Gaels Hand Out 2023 Awards

by Matt Chamois

For the second year in a row, the Green Gaels gathered at the 420 Wing in Oshawa for their Year End banquet. A gathering including volunteers, coaches, players, and their families has been a year end tradition for years for the Green Gaels Junior Lacrosse Club. While everyone is together, it is also the perfect opportunity to recognize the Green Gaels awards winners from the 2023 season.

Following a lovely festive dinner put together by Red Carpet Catering, eight awards were handed out to members of the organization from the 2023 season.

The Tom “Slick” Wreggitt Award for the Most Valuable Offensive Player was awarded to Carson Christy. Christy, in his first season with the Gaels, led the team in scoring with 24 goals and 53 assists throughout the regular season. Following a couple of seasons away from Lacrosse, Christy returned to put up over four points per game and was a constant threat while on the floor.

Ryan Olan, who would have a busy evening, received the Most Valuable Defensive Player award. Olan returned the Green Gaels part way through the 2023 season and immediately stepped into the leadership role he help in 2022 within the Green Gaels dressing room. Anchoring the Gaels defensive system and being assigned to handle the opponents best offensive players on a regular basis, Olan addition to the Gaels roster in 2023 was a huge bonus for the injury ravaged team.

The Rookie of the Year award was presented to Matt Drimmie. Coming off a provincial championship with the Oshawa Blue Knights U17 program in 2022, Drimmie quickly adapted to Junior lacrosse under Gaels head coach Jay Lee. Finishing third on the team in scoring, Drimmie got stronger and stronger as the year went on including back to back four goal games against the Kahnawake Hunters and Newmarket Saints. Drimmie led the team in goals scored with 29 and added another 25 assists through 16 regular season games.

Ethan Lee was presented with the Most Underrated Player Award. Returning to Lacrosse for the first time since the pandemic, it was unknown how Ethan would adapt to the Gaels defensive system. Those questions would be answered quickly as he was an important piece in both the defensive and transition systems, continuing the be a threat any time the ball was in his stick coming up the floor. Scoring 11 goals and 8 assists in 15 regular season games, he would go on to put up four goals and three assists in three games against the Akwesasne Indians in the playoffs. 

The Jim Bishop Award for Perseverance and Dedication was presented to Bryce Dennis. Dennis’ season was cut short due to an upper body injury. After trying to play through the injury for eight games, it was decided that the injury was too severe to continue playing. Named team captain ahead of the 2023 season, Bryce continued in his role of team captain throughout the remainder of the season supporting his teammates, and has been added to the Green Gaels management team ahead of the 2024 season.

The Ken Johnston Grinder of the Year award for the 2023 season was shared by two players who had their seasons cut short due to injury. Zach Pipher and Bryce Dennis shared the award selected by Green Gaels trainers Mike Bryant and Sara Daley. Both players were able to play in eight games, but continued to hold out hope of re-entering the Gaels lineup throughout the remainder of the season. Pipher will be looking forward to rejoining the Gaels roster for the 2024 season, while Dennis will assist Gaels General Manager Paul Chamois throughout 2024.

Last but not least, the Presidents Award presented to Volunteer of the Year was presented to Ashley Somerville. Ashley joined the Gaels as a volunteer at the front of house in 2022 and has been an extremely important part of our game day experience for fans at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex. Along with all of our amazing volunteers, Ashley has put been a great personality to help represent the Green Gaels at each home game.

For the first time, the Green Gaels Alumni were pleased to be able to award what is hoped to be an annual scholarship in honour of Jim Bishop. Current Green Gaels attending post-secondary school were encouraged to apply for the scholarship which would be decided upon by the Green Gaels Alumni. This years winner of the scholarship was Bryce Dennis. Currently in his third year at the University of Guelph where he is studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce – Sport and Event Management, Dennis is a great representative for the award.

The Green Gaels would also like to recognize the contributions of all members of the 2023 roster, especially Ryan Olan who is graduating from the junior lacrosse ranks, and Bryce Dennis who will miss his final season of junior lacrosse due to the extensive recovery from upper body surgeries for injuries sustained in the 2023 season. Both players join the ranks of Green Gaels alumni and are shining examples of what we aspire these young men to be.

The Gaels will be back to work with our Spring Conditioning Sessions beginning in late February or early March. For more information, please keep an eye on www.greengaels.com for more information.