Brett Ulbikas of the Guelph Gryphons leads the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association year end awards, winning both the top midfielder and top graduating player awards, based on voting by the member schools.
Western's Cody Ward and Manraj Nijjar won the awards for outstanding attack and goalie, respectively. Trent University also took a pair of awards, with Cam Garlin being named the top rookie and coaches Geoff McKinley, Mark Farthing, ?Josh Wasson and Eric Grice earning the top coaching staff nod. Brock's Parker Baile won a tight race for the top defender position.
Teams voted for first, second and third place nominees in each category with points awarded on a 3-2-1 basis.
Cody Ward's big edge in the CUFLA goal-scoring race was reflected in his victory in the outstanding attack category. Ward scored 52 goals, 13 more than second-place Mitch de Snoo of Toronto, and he totalled 21 points in the voting, 7 ahead of Brock's Brandon Slade. Ward added 14 assists to also lead CUFLA in points with 66. Ward was also named to the All Baggataway Cup team by Pat Gregoire of Inside Lacrosse after helping lead the Mustangs to their first championship in 15 years.
Outstanding Midfielder and Outstanding Graduating Player
Ulbikas has been a two-way threat for the Gryphons throughout his four years at Guelph. He burst onto the scene with 10 goals in the Baggataway Cup playoffs as Guelph won the title in his rookie year. Since then he has taken on progressively more responsibility as a team leader on and off the field. Ulbikas had a career year offensively in 2016, scoring 30 goals and 16 assists for 46 points. He graduates as a two-time Baggataway Cup champion and two-time All-Canadian.
Radovic defensive player award
The defender of the year spoke to the quantity of high quality long pole players in CUFLA. Seven players from six teams received first-place votes. Parker Baile's rangy athleticism won out, earning the Brock Badger 13 points from two firsts, three seconds and one third. McGill's Bradley Hoffman received 11 points in the voting and Jonathan Leclerc of Trent, Nate McKenzie of Guelph and Adam Kirchmayer of Brock each got 10 points.
Most Valuable Goaltender
Manny Nijjar showed at the Baggataway Cup just how valuable he could be to his team. An honourable mention All-Canadian for the second straight year in 2016, Nijjar stepped up his game on Final Six weekend with a brilliant performance that held Trent's potent offence largely in check in Western's championship game win.
At just 17 years old, Cam Garlin showed the skill that made him such a prized addition to Trent's attack, leading the Excalibur with 28 goals and finishing third on the team with 38 points. Garlin uses his size to good effect, drawing top defenders but still managing to find shooting lanes.
Coaching Staff of the Year
With Geoff McKinley calling the shots and assisted by Josh Wasson on offence and Mark Farthing on defence, along with integral assistance from video and statistics analyst Eric Grice,?the Excalibur reached the Baggataway Cup championship game for the first time in Trent's decade as a member of CUFLA. Trent went 11-1 in the regular season and led CUFLA East in scoring. ?