The Aquinian

Jason Cannon wins back-to-back male athlete of the year awards

When Jason Cannon was in the seventh grade, he started playing volleyball. He didn’t do it because he had a passion for it at the time or because all his friends were playing. There was a cute girl he had to impress, except it didn’t work out like he wanted.

(Andrea Bárcenas/AQ)

“I had a crush on a girl that played, so that’s why I started playing,” said Cannon.

At that point he wasn’t the star he is today, so if she noticed him it wasn’t because he was killing it on the volleyball court.

But people are noticing him now. Last Tuesday, Cannon received his second St. Thomas University male athlete of the year award. When he got the award last year, he was surprised. This year, he said it was humbling.

“It felt really good, even more so than last year,” said Cannon.

Cannon started out his university volleyball career playing for the UNB Saint John Seawolves. After a year there he came to St. Thomas University. The team was in a rebuilding stage. A couple years before Cannon joined the team had been suspended.

“I feel like everyone has improved a lot more since then,” said Cannon. “First year was slow a little bit.”

Cannon was one of the top hitters for the men’s volleyball team, who went undefeated throughout the regular season. The Tommies kept that dominance up for the ACAA conference playoffs. There they took home their second ACAA conference championship in a row, really having no problems with the other teams in the ACAA.

“It felt good to finally win,” said Cannon, about that first ACAA championship. Cannon has been in the finals all four of his seasons in the ACAA, and said winning that first championship was one of his favorite moments as a Tommie.

Along with being the ACAA most valuable player this season, Cannon was named a CCAA All-Canadian. Cannon averaged 3.7 kills a set, which was sixth most in the league. He was also the best it the league at the service line, averaging the most service aces per set.

Cannon helped the volleyball team not only make St. Thomas history, but also ACAA history. For the first time in conference history, a team from the ACAA won their first game at CCAA men’s volleyball nationals. The Tommies pulled of the upset as the sixth seed, beating the third seeded Niagara Knights.

That was the second win at nationals in many years, but they weren’t able to get further than that. The Tommies struggled in the next two games, due in part to Nick Levesque getting injured in the team’s second game.

Cannon doesn’t feel his volleyball story is done just yet. He plans on heading out West to play for a team in the CIS.

“I haven’t committed officially anywhere, but I’m going to go on to the CIS for sure,” said Cannon.

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