Toronto (CIS) — Shanice Marcelle, a volleyball player from the University of British Columbia, and Kyle Quinlan, a football player from McMaster University, are the BLG Award winners as Canadian Interuniversity Sport female and male athletes of the year for the 2012-13 season.

Official BLG Awards website:

The recipients of the 21st annual BLG Awards were announced Monday night at the John Bassett Theatre, in the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. The awards show will premiere on Sportsnet on Tuesday, May 28 (see schedule below).

All eight nominees – one female and one male from each of the four CIS regional associations - received a commemorative gold ring, while Marcelle and Quinlan 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 Shanice Marcelle and Kyle Quinlan, the winners of the 21sh 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.”

“I would like to congratulate all the BLG Award winners and nominees. As athletes of the year at their respective universities, they have helped maintain Canada’s reputation as a leading sport nation,” said Minister of State (Sport) Bal Gosal. “In addition, I offer thanks, on behalf of the Government, to Borden Ladner Gervais for creating and hosting these awards in partnership with Canadian Interuniversity Sport and the Canadian Athletic Foundation to honour our top university athletes.”

“This year’s nominees are all exceptional athletes who are also leaders on their campuses and in their communities. They are great representatives of our 11,000 student-athletes and are truly the future of our country,” said Pierre Lafontaine, chief executive officer of CIS. “On behalf of CIS, I sincerely congratulate each of them, as well as their school and coaches, and in particular Shanice and Kyle, who join the very prestigious group of BLG Award recipients.”  

Marcelle, who was born in Toronto but grew up in Victoria, took home the Jim Thompson Trophy, presented annually to the female BLG Award winner. She was also the Canada West nominee in 2011, when Windsor basketball player Jessica Clemençon was crowned.

The other female finalists for this season were Justine Colley of East Preston, N.S., a basketball player from Saint Mary’s University; Mélodie Daoust of Valleyfield, Que., a hockey player from McGill University; and Britt Benn of Napanee, Ont., a rugby player from the University of Guelph.

Quinlan received the Doug Mitchell Trophy, named in honour of the BLG Awards founder and Chair of the Canadian Athletic Foundation. Like Marcelle, the native of South Woodslee, Ont., was a repeat nominee as he was also in the running a year ago when McGill hockey player Marc-André Dorion claimed the hardware.

The other male finalists were Lucas Bloodoff of Castlegar, B.C., a hockey player from Saint Mary’s; David Tremblay of Stoney Point, Ont., a wrestler from Concordia University; and Gagan Dosanjh of Abbottsford, B.C., a soccer player from UBC.

Marcelle became the fourth recipient in UBC history – and third female winner – after volleyball player Liz Cordonier (2010) and swimmers Annamay Pierse (2009) and Brian Johns (2002).

McMaster also had three previous winners – all male - including football players Jesse Lumsden (2005) and Kojo Aidoo (2001), as well as basketball player Titus Channer (1998). 

In her fifth and final season with UBC, Marcelle wrapped up one of the most decorated careers in CIS women’s volleyball history. The 6-foot outside hitter was chosen CIS player of the year for the second time in three campaigns, was voted to the first all-Canadian team for the third straight season, led the Thunderbirds to the CIS title for the fifth time (their sixth straight overall) and was named a CIS championship all-star for the fifth consecutive year, a remarkable streak that includes a tournament MVP nod in 2011.

Marcelle was as dominant as ever in 2012-13 and once again excelled in all areas of the game, finishing fourth in the Canada West conference in kills (3.33) and points (4.16) per set, sixth in hitting percentage (.302) and seventh in service aces (0.46), while also contributing defensively with 166 digs, good for second on the Thunderbirds, who kept a stellar 21-1 record in conference play and a 5-0 mark in the postseason. She finished her career as the leading active player in Canada West in kills.

The kinesiology student makes no secret that one of her dreams is to represent Canada at the Olympics. She has worn the Maple Leaf on numerous occasions in the past, including at the youth world beach championship in 2007, junior world beach championship in 2010, Summer Universiade (indoor) in 2011 and Pan American Cup (indoor) with the senior national squad last summer. In the coming days, she will attend the senior national team open selection camp in Winnipeg and, if selected, will compete at the pan Am Cup in Peru (June 8-18) and the Universiade in Kazan, Russia (July 8-16).

“Shanice was instrumental in our team capturing the national championship, not just this season but in all five years that she has been a varsity athlete,” says UBC head coach Doug Reimer. “She has been selected an all-star at the CIS championship in all five seasons, which is an absolutely phenomenal accomplishment. This season was her best as a T-Bird. Her tremendous on court play in all areas was enhanced by her emergence as a strong team leader.”

A year after he led McMaster on a magical playoff run which included three straight game-MVP selections and culminated with the first national title in program history, Quinlan completed his varsity career with one of the best statistical seasons in CIS football annals.

In eight regular season contests last fall, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound quarterback led the country with 19 touchdown passes against only two interceptions, the lowest total among starting pivots. He ranked second in the nation in both passing yards per game (307.1) and completion percentage, with a new single-season OUA record of 68.9. The ultimate dual threat, he also led all CIS signal callers with seven majors and 550 yards on the ground. In the process, he set team records for most completions (162), passing yards and TD passes in a single campaign.

Armed with those exceptional statistics, Quinlan was a logical choice for the Hec Crighton Trophy as CIS player of the year. His stellar play helped the Marauders to their first 8-0 regular season since 2003, a second straight OUA banner and a return trip to the Vanier Cup final, which ended in a loss to archrival Laval in front of a record crowd of 37,098 at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Not surprisingly, the 24-year-old economics student has attracted interest from the professional ranks and now hopes to leave his mark on the CFL. After attending the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes’ training camps in 2011 and 2012, respectively, he signed a new contract with the Alouettes in December and will report to his third pro camp later this spring.

“As dominant as Kyle has been on the playing surface, his statistics and output are a small part of why he was the most valuable player on our football team,” says McMaster head coach Stefan Ptaszek. “He is a leader in every sense of the word. His drive and commitment to excellence willed us back to our second consecutive national championship game. I do not have the words to describe how proud we are of Kyle Quinlan. It has been a privilege to work with him over the past five years.”

All-Time BLG Award Winners

2012-13: Shanice Marcelle (UBC – volleyball) / Kyle Quinlan (McMaster – football)
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)

2013 BLG Awards Premiere on Sportsnet: Tuesday, May 28

East: 7 p.m. ET (before Can Soccer)
Ontario: 7 p.m. ET (before Can Soccer)
West: 9 p.m. MT (after Can Soccer / Connected)
Pacific: 9 p.m. PT (after Can Soccer / Connected)
ONE: 10 p.m. ET

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 BLG Awards are based on athletic accomplishments, outstanding sportsmanship and leadership. Each of the 54 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.

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