Sept. 24 Niagara College roundup
Niagara College associate director of athletics and recreation Michele O’Keefe was awarded the Leadership in Sport Award recently at the 41st Annual Canadian Sport Awards in Ottawa.
The country’s premier event for national sport achievement and leadership recognition was held for the first time since 2012.
The Leadership in Sport Award is a lifetime achievement award that recognizes the outstanding contribution of a sport leader or organization who exemplifies true sport values as demonstrated by ground-breaking organizational leadership, innovating practices, influential communications, cutting edge sport marketing and/or positioning in the sport sector.
After nearly two decades with Canada Basketball, O’Keefe returned to her hometown of Welland in July to assume her current role with Niagara College. However, the path she has forged has not gone unnoticed by her peers.
Aside from the successes experienced by Canada Basketball on the court in recent years, O’Keefe played a vital role in the development of basketball across the country. She was instrumental in laying a foundation for the continued growth of the sport in Canada.
Along with her work domestically, she is also one of the top female policy-makers in international sport. She is currently the FIBA Americas vice-president and lone female on the executive board, while also serving as one of five women on FIBA’s 20-member Central Board.
In her position at Niagara College, O’Keefe now plays a bigger role in the day-to-day development of student-athletes on campus. She sees a great opportunity for sport development in the Niagara Peninsula as a whole, and feels that the college can take a significant role in making that happen. O’Keefe also serves as a board member with the 2021 Canada Summer Games Host Society.
Athletes of the week
Men’s soccer goalkeeper Romario James has been named the Niagara College male athlete of the week for a great showing on the road against the Redeemer Royals.
James kept his team in a close battle all game long, making a list of key saves including a highlight reel moment when he stopped three net-front shots in a matter of seconds after a scramble in front of his own net. The stops came in the final moments of the match and they prevented his team from conceding what would have been the game-winning goal for the Royals. The game ended in a scoreless draw.
“Romario did a great job again today,” Niagara head coach Frank DeChellis said, on his goalkeeper’s performance against Redeemer. “He served as Guyana’s U17 and U23 goalkeeper in various contests and has been working hard to get his game back up to the level we need. He is fearless and showed that several times over the past two matches.”
So far on the season, James has two shutouts in four games played; his other coming against the St. Clair Saints in a 1-0 victory.
The Knights next take on the Lambton Lions (0-5, 6th OCAA West) Wednesday at Youngs Sportsplex at 6 p.m.
Women’s soccer player Lauren Frasca of Welland has earned female athlete of the week honours after helping her team secure a 2-1 victory against the Redeemer Royals.
In the 34th minute of the game, Frasca, Kennedi Risi of Thorold and Katelyn Mix connected on a beautiful three-touch sequence, with Mix burying the opportunity and giving Niagara the 1-0 lead.
After the Royals stunned the Knights by scoring an equalizing goal in the 85th minute of the match, Frasca continued to battle hard. During injury time, Frasca dribbled her way through the entire Royals’ defence before executing a perfect cross to Michelle Maecker of Fonthill who finished off Frasca’s unbelievable play to give the Knights the 2-1 victory.
The Notre Dame high school alumnus helped her team gain some ground in the OCAA West standings as they are trying to catch up to the Mohawk Mountaineers (3-1-1, 2nd OCAA West) and the Fanshawe Falcons (5-0, 1st OCAA West).
The Knights take on the Lambton Lions Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Women’s Soccer – 3-2 (3rd OCAA West)
The Knights found themselves on the losing end of a 3-1 decision against the Fanshawe Falcons.
The high powered Falcons squad came into the game having scored 24 goals while surrendering 0 through their first three games. Maecker connected on a terrific through ball of the foot of Kara Latham of Welland for the Knights only goal.
The Knights also topped Redeemer 2-1 in extra time.
Photos by RYAN MCCULLOUGH.
Men’s Soccer – 3-1-1 (3rd OCAA West)
Entering the week as the 12th ranked team in the nation, it was a tough couple of matches for the Knights men’s team against a pair of undefeated opponents. At home against Fanshawe the Knights would be overmatched and drop a 3-0 decision to the OCAA West’s first place squad.
Niagara also played to a scoreless draw at Redeemer.
In their lone event of the week, the Knights travelled North to compete in the Georgian Invitational. Collectively the Knights finished in a tie for sixth, with a cumulative total of 306.
Logan Lammerant led the way for the Knights, carding a 1-over 73 to finished in a tie for 7th. Chris Hallborg finished in tie for 16th place, finishing only two strokes behind Lammerant with a 75. Spencer Gates (77), CJ Henry (79), Marshall Pemberton (81), Jason Maloney (81), and Matthew Gibson (81) rounded out the field for the Knights.
Coverage of the Niagara Knights is made possible with the support of the Niagara College Department of Athletics & Recreation. For more information, please visit www.goknights.ca.
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