Dalhousie players, coach recognized for championship season
TRURO - The Dalhousie Rams were showered with more honours Monday, a day after winning the ACAA women's rugby title.
Dalhousie Rams fullback Joan Cole was named on Monday the ACAA women's rugby player of the year. Cole, who helped the Rams to the conference title on Sunday in a 22-17 win over the Mount Alison Mounties, led Dalhousie in scoring this season and was always a threat on both sides of the ball. File photo
Fullback Joan Cole was named the conference player of the year while Dave Cotterill took home the coach of the year honour.
"It's a really good feeling," Cole, a 25-year-old Middle Musquodoboit native, said. "It's nice to know that all the hard work we've put in this season has paid off."
Cole led the Rams in scoring this season but also provided the Dalhousie squad solid defence all year. That defence was on display in Sunday's conference final, which saw the Rams nip the Mount Allison Mounties 22-17. Cole made several physical tackles, which kept her team emotionally charged. Cole also came up big in the dying minutes as the Mounties pushed to tie the game, tackling nearly every player who tried to penetrate the Rams' goalline stand.
"She definitely deserves it," Cotterill said. "She's a great all-around player. On defence and offence, she's just fantastic. She's always a threat on both sides of the ball."
Cotterill, a 29-year-old Bible Hill resident and paramedic, has led the Rams to the conference final in both of his seasons at the helm after moving up from an assistant coaching position.
A student of the game who has been involved in the sport for more than 10 years, Cotterill loves passing his knowledge on to his players, allowing even a fresh crop of newcomers to the game to pick up on the sport quickly this season.
"He absolutely deserves to win that award," Cole, a Managed Landscapes student, said. "He works his butt off to get to practice and even when he can't because of work, he'll stop in just to say hi if he can. He just does such a good job."
However, Cotterill was quick to credit his fellow coaches - Owen Hutchison, Doug Conrad and Scott King - and his players for the honour
"It was a big effort put in by all four of us really," Cotterill said. "But to be part of a team where the girls are so committed and want to learn, they make it easy to coach and that's what makes it fun. Teaching them what I know and seeing them do it on the field, that's what keeps you coming back."
The Mounties' Anna Gores was named conference rookie of the year.
The Rams also placed their fair share of players on the all-conference team. Cole, captain Jessica Stickney, Georgia Lewis, Whitney Shaver, Becky Blank, Jessica MacAskill and Kathleen Starritt were all placed on the list.
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FLAG: STANDOUT RAMS
Several members of the Dalhousie Rams women's rugby team were honoured by the ACAA Monday:
ACAA Player of the year: Joan Cole
ACAA Coach of the year: Dave Cotterill
ACAA All Conference Team members: Joan Cole, Jessica Stickney, Georgia Lewis, Whitney Shaver, Becky Blank, Jessica MacAskill, Kathleen Starritt