By: Bryan Dutot
Not every athlete will be named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of their team at the University of Windsor, not every athlete will be a first-team all-star, not even a second-team all-star but athletes have the opportunity to be awarded the Athlete of the Week.
Each week, one male athlete and one female athlete, at the University of Windsor are selected as the Athletes of the Week. It may not be the most prestigious award to win but it is an honour for the athletes to be recognized for their athletic achievement for their varsity sport. Paige Phills, an outside hitter for the women’s Lancer volleyball team, and Konner Haas, a forward for the men’s Lancer hockey team, were awarded Athletes of the Week on November 22, 2017.
These athletes are not randomly selected. Winners must demonstrate various attributes and stick out to their coaches in the previous week’s competition to be nominated.
“Coaches submit nominations for Athletes of the Week and then they are voted on by a small committee in the department,” explains Elisa Mitton, Sports Information Coordinator of the Windsor Lancers.
The small committee that finalizes voting for Athlete of the Week consists of Mike Havey, the Athletic Director, Eric Vandenbroucke, the Associate Athletic Director and other key people in the athletic department.
“I was very honoured to be named Athlete of the Week,” Phills said. “I have worked very hard this season and I’m glad it is paying off. I think I was selected because I have worked hard to become an offensive threat in the Ontario Universities Athletics (OUA) and with the help of my teammates and coaches, I achieved that goal.”
Haas says effort was a big part of his standout week.
“It feels good to be recognized for my hard work and a big part of this accomplishment goes towards my teammates and coaching staff,” Haas expressed. “I feel like I’ve been selected because the team defeated two top teams in the OUA, Ryerson and York, and I was a big factor in both those games.”
The recipients get recognized through Lancers website (golancers.ca) and social media outlets. The headshots are used on the bottom of the homepage of the Lancer web page and a separate post is shared on their respective social media accounts.
The athletes may not receive a championship ring, a gold medal, a trophy or plaque for the accomplishment, however, there are more than 350 athletes at the University of Windsor and being recognized is an honour. As an added bonus, the athletes do receive a token of appreciation from the Campus Bookstore, a $25 gift card.
Haas believes that being named Athlete of the Week is important for Lancer Athletes to become better.
“It is important for athletes to be recognized for their success because it motivates other athletes to be better and strive to become Athlete of the Week,” Haas said.
Phills agrees and ties academics to the achievement.
“I think it’s important to recognize Lancer athletes because of the time and effort they put in to play at the OUA level and while maintaining our academics,” Phills said.
The Athlete of the Week Award is a minor recognition. It may not be the MVP or the first-team all-star but it is important to recognize these athletes. It may be the only athletic achievement they get but rightfully earned.
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