By Woodard, Dale on April 8, 2020.
It’s the time of the year when the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns athletics hosts its annual Blue and Gold Banquet.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the banquet portion of the yearly awards, the Horns have moved their 53rd annual festivities online on their Twitter page.
The award winners will announced until Thursday with the major winners.
The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns played the role of hosts of the Canada West Championship last October, but the weekend dealt a tough blow to the team.
After going 2-4 in the conference schedule, the Horns matched up against the top-seeded Calgary Dinos in the semifinal at the University of Lethbridge Stadium.
The Pronghorns were minutes from the gold medal game, leading 7-5, before the Dinos scored a late-second penalty kick to advance.
Graduating only three players, the Pronghorns class of 14 freshmen contributed to a year of growth and anticipation for next season with the vast majority of the squad returning.
In the Canada West Sevens Series the Pronghorns finished fourth in the overall standings, but the games among the top five schools were highly contested in all three stops on the series.
However, the Pronghorns sevens season came to an abrupt end with the cancellation of the Canadian University Sevens Championships due to the Convid-19 pandemic.
Winning the rugby team’s Silver Fox is Gwen Fillinger.
Fillinger was a stalwart in practice and games and has grown into becoming one of the most consistent players on the Horns and has demonstrated how to be an exceptional teammate by working hard and skillfully challenging players in practice.
Whether she was starting or a sub, Fillinger was always a player who demonstrated that no matter her role she could positively impact the rest of the team.
Rebecca Powell has earned the Horns Rookie of the Yearn honour, starting every game for the Horns last year and one of a handful of rookies to crack the veteran starting lineup this year.
Boasting speed and skill, the Sherwood Park native helped the Horns rugby team in attack, often breaking the line.
As the last line of defence she was expected to tackle players in isolation. With her first year under her belt she will only grow in skill, knowledge and ability to be a star for the Horns.
This year’s Pronghorns MVP is fifth-year veteran Hailey Driscoll.
One of the fittest players that the program has ever had, Driscoll used her speed to score 15 tries last season.
On defence she was often asked to mark the other teams fastest players and was able to shut them down.
In addition, she was named to the Canadian team that played in the World Universiade last summer in Naples Italy and last season was named a Canada West All-Star and U SPORTS Second Team All-Canadian.
Driscoll will be remembered as one of the most prolific try scorers in Pronghorn history.