While the University of Regina Rams season didn’t end the way they wanted it to, the team recognized the talent that led them to a second straight playoff berth in 2017.
The football club held their annual awards night on Thursday to celebrate the accomplishments of players both on and off the field.
The players voted to name running back Atlee Simon as team MVP for the year.
“It’s always an honour, especially for an award that’s voted on by the players. It means that they saw the value in me throughout the year,” Simon said.
He said the award was never on his mind while he was playing this season.
Simon said it was a tough first few games for him this year, but they stuck to their game plan.
“It was nice to click the second half of the season and have that breakout year. I knew the stats were going to come, we just had to stick to the formula that we had and everything came together fine.”
Simon also became the Rams all-time leading rusher, passing Neal Hughes on the list. He still has another year of USPORTS eligibility.
Following his USPORTS Rookie of the Year award, linebacker Nick Cross earned team Rookie of the Year award honours as well.
Cross, who played his high school football at LeBoldus in Regina, said he expected to make an impact on the team early but maybe not up to this high level.
“I always expect the best from me, and I always want to play big and play to my full potential but no, I didn’t expect something like this,” Cross said. “This year’s been pretty incredible.”
Cross was the first Rams rookie to start in the season opener right out of high school since 2008 and led the team in tackles.
He was also the first Rams player to ever win the Peter Gorman trophy as the USPORTS top rookie.
Quarterback Noah Picton was the recipient of the Gord Currie award for leadership and commitment. This was Picton’s second time taking home the accolade.
“When you think of the Regina Rams you think of Gord Currie, and to be mentioned with him and to be recognized for all he stood for, it’s a great, great honour,” Picton said.
Picton’s attention now turns to the off-season where he will not only focus on getting ready for another year of Rams football but the possibility of getting the chance to participate in this year’s CFL Draft Combine.
The team also handed out awards to their Academic All Canadians, who maintained an average of 80 per cent in their school work while being a part of the team.
Full awards list
- Barker’s Trophy for most outstanding offensive lineman – Michele Vecchio
- Don Tingle award for most outstanding defensive lineman – Nicholas Dheilly
- Les Ludwig memorial award for best offensive back – Atlee Simon
- “Ram Tough” award for most outstanding linebacker – Danny Nesbitt
- Mr. Lube top receiver award – Mitchell Picton
- Boston Pizza award for best defensive back – Polis Koko
- Leading scorer – Daniel Scraper
- Defensive Player of the Year – Nicholas Dheilly
- Special teams Player of the Year – Kyle Borsa
- Scout team Players of the Year – Samba Mbasela (offensive) and Ryder Varga (defensive)
- Rookie of the Year – Nick Cross
- Michael Schmidt memorial award – Frankie Gray
- Gord Currie Award – Noah Picton
- Most Valuable Player – Atlee Simon
To end the awards program, the team also recognized the graduating players who will be leaving the team.
- Brady Eurich
- Frankie Gray
- Thomas Huber
- Thomas Lill
- Zack McEachern
- Bryce McKinnon
- Mitchell Picton
- Jeff Propp
- Korey Sheppard-Greene
- Mitch Thompson
- Tyler Vieira