2009 Canada West rugby awards and all-stars
by the Canada West Communications Office
Photo courtesy U of Lethbridge Athletics: Lethbridge star Ashley Patzer is 2009 Canada West rugby Player of the Year
EDMONTON - As 2009 Canada West rugby Player of the Year, Lethbridge fly half Ashley Patzer's resume is getting longer and more impressive with each passing day.
The fifth-year Pronghorns team captain and is in the final weeks of a CIS career that includes two CIS championships, the 2008 CIS national tournament MVP award, CIS Player of the Year in 2006, CIS Rookie of the Year in 2005, three previous selections as a CWUAA All-Star (now four) and two as a CIS All-Canadian.
The third-year Kinesiology student and Lethbridge, AB native is also a member of the Canadian Senior and Sevens rosters after playing on the U-19 team in 2006.
"Ashley Patzer has reinforced her reputation as an all-round phenom," said Lethbridge head coach Neil Langevin. "To call her dynamic would be an understatement. She has continued to be an inspirational leader for her teammates and has developed to be one of the top players in the world."
Patzer had 40 points during the conference season, best in the conference, including four tries, seven converts and two penalty goals. The Pronghorns went 4-0-0, earning the No. 1 seed for this weekend's conference final tournament, where they defeated host Alberta in the final to qualify for this year's CIS tournament. In the final Patzer scored one try, two penalty goals and two converts.
Kelsey Willoughby, also of Lethbridge, has been voted Rookie of the Year by coaches across the conference.
The first-year flanker and Kinesiology student scored two tries and played a key role in the Pronghorns' perfect conference season. She also scored a try during Friday's win over Victoria, helping her side earn a berth in the league final, where they won 30-0.
Coach Langevin said of his talented young star, "Kelsey Willoughby had a spectacular rookie season. Her power, speed and crafty running ability enabled her to be the top scoring forward in the conference. Her work rate is phenomenal and she has continued to improve all year. She will have a very bright future in Canadian rugby."
This year's CWUAA Coach of the Year is Neil Langevin, who guided the Lethbridge Pronghorns to a 4-0-0 mark and first place during the conference season. The Horns won two matches at the conference championship in Edmonton and have outscored opponents 336-7 overall so far this year as they head to the CIS championship in two weeks.
In 10 seasons on the sideline, Langevin has helped Lethbridge to three Canada West titles and the last two CIS championships. In 2006 they defeated perennial rugby powerhouse Western Ontario to claim bronze and in 2003 the franchise made its first podium appearance Nationals, taking home a silver medal.
Following is a list of awards and all-star selections and their respective schools:
Most Valuable Player Award - Ashley Patzer (Lethbridge)
Rookie of the Year - Kelsey Willoughby (Lethbridge)
Student Athlete/Community Service - TBA later this week
Coach of the Year - Neil Langevin (Lethbridge)
Prop: Allison Lamoureux, Alberta
Prop: Brandi Van Eeuwen, Lethbridge
Hooker: Ashley MacDonald, Lethbridge
Centre: Shannon Court, Lethbridge
Centre: Kendra Reeves, Lethbridge
Scrum Half: Annika Eriksson, Alberta
Fly Half: Ashley Patzer, Lethbridge
Back Row: Ellen McGregor, Calgary
Back Row: Sarah Logan, Victoria
Back Row: Kelsey Willoughby, Lethbridge
Wing: Radha Jain, UBC
Wing: Kenzie Ralph, Lethbridge
Fullback: Karlee Carbert, Alberta
Lock: Danielle Willhoeft, UBC
Lock: Amanda Richardson, Lethbridge
UBC and Canada West champion Lethbridge will now take part in the 2009 CIS rugby championship, November 5-8 at UBC in Vancouver, where Patzer, Willoughby and Langevin will also represent the conference as finalists for national awards to be handed out by Canadian Interuniversity Sport.