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Year of the rookies

By Charles Vanegas

Last week, women’s basketball star Cassandra “Ceejay” Nofuente was named to the CIS All-rookie team, adding to her already impressive resume, which includes being named a second-team Ontario University Athletics (OUA) all-star and OUA East Rookie of the Year.

“She was injured in the preseason, but as soon as we got her on the floor, things really changed for us,” said head coach Carly Clarke.

“She’s a great player.” Nofuente’s accolades just add to the list of success of Ryerson athletes in their first year of post-secondary competition this season.

Each year, we present the Eyeopener Award to the Male Athlete of the Year. In addition to Nofuente, here are our other picks for the top rookies – male or female

Juwon Grannum – Men’s Basketball

The 6-foot-6 forward made great strides towards becoming a legitimate starter in Roy Rana’s system, providing a second option after Bjorn Michaelsen to a team that desperately needed size up front. He was named to the OUA All-rookie team.

Veronica Livingston – Women’s Volleyball

The women’s volleyball team shattered its previous best record by four wins, advancing to the OUA Final Four. Livingston was a huge part of that, being named OUA Rookie of the Year and a CIS All-rookie, and being shortlisted for the CIS Rookie of the Year.

Vivian Kwok – Badminton

In her first season as a Ram, Kwok, along with her partner Dayvon Reid, won a bronze medal in the mixed doubles event at the OUA Championships.

Jamie Wise – Men’s Hockey

After being invited to a tryout with the Buffalo Sabres, Wise joined the Rams midseason. Proving he was more than just “the coach’s kid,” Wise immediately solidified himself as one of the team’s best players, scoring 14 points in just 12 games.

Somehow, he also finished with the team lead in penalty minutes (84) despite missing the first 16 games.

Milos Scepanovic – Men’s Soccer

After leading the team with six goals, Scapanovic was named OUA East Rookie of the Year and a firstteam all-star.

Michael Fine – Men’s Hockey

The former OHLer had a big rookie season, finishing fifth on the team with 17 points. Fine fit right in with the fourth most penalized team in the CIS, adding 48 penalty minutes of his own.

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