St. Thomas’ annual athletic banquet

Tara Thibault won the Outstanding Female Athlete Award. (Alex Solak/AQ)
Tara Thibault won the Outstanding Female Athlete Award. (Alex Solak/AQ)
Ryan MacPherson won the Outstanding Male Athlete Award (Alex Solak/AQ)
Ryan MacPherson won the Outstanding Male Athlete Award (Alex Solak/AQ)

Stephanie Fauquier – The Aquinian –

Last Monday night marked St. Thomas’ annual athletic banquet at the Forest Hill conference center. Mike Eagles, athletic director and men’s hockey coach was the master of ceremonies for the event that not only honoured current STU athletes and their achievements, but also recognized those soon to be inducted into the STU Tommies Sports Wall of Fame.

Eagles says he feels the athletic banquet is not only about recognizing athletic achievements, but about recognizing the quality of St. Thomas’ athletes.

“The big thing you see tonight is that our athletes are good people and that is very important for our athletic program,” Eagles said.

Fredericton native Jenna Cross was honoured with the Cathy Wadden Commitment Award for her outstanding support and dedication to her community.

“It means a lot to me,” she said. “I’m from Fredericton, so it’s important that I give back to the community as much as I can. After five years of a lot of hard work and volunteering it’s nice to be actually recognized for something like that.”

Cross said all her hard work has paid off, because she was recently accepted into the education program at St. Thomas.

For the second year in a row, Matt Robertson received the John Frederick Walls award, which recognizes his dedication to community service and leadership.

“Well, you know its something that I love to do and I get kind of embarrassed when he reads out the list of things,” Robertson said. “It’s just an amazing feeling. I have put a lot into the program, but what I’ve gotten from the institution – it’s the least I can do to give back.”

Robertson and his high school friends started the Moncton Teenagers Charitable Society. Robertson says that if he didn’t love giving back he wouldn’t have done it.

Along with Cross and Robertson’s community service awards, Tara Thibault and Ryan MacPherson were both awarded the title of outstanding athlete of the year. Thibault – a fifth year women’s volleyball player – was also recognized as her team’s most valuable player.

Thibault said it was a complete shock to be awarded outstanding female athlete.

“You come back at Christmas and don’t expect any of this,” she said. “It kinda means a lot. I played five years under the program. I’m just really excited and happy.”

Thibault said she will always remember her time with the Tommies.

“There is so much – going to nationals twice was unforgettable and all the team bonding stuff that Ed and the rest of the team put together. It’s just unforgettable.”

Ryan MacPherson has been a rock for the men’s basketball team this year, so it’s no wonder he was awarded outstanding male athlete of the year.

“It’s pretty good, it’s pretty unexpected, but I couldn’t have done it without my team, teammates and coaches,” MacPherson said. “It feels really good though.”

He said that personally, his season was not what he expected, but was pretty good.

“I had a pretty good season, it wasn’t what I expected of myself at the beginning, but I think I came through at the end.”

MacPherson said his success should be credited to his team, teammates and coaches.

Eagles said that he thinks overall the Tommies had a strong athletic season.

“I think we had some strong performances and we had a lot of teams make it into the semi-finals and we obviously had the win by the golf team,” he said. “So I think overall we had a strong year.”

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