches of
Graeme McGravie, Concordia
Position - Athlete - University - Year - Hometown - Faculty
Prop Asya Bartley StFX 3 Ottawa, Ont. Human Kinetics
Centre Britt Benn Guelph 3 Napanee, Ont. Arts
8 Tyson Beukeboom StFX 2 Uxbridge, Ont. Human Kinetics
Fullback Karlee Carbert Alberta 4 Edmonton, Alta. PE Recreation
Scrumhalf Megan Hamm UBC 1 Aldergrove, B.C. Human Kinetics
Fullback Magali Harvey StFX 1 Quebec City, Que. BBA
8 Amandra Mongeon McGill 4 Ile Bizard, Que. Physiology
8 Jacey Murphy Guelph 4 Alliston, Ont. Agriculture
8 Jesse Olynyk Victoria 3 Kamloops, B.C. Social Sciences
Centre Élie Papineau Laval 4 Sainte-Croix, Que. Business Administration
Centre Jackie Tittley Concordia 3 Kirkland, Que. Leisure Studies
Centre Natasha Turner McMaster 4 Rockcliffe, Ont. Arts & Science
Prop Brandi Van Eeuwen Lethbridge 3 Duncan, B.C. Nursing
8 Ashley Ward Queen's 5 Barrie, Ont. Conservative Education
Flanker Kelsey Willoughby Lethbridge 2 Lethbridge, Alta. Education