A night to honour the Viperes
by Randy Pascal
It was a year of growth for the Collège Boréal Vipères varsity sports teams, and nowhere was that growth more evidenced than at the year-end
banquet last week.
A pair of athletes who demonstrated considerable progress were among the top athletes honoured on the evening, as members of both the varsity and
extramural sports teams were feted.
Not only was Emilie Roy the only member of the Vipères badminton team who advanced to the OCAA Championships, but she came within a match of
earning a provincial medal in the process. Not at all bad for someone who tackled a whole new challenge in her third year with the team, capturing Female Athlete
of the Year honours along the way.
"It was my first year playing singles," said Roy, a 3rd year student in the Animation program. "The fact that this was my first time in singles
and this was the furthest I've ever gotten, well, it was a challenge, but at the same time, I'm super proud of how things turned out. It was probably my
While her plans for September remain somewhat up in the air - Roy is leaning towards returning for one more year - the native of Sturgeon Falls
will find some time, either way, to enjoy court time with some friends.
"There's a badminton club here, every Tuesday and Thursday, so even if I wasn't a student, I would still see myself coming to play," she said. "It's
not something I am planning on dropping any time soon."
Though Roy's passion for badminton dates back to her high school days, Boréal Male Rookie of the Year Michel Ayotte is still only touching
the tip of the iceberg in terms of his potential in volleyball.
"I only had one year of volleyball at Horizon," noted the 21 year-old student in the Electrical program. "My English teacher, Monsieur
Gervais, was trying to convince me to give it a try. I tried it and loved it."
Blessed with the size for volleyball, Ayotte had always spent the bulk of his gym time taking to that "other" favourite sporting pastime of many kids his
size. "Basketball came to me really quick," he said. "It was a sport I got really good at really quick, not to brag."
"Volleyball was something I struggled with. I could never get the technique right, I could never get nothing right. But I like a challenge." After
spending the past two years at Laurentian University, Ayotte crossed over to Boréal, where he latched on to a very keen mentor.
"When I met (Boréal men's volleyball coach) Jamie (Erven) this year, I knew that this was something I just needed to do," Ayotte recalled. The
guidance he received from the long-time court coach was as much about mindset as it was about skill development.
"At the beginning of the year, I was really hot-headed," confessed Ayotte. "Once I learned how to control my anger, I realized how much better of a
player I could become, not just for me, but for the team as a whole."
His teammate, Adam Martelli, was recognized as Male Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive time, while Caroline Pellerin
(women's volleyball) earned Female Rookie of the Year recognition.
Following is a complete breakdown of the awards that were doled out at the home of the Vipères:
Most Improved: Myriam Bouffard
Highest Performance: Maurissa Ducharme
Best Recruit: Caroline Pellerin
Most Valuable: Zoé Gagné
Most Improved: Darian Dechaine
Highest Performance: Clayton Geddes
Best Recruit: Michel Ayotte
Most Valuable: Adam Martelli
Most Improved: Emilie Roy
Most Valuable: Fabien Martel
Most Valuable: Josée Emond
Team Spirit: Maxime Demeules
Most Valuable: Justin Roy
Team Spirit: Raphael Ramsay
Most Valuable: Cletus Nelson Djiteu
Team Spirit: David KJambala Kausa
Most Valuable: Philippe Mian
Team Spirit: John Eric Nimbery Baa
Dennis Dionne Award
Student Life Recognition Award
Danièle Gervais (Optimum Health Center)