October 30th, 2020

Kodiaks hand out the Kodis


By Nick Kuhl on April 13, 2019.

Dale Woodard


Lethbridge Herald


sports@lethbridgeherald.com
Mike Clemons has made his mark on the Lethbridge College Kodiaks.
As for Sophia Nowicki? She’s not quite done yet.
Either way, the efforts both Kodiaks turned in during the 2018-19 
Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season was enough to earn the duo 
prestigious as Kodiaks athletics held its annual Kodis award banquet 
Thursday night at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.
After a record-breaking year on the hardwood with the men’s 
basketball team, Clemons capped off his final season with the Tim 
Tollestrup Leadership/Athlete of the Year for the men.
Meanwhile, Nowicki tore up the paths with the Kodiaks cross country 
running team both at the provincial and national level to earn the 
women’s Tim Tollestrup Leadership/Athlete of the Year.
Next year, the product of Bragg Creek will be back to race the clock 
and ideally haul in more medals and another perfect season.
“It was unexpected,” said Nowicki of her Athlete of the Year award. 
“There’s a lot of room for improvement, so going forward and 
getting better and just working off of that.”
A fifth-year graduating player who also spent some time with the 
Grande Prairie Wolves, Clemons won’t be back in Kodiaks jersey in 
2019-20.
But the native of El Paso, Texas, has left his fingerprints all over 
the Kodiaks as well as the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
In early January he established the all-time ACAC record for steals at 
210. In November he set the all-time ACAC mark for assists.
It was the ideal way for the fifth-year veteran to lead.
“It was a very different challenge this year. I’m the oldest, but 
I’m not,” said Clemons, who finished the season with 238 career 
steals and 868 career assists. “I’m only 23 and people are older, 
but it was a great experience being able to teach those guys and have 
them come to me for help and be the leader of the team. I loved 
everybody who is part of the program this year.”
Nearly three month removed from those ACAC marks, Clemons admitted the 
accomplishment hasn’t sunk in yet.
“It hasn’t. I was still thinking about not making playoffs more 
than anything. But it has not sunk in,” said Clemons, who has applied 
to two schools to finish his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. “So 
I have two more years after this and that’s my priority right now.”
Meanwhile, Nowicki — who spent the spring with the University of 
Lethbridge Pronghorns track and field team — eyes a return to the 
Kodiaks this fall after going undefeated to win both the conference 
and national championships.

“I think it’s just looking to the future you continue to get 
that,” said Nowicki, who was named ACAC runner of the year, and 
helped her Kodiaks team to an ACAC gold medal and a CCAA silver 
medal.  So I’ll be training throughout the summer so I can hopefully 
come back with a second national medal. Hopefully at the top again, 
but will see, I’m just working with it.”
With the Horns, Nowicki ran a personal best time of 9:52 in the 3,000m 
race.
“So I’m really happy with myself there. I didn’t finish the 
season great, so I’m hoping to go to get faster there. There is 
always room for improvement.”
However, Thursday night was about being back with her Kodiaks cross 
country teammates.
“I love them,” said Nowicki. “Especially coming back here because 
I haven’t seen them for so long because I’ve been at the university. 
It reinforces the fact that I really miss them and they’re such a 
close team. It’s good to be back and I’m so happy I can do cross 
country again, because it is such a great team and the coaches are 
amazing.”
Soccer and futsal coach Sean Carey was the winner of the Kodiaks Coach 
of the Year.
The women’s soccer team earned their first provincial medal since 
1994 at the ACAC championship in Calgary, while the men’s team 
narrowly missed the bronze medal.
At the Kodiak-hosted futsal provincials last month, the men’s team 
once again fell short of a bronze medal with an overtime loss to the 
Olds Broncos.
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