RDC honours athletes at awards night

It was a night of celebration at the Red Deer College campus.

RDC Kings volleyball setter Luke Brisbane and Queens hockey forward Emily Swier took home the top honours as the Male and Female Athletes of the Year as the RDC Athletics department honoured its best and brightest during their annual Athletic Awards at the Arts Centre, Monday night.

“It was an awesome season. The nominees I was with, I was not expecting that at all because they were awesome. But it was definitely icing on the cake,” said Swier, who scored 12 goals and 25 points to lead the Queens hockey team to their first Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Championship in 14 years.

“I think everyone was just kind of on the same page this year. We had a great vibe in the dressing room and it was also really competitive,” the third year forward said.

Swier was chosen as the Female Athlete of the Year from an impressive list of nominees, which included Queens soccer goalkeeper Lauren Good, who went undefeated during the regular season, decorated golf whiz Kate Griffiths, who took home a silver medal from the Canadian Colleges Athletics Association (CCAA) finals earlier this season, and basketball forward Emily White, who was the ACAC South Division rookie of the year and an ACAC all star.

“It’s just crazy. I’ve had sisters in the past that have played at the college level they’ve been recognized for pretty awesome things in the volleyball program. So it’s nice. I’ll get put on the wall of family achievements,” Swier laughed.

Meanwhile, prolific Kings volleyball setter Brisbane took home his second consecutive Male Athlete of the Year award after leading the Kings all the way to a Canadian championship.

“It’s definitely nice to be recognized. I had a good opportunity this year to play with a lot of good players and there are multiple guys on my team that would be deserving of this award, not to mention a lot of other great athletes on other teams as well, so it’s very humbling,” said Brisbane, who was named to the ACAC All-Conference team and was the MVP at both the CCAA and ACAC championships.

“None of us really play for individual accolades or anything like that. It’s all about the team and achieving the ultimate success as a team this year is something that I’ll never forget,” said the second year player.

Also nominated for the Male Athlete of the Year award were all star curling skip Ryan Dahmer, who was the co-winner of the Male Curler of the Year award, and Kings hockey goaltender Mike Salmon.

In addition to honouring their student athletes, the RDC Athletics department also took some time to recognize some of their outstanding coaches, including long time cross-country running coach Brian Stackhouse, who is retiring after 41 years at the helm of the program. Stackhouse was named the recipient of the CCAA Coaching Excellence Award, which is presented to one coach in any sport in the CCAA and recognizes coaching contributions to a sport over a period of five or more years.