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All For the Love of the Game Sports

The Eyeopener’s Unofficial 2023-24 Sports Awards

By Evan Davis

The 2023-24 Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) athletic season has come to an end. From last-second goals to nail-biting playoff matchups, we have watched every single game with an attentive eye here in the sports section of The Eyeopener.

With the season now in the rearview mirror, we think it makes sense for us to hand out the hardware that all teams, athletes and coaches have been waiting for this year. 

Here are The Eye’s Unofficial Sports Awards: 

Team of the Year 

Men’s Hockey

The TMU men’s hockey team had a spectacular season, posting a 19-9 record—enough to finish second in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West division. They finished 12-2 at home during the regular season, holding their opponents to two or fewer goals in 11 of their 14 home games. 

The team then made it to their first-ever Queen’s Cup final in program history in the OUA playoffs and finished fourth at the national tournament for the second time in three years. 

Athlete to Watch 

Hailey Franco-DeRyck

First-year TMU women’s basketball player Hailey Franco-DeRyck’s history-breaking rookie season might have flown under the radar after her first-year teammate Catrina Garey was named U Sports Rookie of the Year. Franco-DeRyck averaged 10 rebounds a game and set a new single-season school record for rebounds with 219 throughout the season. Franco-DeRyck ranked fourth in OUA in rebounds per game and helped propel the Bold to the OUA semi-finals where they fell to the Queen’s Gaels. 

Moment of the Year 

Britney Veltman Makes Her Return

Fourth-year Bold women’s volleyball middle Britney Veltman returned from a torn ACL on Senior Night on Feb. 10 just months after her injury occurred. 

Veltman was so set on playing that not even re-injuring her ACL a few days before their matchup against the Trent Excalibur could keep her away from the game. She muscled her way through to the final point during her sporadic appearances throughout the evening and shed some tears in an emotional moment after helping the Bold achieve their win.   

Clutch Gene 

Chris Campoli 

Fourth-year Bold men’s soccer midfielder Chris Campoli carried the clutch gene for the Bold throughout the entire season. Campoli was the OUA regular season leading goal scorer with 12 and only went a single game without one. He scored two goals in four of the nine regular season games he played in, including crucial strikes against the University of Toronto (U of T) Varsity Blues, Ontario Tech Ridgebacks and Carleton Ravens during the regular season. The former U Sports Player of the Year also found the back of the net in both of TMU’s playoff games. 

Best In-Game Drip 

Dustin Reid

Dustin Reid completed his 17th season as head coach of the women’s volleyball team and has built up quite the shoe collection over the years that he loves showing off on the sidelines. He pairs his shoes, typically Jordan’s or other Nike-branded sneakers, with a nice TMU-branded button-up shirt for a comfortable yet silently stylish vibe during matches. 

Game of the Year 

Women’s Hockey vs U of T – Feb. 15, 2024

The TMU women’s hockey team faced their struggles throughout the season but caught sudden fire towards the end. They went on a four-game winning streak and almost snuck into the playoffs. In their final game of the season, the Bold needed a win with help from other teams to make the playoffs. Yet, standing in their way was their biggest rival: U of T.

The Bold’s playoff hopes seemed to be extended with a 2-1 lead as time wound down in regulation. But, with 10 seconds left, the Varsity Blues tied the game and eventually won in overtime. A thrilling yet heartbreaking loss for the Bold was what ultimately put an end to their season.

Athlete of the Year 

Kyle Bollers

Third-year men’s hockey forward Kyle Bollers has been on a tear since his first game with the Bold in the 2021-22 season. Yet, this past season has arguably been his best. Bollers ranked second in the OUA with 18 goals and third in points with 42. He recorded two or more points in 15 of the team’s 28 regular season games and only went pointless in five games throughout the year.

Bollers led the team in both goals and assists, stacking up 12 more points than the second-highest-scoring player on the team. After missing out on The Eye’s Athlete of the Year award for the past two seasons, Bollers has finally secured the prized possession before departing TMU.

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