Sports

Cody Drover was instrumental in his team’s success this season, earning him a spot among the top four Gee-Gees varsity athletes, as selected by readers. Photos: Courtesy of Greg Mason, Parker Townes, and Stephen Evans.

 Lefebvre, Drover, Evans, Ali chosen for top Gee-Gees varsity athletes

Every year, the Fulcrum selects athletes and coaches for the Cavalry awards. This year, we thought we would add some flavour and have a reader’s choice contest for the top athletes of the season.

In our final-ever print issue, two of these four will be selected for top Gee-Gees male and female athletes of the year respectively. Here’s some background on the four finalists.

Emma Lefebvre, striker for Gee-Gees women’s soccer

Lefebvre had a strong 2018 for the women’s soccer team. The Kingston native led the Gees in all offensive categories with 11 goals and seven assists for a total of 18 points in the regular season.

In her third campaign with the red horses, Lefebvre proved herself a clutch playoff performer. In the Gees’ OUA quarterfinal game versus the U of T, Lefebvre was dominant, scoring both goals in a 2–0 win. The third-year nursing student would also put up solid efforts in the semis and finals, recording a shot in both games, albeit failing to score herself.

In an interview given to the Fulcrum in October, Lefebvre talked about how a change of mentality lead to her strong 2018 season.

“My attitude towards soccer has changed. Instead of going out on the pitch and hoping to score, I tell myself that I’m going to score regardless of who we might be playing that night,’’ Lefebvre said.

Shortly after this interview, Lefebvre would lead her team to a national championship on home turf, the second in program history and first since 1996. She scored two goals in the tournament.

Cody Drover, forward for Gee-Gees men’s hockey

In his third year with the Gee-Gees, the ever-superstitious Newfoundlander managed to improve on already-impressive numbers from last year. “Droves,” as he’s known by his teammates, was the leading scorer on the men’s hockey team with 40 points in 28 games.

Known more for his highlight-reel goals, Drover played a big role in helping linemate Kevin Domingue break the program record in goals with 25 this year. Drover wasn’t only impressive in the regular season but was also solid in the playoffs, putting up seven points in five games.

Stephen Evans, Gee-Gees track & field

The runner from Ottawa was fast in 2019. Evans, who studies political science at the U of O, won the U Sports gold medal in the 600-metre dash in Winnipeg.

Evans was also dominant in this year’s OUAs, taking home the gold in his main 600-metre event and the kilometre race.

In his fourth year with the Gee-Gees, Evans was one of the lone bright spots on a struggling men’s track and field team — being the only member to have won a medal at either the provincial or national level in the last few years.

Samantha Ali, Gee-Gees women’s rugby

In 2018, Ali was instrumental defensively and offensively for a Gee-Gees team that finished third place in the nation.

Among her personal highlights were a huge breakout try in a September game versus Montreal, and a big come-from-behind defensive play in that same match.

She recorded four tries in the regular season, and earned two game MVP accolades, leading the team in that department.

“On that one, I like to listen to my teammates,” Ali said following the game back in September.

“They’ll yell things like ‘go all the way,’ or ‘I’m with you’ and stuff, so just hearing their voices is huge, and knowing that if I need to pass they’re there. But knowing they have confidence in me to finish, it’s like yeah, I’ve got to put that burst of speed on and finish it, take it all the way.”