The Manitoba Bisons varsity teams have completed another successful season. In the 2011-12 season, one team (men’s volleyball) returned to the CIS championship and earned a bronze medal while one team (men’s hockey) was first in regular season conference standings for the first time since 1970-71 plus two others teams qualified for post-season action and one team (track and field) hosted a CIS championship along with numerous individual accolades plus major conference award winners and CIS recognition. The Manitoba Bisons distributed their end of the year hardware at the annual Brown and Gold Year-End Banquet held at Canad Inns - Fort Garry on Saturday, March 31.
Bisons Addie Miles and Dane Pischke were named as Bison Sports Female and Male Athletes of the Year for the 2011-12 season. Men’s Volleyball Head Coach Garth Pischke was selected as Bison Sports Coach of the Year while for the third time Bison Sports Rookie of the Year (Female and Male) awards were announced and Christina Souza and Anthony Coombs picked up the first-year honours.
Miles’s selection as the Bison Female Athlete of the Year award winner is the third time from the 15 year women’s hockey program history. There has now been three women’s hockey athletes selected in the 49 year history of the award.
The fifth year Bison capped another award-winning season during 2011-12.- Miles was selected as team MVP and also team captain this season.
- She was named Canada West Second Team All-Star at defenceman position after converting from being a forward for majority of her career.
- Once again, she was the team top scorer for the fifth consecutive season and was eighth in the Canada West scoring with 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) while playing all 24 conference regular season games.
- Miles was second in Canada West scoring among defenceman with 22 points.
- In the 2011-12 season, the fifth year student-athlete leaves Manitoba being one of the most award-winning players in the program’s 15-year history. In her five-year career, she was a second team all-star in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 plus first team all-star in 2008-09 and Canada West Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team in the 2007-08 season. Along with the conference rewards, the Winnipeg native played for Team Canada and won gold at the 2011 Winter Universiade in Turkey. In addition, she finished as Top Bison all-time scorer and tenth overall in Canada West career scoring with 123 points (52 goals, 71 assists) while playing in 116 of 120 regular season games.
Pischke’s selection is the first time a men’s volleyball student-athlete has been named Bison Male Athlete of the Year since the 2003-04 season. There has now been 15 men’s volleyball athletes selected in the 53 year history of the award. This ranks the sport in a tie with hockey for first spot for Bison male yearly winners.
Pischke had an amazing year both at conference and CIS level in his fourth year at Manitoba during the 2011-12 season.
- He was selected as team MVP this season.
- In the 2011-12 season, Pischke was CIS First Team All-Canadian and Canada West First Team All-Star at the right side position plus a CIS Championship All-Star.
- The fourth year student-athlete was first in CIS with 292 kills plus first in CIS with 337.5 points in the regular season.
- He earned the best plus/minus among all players at the 2012 CIS Men’s Volleyball Championship.
- In addition, he was tied for 12th with 164 digs and 13th in CIS hitting percentage with .295. The Winnipeg native started and played in all 20 regular season games and also accumulated 65 total blocks, 14 assists and six service aces.
- Pischke was selected Smitty’s Bison Sports Athlete of the Week in four different occasions (most this year by a Bison).
- Helped the team to a 18-2 regular season record, a Canada West silver medal and a bronze medal at the 2012 CIS Men’s Volleyball Championship.
For the female athletes, they have given the year-end Athlete of the Year award since the 1963-64 season. Volleyball continues to lead with 20 winners, six ahead of women’s basketball (counting multi-sport winners) and 12 ahead of women’s track and field (counting multi-sport winners), hockey and gymnastics are tied at four with three selections each. Bison Male Athletes of the Year have been selected since the 1959-60 season with volleyball and hockey now tied for first spot with 15 winners followed by football (10), basketball plus track and field (6) tied for fourth and then swimming and wrestling at two.
Along with the Athletes of the Year, Garth Pischke was selected for the third time as Bison Sports Coach of the Year in the 11 year history of the award. He becomes only the second Bison coach to win this honour three times. Some of his highlights included:
- He led his team to a CIS bronze medal, which was the highest placing by a Bison team at the CIS level during the 2011-12 season.
- In his 31st season as Bisons head coach, has guided the Bisons to the CIS National Championships for a 26th time and have now collected nine CIS gold medals, nine CIS silver medals, and five CIS bronze medals.
- Pischke guided the team to a 18-2 regular season record and a Canada West silver medal.
- The Bison men’s volleyball was ranked as high as number two in CIS Top 10 this season.
- Earlier in the season, he accomplished another milestone with his 1200th career coaching victory with a 3-0 victory over #1 Trinity Western on Jan. 27/12 and has the most overall coaching wins by a CIS head coach.
Bson Sports began honouring rookie of the year lin the 2009-10 season. In the third year of Bison Rookie of the Year awards that reflects the outstanding contribution of a first year Bison, the Bison Female Rookie of the Year is from the women’s volleyball program as setter Christina Souza made an immediate impact in her first season at Manitoba.
- She was named to CIS All-Rookie Team.
- Souza started all of the 18 conference regular season games and played in all 74 regular season sets plus all eight playoff sets during the season.- On a very young team, she was the ‘quarterback’ at her position and was fourth overall in CIS with 665 assists.
- In addition, she ranked 17th in Canada West digs and had 73 kills (fifth best on team), 36 total blocks (fifth on the team) and 18 service aces (fourth on the team) in conference regular season play.
The Bison Male Rookie of the Year is football running back/kick returner Anthony Coombs. He had a award-winning season with Manitoba.
- He was named CIS First Team All-Canadian.
- Coombs was named Canada West All-Star and selected as a Canada West Football Athlete of the Week twice.
- Produced 640 rushing yards (eighth best in CIS) and added eight rushing TDs (fifth most in CIS) along with 1203 all-purpose yards (first in Canada West) while playing 7 of 8 conference regular season games.
- Named World Team MVP for his performance when the International Federation of American Football World Team defeated the U.S. Under-19 National Team by a 35-29 score in USA Football’s third annual International Bowl on Feb. 1 in Austin, TX.
- And the Winnipeg native became the first University of Manitoba student-athlete to be included in the 56-year history of the “Faces in the Crowd” section of Sports Illustrated in the Feb. 27 issue.
The Student-Athlete Leadership and Community Development Award were handed out for the sixth time to one female and one male recipient. Fifth year women’s track and field student-athlete Lisa Wong and fifth year track and field student-athlete Travis Toet were this season’s award winners, which highlights their leadership skills, community involvement and also academics and athletics.
Wong was involved in numerous aspects in the community.
- She will be completing her studies at the Asper School of Business this year.
- Wong is a member of CANU, helping children with promising futures find the opportunities they require to succeed.
- Amember of UMAC (U of Manitoba Athletes Council) who volunteers with both the Siloam Mission and Bisons Against Bullying programs over the years.
- Wong is the captain of her team for a third consecutive season.
- She canvasses for the Canadian Cancer Society.
- Through the Home School Leadership Program, Wong taught kids and their parents proper running technique, and how to train.
- Te Winnipeg native is also a Track and Field coach at her alum high school at Fort Richmond Collegiate.
Toet finished his Manitoba career being an ambassador outside of university.- He is in his final year at the Asper School of Business.
- Toet is a coordinator of the CANU program for inner city elementary school kids, helping children with promising futures find the opportunities they require to succeed.
- He was a Bison Book Buddy.
- Toet has been volunteering with Bisons Against Bullying for the past three years.
- He was a volunteer at the Canadian Junior Track & Field Championships hosted at U of Manitoba this past summer.
- Toet volunteered with political campaigns, including those at the federal level.
- The Winnipeg native is also helped coach Track & Field at his alum high school at Immanuel Christian School.
Along with the major awards, Bison Sports recognized team MVP from each team, each year.
- Women’s Basketball – Maria Pawlyshyn
- Men’s Basketball – Stephan Walton
- Women’s Cross Country – Lacey deJong
- Men’s Cross Country – Thomas Miller
- Football – Anthony Coombs
- Men’s Golf – Josh Wytinck
- Women’s Hockey – Addie Miles
- Men’s Hockey – Blair Macaulay
- Women’s Soccer – Chloe Werle
- Women’s Swimming – Luella Ocon
- Men’s Swimming – Riley Pickerl
- Women’s Track & Field – Lisa Wong
- Men’s Track & Field – Zacharie Durand
- Women’s Volleyball – Kristi Hunter
- Men’s Volleyball – Dane Pischke