Conestoga news

April 10, 2024 3:20 PM

Varsity awards honour Conestoga's best student-athletes

Athletics and Recreation honoured Conestoga’s top student-athletes at the 56th Annual Varsity Awards Banquet on April 3.

Rachael O'Dell and Malachi Ramsay with their Athlete of the Year awards.

The banquet, held at the Student Recreation Centre at the college’s Kitchener - Doon Campus, celebrated excellence in Condor athletics by naming athletes of the year, and recognizing the accomplishments of rookies, coaches and athletes of distinction as well as academic achievement.

“It’s incredible to see all the athletic talent that Conestoga has to offer come together to celebrate not only the notable achievements, but also the camaraderie and belonging that come with being a student-athlete at Conestoga,” said Andrew Bates, associate director, Sport & Recreation.

Malachi Ramsay, Rachael O’Dell and Ekam Lally were honoured as Athletes of the Year, which recognizes outstanding performance on the field or in the game, as well as a commitment to the highest standards for representing Conestoga.

For Ramsay, the Athlete of the Year honour is his second in a row and completes a decorated career as a Condor, which he began as a non-recruited “walk-on” to the men’s soccer program in 2018. Throughout his indoor and outdoor soccer career, the Business Fundamentals student amassed several Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) all-star selections, and won four team Most Valuable Player (MVP) and two Coaches Awards.

Under his captaincy, the men’s outdoor soccer team completed a historic 2023-2024 by capturing its first OCAA championship since 1979 and taking the silver medal at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) nationals. Ramsay earned OCAA West Division First Team All-Star and OCAA Championship MVP honours, and was named to the CCAA Championship All-Star team, as well as earning OCAA and CCAA all-academic honours. Ramsay also won team MVP for men’s indoor and outdoor soccer, as well as an Athlete of Distinction award.

“I am super grateful for all the awards I’ve won in my time here,” said Ramsay. “Thanks to everybody involved, and thanks to my teammates for being able to elevate me to this.”

While one career completion was being honoured, the beginning of another promising Condor career was celebrated with O’Dell’s win.

As a rookie on the women’s volleyball team, O’Dell was named OCAA Rookie of the Year and within the OCAA West Division, she earned the scoring championship and was named to the All-Rookie Team as well as First Team All-Star. The first-year General Arts and Science - Diploma student set four new Condor single-season records and also excelled in the classroom by earning all-academic status at the OCAA and CCAA levels. O’Dell was also honoured at the banquet as women’s volleyball team MVP, and Varsity Rookie of the Year.

“I’ve been surrounded with wonderful teammates, a supportive coaching staff, a wonderful athletic director, our athletic trainers, and everyone at Conestoga behind me. I could never have done what I did at the OCAA and tonight as well without them,” said O’Dell.

Ekam Lally, a second-year Bachelor of Computer Science student, won the esports Athlete of the Year for his contributions to the Valorant Gold squad. Lally’s accomplishments for the 2023-2024 season include a second-place finish at the National Esports Collegiate Conference Champions Division, and reaching the semifinals at Canadian Esports Nationals, the inaugural WaterLAN tournament and the Red Bull Campus Clutch tournament. Lally was also named as the Valorant Gold team MVP at the banquet.

Congratulations to all the 2023-2024 varsity season winners:

Athletes of the Year

  • Ekam Lally - Valorant Gold (esport)
  • Malachi Ramsay - men’s soccer
  • Rachael O’Dell - women’s volleyball

Athletes of Distinction

  • Josip Stojanovic - men’s soccer
  • Devika Santhosh Kumar - women’s badminton
  • Malachi Ramsay - men’s soccer
  • Justin Langevin - Valorant Gold (esports)

Rookies of the Year

  • Aiden Wilson - Rocket League (esports)
  • Rachael O’Dell - women’s volleyball
  • Ricardo Alvarado - men’s soccer

Athlete Scholar of the Year

  • Ryan McLaughlin - men’s rugby
  • Erika Phillips - women’s soccer
  • Kin Furigay - Valorant Gold (esports)

Scholastic Teams of the Year

  • Cross Country
  • Women’s Volleyball
  • Rocket League (esports)

Most Valuable Players

  • Matthew Lopacinski - League of Legends (esports)
  • Jhamar O’Brian - Call of Duty (esports)
  • Courtney Gowland - women’s rugby
  • Hadi El-Miari - men’s basketball
  • Kennedy Schnarr - women’s softball
  • Melodi Guler Demir - Valorant White (esports)
  • Milan Ziroje - Counter Strike 2 (esports)
  • Hudson Young - men’s rugby
  • Tanja Damjanovic - women’s basketball
  • Rachael O’Dell - women’s volleyball
  • Owen Covach - Rocket League (esports)
  • Ella Chase - women’s soccer (outdoor)
  • Megan Voutour - women’s soccer (indoor)
  • Dianne Deboer - cross country
  • Sadik Ali - men’s badminton
  • Ekam Lally - Valorant Gold (esports)
  • Walker Kalin - men’s volleyball
  • Malachi Ramsay - men’s soccer (outdoor)
  • Malachi Ramsay - men’s soccer (indoor)

Coaches Award

  • Josip Stojanovic - men's soccer (outdoor)
  • Justin Langevin - Valorant Gold (esports)
  • Marko Lesic - men's soccer (indoor)
  • Holly Phipps - women's volleyball
  • Rushil Yarram - Rocket League (esports)
  • Madeleine Sloan - women's soccer (indoor)
  • Ella Jones-Clubb - women's softball
  • Devin Horvath - League of Legends (esports)
  • Bailey Mason - men's rugby
  • Ozay Davis - men's basketball
  • Justin Mortimer - Counter Strike 2 (esports)
  • Josh Barber - cross country
  • Erika Phillips - women's soccer (outdoor)
  • Michael Dremo - Call of Duty (esports)
  • Aaron Morrison - men's volleyball
  • Maria Sanchez Ruiz - women's rugby
  • Kristin Theoret - Valorant White (esports)
  • Devika Santhosh Kumar - women’s badminton
  • Andie Maylen - women's basketball

Coaches of the Year

  • Head coach: Stuart Mackie - men’s soccer
  • Assistant coach: Mike Waechter - women’s softball
  • Esports coach: Jake Reay - Rocket League (esports) 

Conestoga's Athletics & Recreation department offers programming and facilities designed to engage students and enhance their health and wellness through varsity and extramural athletics, intramural sports and fitness classes. The Student Recreation Centre at the Kitchener - Doon campus provides a full range of recreation and athletic services.