Source: The Telegram

The votes are in: Molson-Coors St. John’s Athlete of the Year Awards banquet this evening at City Hall

Last year’s winners are among the finalists for the 2015 Molson-Coors St. John’s Athlete of the Years Awards which will be handed out tonight at St. John’s City Hall.

Soccer player Malorie Harris is actually up for her third straight annual city female athlete of the year honours, having won in 2013 and 2014. The other female finalists for 2015 are target shooter Samantha Marsh and ball hockey player April Drake.

Marsh is nominated for two awards this year, as she and Canada Winter Games teammate Hayley Barrett comprise the gold medal-winning duo that is up for 2015 team of the year honours, which also will be revealed today. Other team of the year finalists are Brad Gushue’s curling rink and the Galway Hitmen, national senior men’s softball champions.

The inclusion of the Hitmen among the team of the year finalists means Sean Cleary also has a chance for double honours. Cleary, who was the 2014 capital city male athlete of the year, was a member of the Hitmen. Other finalists for the 2015 male award are powerlifter Josh Hancott and wheelchair basketball and sledge hockey player Liam Hickey.

The awards banquet starts 7:30 tonight in the E.B. Foran Room at City Hall.


Malorie Harris (Soccer)

• Led the provincial Jubilee Trophy senior women’s soccer league with 31 goals for C.B.S. Kirby United SC. She was named regular-season MVP and all-star striker.

• At the 2015 national championships, led Kirby United with three goals in four games.

• Named Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association’s senior female player of the year for a sixth straight year.

• Scored 16 goals in five games to help Reign FC, an Alberta-based team, to a bronze medal in women’s soccer at the World Police and Fire Games.

Samantha Marsh (Air Rifle)

• At the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C., won gold in women’s individual air rifle and teamed with Barrett to win gold in women’s team air rifle.

• Finished third at the North Atlantic air gun championships.

• Finished fourth in the women’s 10-metre event at the Canadian national rifle championships, and also competed at the ISSF World Cup and Junior Cup rifle/pistol championships.

April Drake (Ball Hockey)

• Scored five goals and added two assists to help Canada to a gold medal at the world ball hockey championships in Zug, Switzerland.

• Scored three goals and had two assists in seven games for Newfoundland United, silver-medal winner at the Canadian Ball Hockey Association’s women’s A nationals.


Sean Cleary (Softball)

• St. John’s senior league: 6-2, 1.48 ERA, 106 strikeouts; playoff MVP (5-4, 3.37 ERA, 103K; .300BA, 8R, 5HR, 10RBI) as he helped the Kelly’s Pub Molson Bulldogs win.

• Provincial championship: Tournament MVP (3-0, 2.80 ERA, 38K, 7-11, .636BA) and top batter as Bulldogs won a third straight provincial title.

• National championship: playoff MVP. Pitched a pair of wins in the playoffs, including the final, which saw him strike out 16 batters to help the Galway Hitmen win a fourth straight Canadian title. Also tossed a 13-strikeout one-hitter in the semifinal. In 17 innings pitched at nationals, Cleary surrendered just five runs and fanned 36 batters.

• World championship (Team Canada): 5-0, 33IP, 2.97 ERA, 47K… 3-0, 17IP, 1.35 ERA, 23K in the preliminary round; went 2-0, 16IP, 4.37 ERA, 24K in playoff round. Canada won gold.

• Pan American Games (Team Canada): 4-0, .97 ERA, 40K. 2-0 in round robin; tossed one-hitter in 2-0 win over Argentina in playoff round; 7IP, 1R, 1H, 3W, 6K vs. Venezuala in final. Canada won gold.

• Other: Played with the Toronto Gators at the ISC World Fastball Tournament, winning silver. Named to second team All-World pitcher. 38.8IP, 2.02 ERA, 67K; Voted top Canadian pitcher in an informal poll of non-Canadians conducted by Al’s Fastball, a website dedicated to the coverage of men’s fastpitch softball.

Josh Hancott (Powerlifting)

• Arnold Sports Festival: set four world records, including a new open and junior division standard in the squat with a lift of 573 pounds; also set a new world record with a 374-pound bench press and his total meet lift of 1,520 pounds was a new world junior mark; won his weight class in both the open and junior divisions, was named best junior overall, and was second place overall in the pound for pound measurement.

• National championships: named the Canadian Powerlifting Union male powerlifter of the year and the best overall junior; claimed gold medal in the 74 kilogram classic division, hitting seven of nine lifts attempts (squat of 553 pounds, benched 364 pounds, and dead lifted 595 pounds). His total combined weight of 1512 pounds was just four pounds off the world record set at Arnold Sports Festival.

• World Classic Championships: was on track for another title, having squat 242.5 kilos and benched 171kg, but due to a nagging back injury he wasn’t able to deadlift 250kg in three attempts.

Liam Hickey (Wheelchair Basketball & Sledge Hockey)

• Parapan American Games: helped Canada win silver; had 16 points in a 73-34 quarter-final win over Puerto Rico; came off the bench to finish sixth in Canadian team scoring at the with 55 points in six games.

• 2015 Canada Winter Games: led the tournament in scoring (130 pts and 39 asists) and helped the underdog P.E.I. squad to a best-ever fourth place finish.

• Americas Wheelchair Basketball Challenge: Helped Canada to a 3-2 record.

• Maritime Wheelchair Basketball League: Playing with P.E.I. Mustangs, averaged 17.3 points per game in the league’s third tournament.

• Other: Named to Canadian wheelchair basketball team for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro; on the camp roster for Hockey Canada’s 2015-16 sledge hockey team; named Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s junior male athlete of the year.


Gushue Rink (Curling)

• Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker defeated Gary Wesman in three straight games at Tankard provincial men’s curling championship; ninth straight for Gushue as skip, 12th overall.

• At 2015 Tim Hortons Brier, posted a 9-2 round robin record and finished fourth overall after losing 7-5 in an extra end to Steve Laycock in the bronze-medal game.

• Other: The team played in 11 World Curling Tour events, reached the final nine times and won six. They’ve played in three Grand Slam finals, winning one. Gushue and Co. are atop the World Curling Tour’s money and points list.

Galway Hitmen (Softball)

• Team won a fourth straight national senior men’s championship. Posted a 4-1 preliminary round record, and blanked opponents 4-0 and 8-0 in first two playoff games. Defeated East Hants, N.S. 4-3 in the championship game.

• Jeremy O’Reilly named top batter, Brad Ezekiel named MVP, Sean Cleary playoff MVP, Ryan Kirk all-star catcher, Jason Hill all-star utility.

Hayley Barrett & Samantha Marsh (Air Rifle)

• 2015 Canada Winter Games: Duo combined to win gold in women’s 10m air rifle with a score of 798.6. Marsh shot 399.8, while Barrett had 398.8.

• North Atlantic air gun championships: Shot 155.7 to finish fourth.