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Cukovic repeats as male athlete of the year, Kuse wins on women's side

Soccer all-Canadian Stefan Cukovic repeated as the Rustler male athlete of the year while provincial and national gold medalist Ahnika Kuse received female honours at the annual awards evening on April 6
Stefan Cokuvic and Ahnika Kuse holding their athlete of the year hardwareAt just 5’9” Kuse isn’t the tallest of the Lakeland hitters but did the job for the Rustlers during both the regular season as well as in the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference (ACAC) and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championships.

During the regular season she had 244 kills, good for 9th in the conference, was 8th in kills per set (2.98) and had a hitting percentage of .925.

Kuse was named to both the provincial and national tournament all-star teams. Over three matches at the ACAC championships, held at Lakeland, she amassed 44 kills, 2 stuff blocks and 6 service aces. Kuse was the top scorer in the national tournament in Victoria with 37 kills, 29 digs, 3 blocks and 3 aces.Those stats earned her ACAC player of the week honours after both championships.

The third-year student from Saskatoon, Sask. also received women's volleyball most valuable player (MVP) honours.

Cukovic, who was named MVP of both the Rustler men's soccer and futsal teams, was a soccer all-Canadian for the second consecutive year. He also led the futsal team to its fourth consecutive ACAC medal.

Nearly half of Cukovic’s 9 soccer goals were game winners. Four of his goals came in a single weekend and earned him an ACAC player of week nod. The 4th year player is originally from Serbia.

Basketball, cross-country running, curling, futsal, rowing, soccer and volleyball team awards were presented during the evening. Most teams recognized rookie of the year, most improved player, MVP and highest academic average. As well, each team presents a Rustler award for the student athlete who best represents the values of a Rustler. Rowing is the exception and their equivalent is the Lacey Longworth Memorial award. A list of all of those winners is below.

"It's been another great year of Rustler athletics," says Alan Rogan, athletics director. He highlighted the three Cs of Rustler athletics: classroom, community and competition.

2016-17 all-conference Rustlers with Al Rogan, athletics directorFor example, in the classroom this year's 170 student-athletes had the highest fall semester grade point average since records have been kept.

Other Highlights

  • student athletes worked with 390 youth in sports camps and 330 more in club teams
  • 2 academic all-Canadians
  • 11 ACAC all-conference selections
  • 2 bronze medals in futsal
  • hosting an ACAC cross country meet and the Head of Vermilion regatta in October 2016
  • hosting two ACAC championships this spring, women's volleyball and curling, on the same weekend
  • ACAC men's soccer player of the year
  • ACAC southern conference men's soccer coach of the year
  • novice women's 8 gold at the Alberta rowing championships
  • first ever gold medal in both ACAC and CCAA league play--the women's volleyball team who won the ACAC gold at home
In a new tradition, one Rustler was invited to share their student-athlete experience. Laura Popplestone, a fifth year volleyball liberio, talked about going to the national finals in her rookie year and transitioning to be a leader in her later years.

Photos: Top--Athletes of the Year Stefan Cukovic (left) and Ahnika Kuse (right). Right--Athletics director Alan Rogan with the ACAC all-conference selections.

See all the photos from the 2017 Rustlers awards night on flickr logo


Stefan Cukovic
Men's Soccer

Academic All-Canadians

Kaylee Duncan
Rae Sigurdson

Women's Volleyball

CCAA Championship All-Stars

Women's Volleyball
Shelby Becker
Alyssa Grondin
Ahnika Kuse
Rae Signurdson

 Athletes of the Year

Ahnika Kuse
Women's Volleyball
Stefan Cukovic
Men's Futsal & Soccer

Team Awards

Cross Country Running
Rookie of the Year-Amanda Stor
Rustler Award-Will deVeroomen
Most Improved-Justin Seely
MVP-Darin Elliot
Highest Academic Standing -
Megan Hall & William deVroomen
Rookie of the Year-Megan Schwark
Most Improved-Jazlyn Hull
MVP-Terra Throndson
Lacey Longworth Memorial Award Jacquelyn Davidson
Terra Throndson & John Storch
Highest Academic Standing - Megan Schwark & John Storch
Rookie of the Year-Desiree Beaulieu
Most Improved-Tessa Briscoe
Rustler Award-Matt Taylor
MVP-Branden Cookson
Highest Academic Standing-Kaylee Duncan & Travis Dow
Women's Soccer
Rookie of the Year-Nikki Boutin
Most Improved-Ashley Miller
Rustler Award-Rachel Fogh
MVP-Amy Gostola
Men's Soccer
Rookie of the Year-Troy Trench
Most Improved-James Booth
Rustler Award-Grant Skoretz
MVP-Stefan Cukovic
Women's Futsal
Rookie of the Year-Hannah Zdunich-Costa
Most Improved-Gabrielle Lapointe
Rustler Award-Rachel Fogh
MVP-Natasha Chaykowski
Men's Futsal
Rookie of the Year-Zachery Wagner
Most Improved-Brennan Liebscher
Rustler Award-Doyle Church
MVP-Stefan Cukovic
Highest Academic Standing
Women - Amy Gostola
Men - Evron Riggon
Women's Volleyball
Rookie of the Year-Chelsea Steinly
Most Improved-Rae Sigurdson
Rustler Award-Tawnee Dupuis
MVP-Ankia Kuse
Highest Academic Standing-Tawnee Dupuis
Women's Basketball
Rookie of the Year-Meg Ferraz
Most Improved-Tayia Paylor
Rustler Award-Kellsey Sinnett
MVP-Shania Magnusson
Highest Academic Standing-Meg Ferraz
Men's Basketball
Defensive Player of the Year-Angosom Tekheste
Most Improved-Akeem Phillip
Rustlers Award-Kyrin Cybenko
MVP-Artavis Holiday
Highest Academic Standing -Kyrin Cybenko
Men's Volleyball
Rookie of the Year-Matthew Peck
Most Improved-Tyler Williamson
Rustler Award &
MVP-Arnette McKay
Highest Academic Standing-Jose Arellano

ACAC Player of the Year

Stefan Cukovic, Men's Soccer

ACAC All-Conference

Women's Men's
Kaylee Duncan-Curling
Alyssa Grondin-Volleyball
Ahnika Kuse-Volleyball
Shania Magnusson-Basketball
Rae Sigurdson
James Booth-Soccer
Stefan Cukovic
Artavis Holiday-
Elijah Jennings-Soccer
Joshua Pynten-Soccer
Troy Trench-Soccer

ACAC Conference Championships

 Women's volleyball
Shelby Becker
Ahnika Kuse
Laura Popplestone
Rae Sigurdson

Rachel Fogh (women's)
Stefan Cukovic

ACAC Coach of the Year

Kevin Wagner - Men's Soccer (southern conference)

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