Female athlete of the season
Pilar Khoury striker – women’s soccer
With an amazing performance this season, the poise and talent of this fourth-year striker earned her a spot in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East all-star first team and the CIS all-Canadian first team. She was the first player in the OUA East division to score 10 goals, and with a total of 14 goals, she tied fifth for the most goals scored during a season. Top highlights include scoring the winning overtime goal against Laurier in the OUA semifinals, and the winning goal against Western in the OUA championships.
– Tima Hacini
Male athlete of the season
Derek Wendel quarterback – men’s football
Wendel guided his team to the OUA semifinals, only losing to the McMaster Marauders in the final minutes of the game. Wendel placed second in touchdowns with 16 in the season, and fourth in percent completion, at 62.4 per cent. The team placed fifth in total yards per game (504) and rushing yards per game (218). The highlights of the season include the notorious Panda Game when Wendel brought the Gees back in the lead numerous of times, and the OUA quarterfinal win against the Windsor Lancers where he posted 264 yards through the air and 45 on the ground with three total touchdowns. He gave an amazing performance game after game, making it a great year to watch Gee-Gees football.
– Tima Hacin
Rookie of the season
Jackson Bennett cornerback and kick returner – men’s football
The Gee-Gees football team proved many doubters wrong with their performance this season. One of the bright spots of the year was the performance from freshman cornerback and kick returner Jackson Bennett. The Ottawa native had 26.5 tackles to go along with a forced fumble and 186 return yards, with one touchdown. Bennett garnered OUA all-rookie team honours at the end of the season.
Coach of the season
Steve Johnson head coach – women’s soccer
Bouncing back after a season-starting loss to the UOIT Ridgebacks, head coach Steve Johnson led his team to an outstanding 15 consecutive wins, earning them the number one rank in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division. Johnson was constantly searching for the right lineups at the beginning of the season, giving every player time on the field. He’s a positive person who fosters a family atmosphere amongst the team. Johnson is the second longest-serving coach at the U of O, and has led the Gees to 13 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) tournaments and one national title since beginning the women’s soccer program in 1994. After a stellar season this fall, not only did the women’s soccer team place top in their division, but also top in the country, ranking first in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). He has proven to be one of the best coaches across the nation.
Most memorable moment
Panda Game men’s football
During one of the most intense games of the year against the Carleton Ravens, the Gee-Gees had the win up until the last five seconds on the clock. The Ravens were down four points, more than half the field away, when Carleton’s second-string quarterback Jessie Mills threw a 55-yard Hail Mary. Most of the stadium assumed the game was over, but when Ravens wide receiver Nathaniel Baher caught that pass to give the Ravens the win, many a fan claimed the game was one of the best CIS football games they’ve ever seen—even Gee-Gees fans have to admit it.
Gee-Gee fan favourite
Johnny B men’s basketball
Friday, Nov. 7 was a historic night for Johnny Berhanemeskel as he became the Gee-Gees’ all-time leader for points in a career. Before the game, Berhanemeskel was only 13 points shy of the 1,571 record, and accumulated 12 of the points in the first half. In the third quarter, the fans were on the edges of their seats as he had the ball with five seconds left on the shot clock. It was his finger roll layup that crowned him the leader. The game was automatically put on hold as the crowd went wild, chanting his name and waving their cardboard cutouts of his face in the air. It was a night no Gee-Gees fan will forget.