BLG AWARDS: Bettez and Dorion named CIS athletes of the year
(LEFT TO RIGHT: Ann-Sophie Bettez, Doug Mitchell, national co-chair of BLG, and Marc-André Dorion)
CALGARY - Ann-Sophie Bettez and Marc-André Dorion, both hockey players from McGill University, are the 2012 BLG Award winners as Canadian Interuniversity Sport female and male athletes of the year.
The recipients of the 20th annual BLG Awards were announced Monday night at the EPCOR Centre's Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary. The awards show will premiere on TSN on Saturday, May 26, at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
It marks the first time in history that the BLG Awards go to athletes from the same university, and the first time that two hockey players are honoured in the same year. The RSEQ regional association had swept the awards only once in the past, in 1999, when Concordia hockey player Corinne Swirsky and Sherbrooke track athlete Alexandre Marchand took home the trophies.
All eight nominees - one female and one male from each of CIS' four regional associations - received a commemorative gold ring, while Bettez and Dorion were also presented with a trophy and a $10,000 scholarship to attend a Canadian University graduate school.
The winners were selected by the Canadian Athletic Foundation, a not-for-profit Board established for the purpose of administering the BLG Awards and protecting the integrity of the selection process.
"On behalf of BLG and the Canadian Athletic Foundation trustees, I would like to congratulate Ann-Sophie Bettez and Marc-André Dorion, the winners of the 20th annual BLG Awards," said Doug Mitchell, national co-chair of BLG. "The eight student-athletes who were nominated are all outstanding in their sport. I congratulate all the nominees for their great accomplishments."
"Every year, all the nominees are so impressive and this year was no exception," said Marg McGregor, chief executive officer of CIS. "CIS is very proud of all the finalists and we congratulate Ann-Sophie and Marc-André on winning these awards. I look forward to hearing great things about them in the years to come."
A native of Sept-Iles, Que., Bettez took home the Jim Thompson Trophy, named after the late president of TSN and presented annually to the female BLG Award winner.
The other nominees were Tyson Beukeboom of Uxbridge, Ont., a rugby player from St. Francis Xavier University; Jacey Murphy of Alliston, Ont., a rugby player from the University of Guelph; and Robyn Pendleton of Victoria, a field hockey player from the University of British Columbia.
Dorion, who hails from St. Hubert, Que., received the Doug Mitchell Trophy, named in honour of the BLG Awards founder and Chair of the Canadian Athletic Foundation.
The other finalists were Andrew Clark of Brandon, Man., a hockey player from Acadia University; Kyle Quinlan of South Woodslee, Ont., a football player from McMaster University; and Ben Ball of Abbottsford, B.C., a volleyball player from Trinity Western University.
Dorion became the first-ever male winner from McGill, while two former Martlets, hockey player Kim St-Pierre (2003) and track and field star Linda Thyer (1995), had merited the Jim Thompson Trophy before Bettez.
Bettez was named CIS player of the year in women's hockey this season after she finished second in RSEQ scoring with a 13-24-37 mark in 20 league games, before leading the Martlets to the Quebec conference title and a bronze medal at the CIS championship. The 5-foot-4 forward tallied 13 points, including six goals, in eight post-season contests.
A product of Dawson College, Bettez, who graduated last year with a bachelor of commerce degree and recently completed a public relations diploma, wrapped up one of the greatest careers in the history of CIS women's hockey in 2011-12. A former CIS rookie of the year and a two-time conference scoring champion, she was selected an all-Canadian and a first-team RSEQ all-star each of her five campaigns, while helping McGill to five Quebec championships and as many CIS medals, including three national titles, one silver and one bronze.
The 24-year-old is McGill's all-time leader in goals (85), assists (87) and points (172) in 91 regular season matches and also owns the team's overall records in all three categories with 148-175-323 in 196 career games. She has also enjoyed success on the international stage over the years. Back in 2010, she helped the Canadian under-22 squad capture gold at the MLP Nations Cup in Germany after winning silver at the same event in 2009. In 2011, she once again triumphed with the Maple Leaf jersey on her back, this time claiming gold with a group of CIS all-stars at the Winter Universiade in Turkey.
Dorion was named the top defenceman in CIS men's hockey for the second time in three years and MVP of the OUA East Division after he led all CIS rearguards in scoring with a 7-32-39 mark in 28 league contests. The first blueliner in history to lead the Redmen in points, he then guided McGill to a third OUA banner in four seasons and its first-ever University Cup national title, earning all-tournament status at the CIS championship.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior, who added 10 points in 10 playoff contests, excelled at both ends of the ice and was the cornerstone of a defensive unit that tied for first in the country during the regular schedule with only 62 goals allowed. Perhaps his most impressive statistic however was that he was assessed only four penalty minutes in 38 regular and post-season matches, a remarkable accomplishment for a defenceman.
Dorion, who graduated as the highest-scoring rearguard in school history with a 38-154-192 record in 174 games overall, ended his university career with three selections as a first-team all-Canadian. A veteran of five QMJHL seasons who received NHL tryouts with Dallas, Phoenix and Toronto over the years, he recently signed a two-year contract to play for EHC Linz, the reigning champions of the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, the top league in Austria.
The physical and health education student also excelled in the classroom at McGill. Last fall, he was honoured as a Top 8 Academic All-Canadian, out of over 10,000 CIS student-athletes.
Official website: www.blg.com/blgawards
BLG AWARD WINNERS:
2011-12: Ann-Sophie Bettez (McGill - hockey) / Marc-André Dorion (McGill - hockey)
2010-11: Jessica Clemençon (Windsor - basketball) / Tyson Hinz (Carleton - basketball)
2009-10: Liz Cordonier (UBC - volleyball) / Erik Glavic (Calgary - football)
2008-09: Annamay Pierse (UBC - swimming) / Joel Schmuland (Alberta - volleyball)
2007-08: Laetitia Tchoualack (Montreal - volleyball) / Rob
Hennigar (UNB - hockey)
2006-07: Jessica Zelinka (Calgary - track & field) / Josh Howatson (Trinity Western - volleyball)
2005-06: Marylène Laplante (Laval - volleyball) / Osvaldo Jeanty (Carleton - basketball)
2004-05: Adrienne Power (Dalhousie - track & field) / Jesse Lumsden (McMaster - football)
2003-04: Joanna Niemczewska (Calgary - volleyball) / Adam Ens (Saskatchewan - volleyball)
2002-03: Kim St-Pierre (McGill - hockey) / Ryan McKenzie (Windsor - cross country & track)
2001-02: Elizabeth Warden (Toronto - swimming) / Brian Johns (UBC - swimming)
2000-01: Leighann Doan (Calgary - basketball) / Kojo Aidoo (McMaster - football)
1999-00: Jenny Cartmell (Alberta - volleyball) / Michael Potts (Western - soccer)
1998-99: Corinne Swirsky (Concordia - hockey) / Alexandre Marchand (Sherbrooke - track)
1997-98: Foy Williams (Toronto - track & field) / Titus Channer (McMaster - basketball)
1996-97: Terri-Lee Johannesson (Manitoba - basketball) / Curtis Myden (Calgary - swimming)
1995-96: Justine Ellison (Toronto - basketball) / Don Blair (Calgary - football)
1994-95: Linda Thyer (McGill - track & field) / Bill Kubas (Wilfrid Laurier - football)
1993-94: Sandra Carroll (Winnipeg - basketball) / Tim Tindale (Western - football)
1992-93: Diane Scott (Winnipeg - volleyball) / Andy Cameron (Calgary - volleyball)
About the BLG Awards
The BLG Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the top female and male athletes from universities affiliated with CIS. The Awards are based on athletic accomplishments, outstanding sportsmanship and leadership. Each of the 52 CIS schools selects one female and one male athlete of the year. From these nominees, one female and one male athlete are chosen within each of the four regional associations: Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA). To be eligible, a student-athlete must have competed in a CIS sport for a minimum of two years and cannot be a previous recipient of a BLG Award.
All nominees receive a commemorative gold ring and winners are presented with a trophy and a $10,000 scholarship to attend a Canadian university graduate school. Winners are selected by the Canadian Athletic Foundation, a not-for-profit board established for the purpose of administering the BLG Awards and protecting the integrity of the selection process. The CAF Board of Trustees consists of 21 members from five Canadian cities representing major corporations from across the country who are committed to ensuring that Canadian university athletes receive the recognition they deserve.
For further information, please contact:
McGill Athletics & Recreation
Manager, Communications & Media Relations
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Off: (613) 562-5670 ext. 25
Cell: (613) 447-6334
belanger [at] universitysport [dot] ca