ANTIGONISH — Katie Pentz has mixed feelings after she and her teammates were once again honoured for their Canadian university women’s rugby championship.
The players earned the famed wooden X’s for their Atlantic conference victory and were saluted for their U-Sports Canadian championship they achieved last fall in Wolfville last Thursday during St. Francis Xavier University’s annual athletic awards gala. But Pentz noted the players who will be leaving the team due to graduation and the end to athletic eligibility.
“It’s bitter sweet, but it was exciting to be honoured again,” she said.
Pentz is entering her third year at St. FX, while teammate and fellow Trentonian Keely MacCuish is completing her undergraduate degree and her fourth year with the team. She plans to get her education degree at St. FX but does not plan to play rugby next season.
“It’s good to end on a high note,” MacCuish said. “It’s really exciting to see so many teammates get awards.”
MacKenzie Bell from New Glasgow will enter her fourth years at St. FX in the fall.
“We will try hard for another championship,” she said.
Teammate Joanna Alphonso from Ajax, Ont., had a big night. Besides co-emceeing the event, she was named the rugby team’s most valuable player and all-round student-athlete of the year.
She was the sixth X-Women rugby athlete to receive the latter award.
Emma Taylor from Scotsburn was the most recent winner in 2015.
Kalon Julien-Grant of the Atlantic Conference football champion X-Men was named male athlete of the year.
Among other awards for Pictou County athletes, Lucia MacKay and Jamie McCarron from New Glasgow received women’s basketball awards. MacKay was named top rookie and McCarron received the coach’s award.
Hannah Green was among student therapists who were honoured.
Megan Graham was among members of the 4×200 track and field team that won its Atlantic Conference relay race.
Female athletes of the year Joanna Alphonso, centre left, was joined by fellow rugby players from Pictou County. From left are Keeley MacCuish, Katie Pentz and MacKenzie Bell. (Goodwin photo)