B.C. Lions running back Andrew Harris and Desiree Scott of Canada's Olympic bronze-medallist women's soccer team were named the male and female athletes of the year by the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association on Sunday night at the 57th annual awards dinner at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team, who won the American Association championship last season, was named the team of the year and winner of the Maurice Smith Memorial Trophy.
Morris Glimcher, the executive director of the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association, won the Dallis Beck Good Guy Award while Paul Edmonds, the play-by-play announcer for the Winnipeg Goldeyes, was inducted into the Media Roll of Honour.
The Goldeyes team was also the recipient of the Cactus Jack Wells Memorial Award in recognition of the impact the team had on the Manitoba sports scene by winning the league championship with series sweeps of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and the Wichita Wingnuts. It was the first championship for a Winnipeg professional sports team since 1994 when the Goldeyes won the Northern League title.
Harris, a graduate of Oak Park High School, won the male athlete of the year award for a second straight year after he was the runner-up for the Canadian Football League's outstanding Canadian award in the 2012 season and named a league all-star. He led the CFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,830 and was third in the league in rushing with a total of 1,112 yards.
Scott was a starting midfielder for Canada at the London Summer Olympics, playing every minute in Canada's six games. She gained international recognition after she blocked a shot on the goal line in a 1-0 win over France in the bronze-medal game. She was named the player of the match in Canada's 2-2 result against Sweden to qualify for the quarter-finals.
The other male athlete finalists included the Western Hockey League's 2011-12 player of the year, Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City Americans; Joey Johnson of Canada's Paralympic gold-medallist men's wheelchair basketball team; University of Manitoba Bisons men's volleyball CIS all-Canadian player Dane Pischke; and Manitoba amateur golfer of the year Josh Wytinck.
Finalists for the female athlete award also included Olympic silver-medallist rower Janine Hanson; Paralympic gold-medallist wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell; world championship silver-medallist women's singles racquetball player Jennifer Saunders; and Jocelyne Larocque of Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2012 IIHF World Women's Hockey Championship.
The other team finalists were the Esso Cup national midget female hockey champion Pembina Valley Hawks; Allan Cup senior men's hockey champion South East Prairie Thunder; the under-18 FC Northwest male soccer team that won city, provincial, and national titles; and the Kelly Robertson senior men's curling team, which was the runner-up at the World Senior Men's Championship.
The MSSA Jack Matheson Memorial Awards for sports journalism students, announced earlier this month, were presented to Ryan Kessler of Red River College and the University of Winnipeg, Andrew Evans of Ryerson University in Toronto and Ian Froese of King's College in Halifax.