Lethbridge College hosted its KODI Awards on Tuesday night (April 12) in person after three years of being unable to gather for the annual event.
“[I am] very excited that it is happening again. It’s so much fun to see the athletes dressed up and smiling,” said Todd Caughlin, Kodiaks manager of athletics. “What a great way to close out the year.”
He said the last time the ceremony was held in person was April 2019 — the next year was virtual and there was no event for 2021 since the pandemic shut down college sports.
“Preparing, planning and competing in the 2021-22 transition season was easily one of the toughest challenges every ACAC athletic department faced this season,” Caughlin said. “We were able to do it because of the resilience, patience and commitment of our student athletes and coaching staffs. I’m so incredibly proud of this Kodiaks group and wouldn’t have wanted to work with any other group of people during such a challenging time.”
Awards were selected by members of the Kodiaks Athletics administration team and factored in results of a public vote that had nearly 500 participants, setting a new KODIS record, according to Lethbridge College.
The Kodiak’s Men’s indoor track team was named the Val and Flora Matteotti Kodiaks Team of the Year, capping a year that saw them earn a team bronze medal at ACAC Championships. The team was led by Aden Germain, who earned a bronze in the men’s 300m dash and was part of two silver medal winning relay squads.
Two soccer and futsal stars were also recognized with major awards, as Olivia DePasquale and Jaden Veluw were named Tim Tollestrup Leadership Student-Athletes of the Year. DePasquale earned the female award after a strong soccer season in which she was named to the ACAC All-Conference team after scoring nine goals in six games. She also led the Kodiaks women’s futsal team to a bronze medal.
Veluw, a fifth-year veteran from Lethbridge, earned the men’s honour. He finished his collegiate career strong, being named an ACAC All-Conference defence player for his soccer season and an ACAC tournament all-star at futsal championships. He helped the Kodiaks men’s futsal team capture an ACAC bronze medal.
Ken McMurray earned the Electrical Solutions Inc. Kodiaks Coach of the Year award in his first full season as head coach of the women’s basketball program. McMurray led a young Kodiaks squad to a second-place finish in the tough ACAC south division.
Cross country and indoor track athlete Justin Fisher and basketball athlete Montana Berezay were named winners of the Calgary Flames Foundation Leadership Scholarships, recognizing student-athletes who excel in leadership, community involvement and academics.