By Nick Kuhl on April 13, 2019.
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
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
“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
“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
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
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