In this time of social distancing and self-isolation, the UBCO Heat varsity sport program has taken to the internet and social media to host their 29th annual awards banquet.
The virtual banquet, in the form of stories posted to both the @ubcoheat Facebook and Instagram channels, announced the first set of major award winners on Friday – the institution's award for first-year players – the Male and Female Rookies of the Year.
After capturing the national rookie of the year in U SPORTS women's volleyball, it's not surprising that Amaya Perry is the female rookie of the year for the Heat. Meanwhile, Pierson Stanley, the talented forward from the men's soccer team, is UBCO's male rookie of the year.
Male Rookie of the Year – Pierson Stanley (soccer)
The indoor sports have dominated the male rookie of the year at UBC Okanagan since the inception of the award in 2014. For 2019-20 however, it was the impressive attacking abilities of the Heat men's soccer rookie striker, Pierson Stanley, who kicked his way to the UBCO Rookie of the Year award.
Stanley's memorable first season for UBCO, highlighted by having his first Canada West goal being a game-winner versus MacEwan back in September, landed him a coveted spot on the Canada West conference all-rookie team – only the second Heat men's soccer player to earn that distinction. The first-year Management student from West Vancouver saw action in 13 of the Heat's 16 matches, starting in eight of them. Pierson led the team in assists and was tied for third in shots on goal as he helped contribute to the best regular season record for the Heat in Canada West play.
"Pierson put in great work all season long and the quality of his season reflected his work rate this past fall. He did not shy away from the stiff Canada West competition all season long and we are excited about the type of player he will be going forward. The coaching staff is happy that he earned the recognition as top male rookie at UBCO, an award well-deserved."
- Dante Zanatta
Female Rookie of the Year – Amaya Perry (volleyball)
Perry ran away with the rookie award at UBC Okanagan even though she was up against arguably the strongest group of finalists for the award since its inception in 2015.
Just the second women's volleyball player to win the award for freshmen players at UBCO, Perry excelled in the ultra-competitive world of Canada West women's volleyball in her first season on the Okanagan campus.
The science student from Chin, Alberta played in every match and took on a more important and essential role for the Heat as the year progressed. She ended up crushing the UBCO record for aces in a season with 59, which is also the fourth-highest mark all-time among all Canada West schools. Her devastating service game combined with her 227 kills, the top-mark amongst first-year players across the nation in U SPORTS, earned the outside hitter the Canada West conference Rookie of the Year award, as well as recognition as the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year for the entire nation.
"What a joy to coach this young student athlete. She is an extremely hard worker, pleasant person, and competitive athlete. Amaya showed her prowess from the service line but also as a Canada West attacker. She has an extremely bright future ahead."
- Steve Manuel
Don't forget to follow and share the Heat's virtual banquet. You can do so with the Instagram and Facebook account of @ubcoheat, or feel free to join in the fun or congratulate the finalists and winners with the hashtag #NoBanquetNoProblem.