For the fifth year in a row and the eighth time in the last nine years the UBC Okanagan Heat Male Student Athlete of the Year has played for the men’s volleyball team. Miraculously there has also never been a repeat winner in the history of the award as Brett Uniat finishes his career off at UBC’s Okanagan campus earning the school’s top athletic honour.
Dedicated equally in the classroom as he is on the court, Brett received a Heat Scholar-Athlete award and was named a CIS Academic All-Canadian, averaging 89% in his engineering classes. On the court in his final year, this undersized middle was a force at the net with 81 total blocks and 69 block assists to finish sixth in the CIS. A dedicated, positive and team-first player, Brett received the Heat Sacrifice Award for men’s volleyball. Forever a role-model of what it means to be a student athlete, Brett’s ability on the court and in the classroom earns him the award.
The school’s other sports offered some very strong competition with four other strong nominees, they are: Cody Bell (Golf), Austin Jones (Soccer), Mitch Goodwin (Basketball), and Colin Wallace (Cross Country).
Cody Bell in his second year of heating up the links for UBC Okanagan once again the led the Heat men’s golf team. This Salmon Arm student athlete Earned PACWEST provincial All-Star status as he finished third in the province and tenth in the country. A dedicated student in the Faculty of Management he has, for the second consecutive season, been recognized as a Provincial Academic Excellence Award winner as well as a CCAA Academic All Canadian. Cody Bell is a strong nominee representing the men’s golf team.
In his second season with the Heat men’s soccer team and in PACWEST competition, Austin Jones played in all fourteen regular season games scoring six goals as a starting midfielder. He earned a berth on the PACWEST All-Star team and finished seventh in league scoring. His drive and love for the game has translated into eagerness in practices and other workouts to improve his game, and makes him a leader by example. His hat trick in a 3-2 win over Quest on October 14th was a personal highlight of the year.
Mitch Goodwin in his rookie season exploded onto the Canada West scene not just pouring in points, but being a hard-nosed defender in head coach Pete Guarasci’s defense-first philosophy. Nominated for the CIS All-Rookie team, he was also a finalist in for the Canada West Rookie of the Year award – leading all Canada West freshmen in scoring at 13.4 ppg. A Human Kinetics student with a 78% average, this student consistently puts in the time required to excel in the classroom and on the court. And even as a rookie he has become a leader for his teammates through his work ethic.
In his first year wearing a Heat uniform Colin Wallace endured injuries but remained positive and supportive of his teammates at practices, this attitude has made him a role model and leader amongst his teammates. Although his season did not unfold as planned due to injury, he still finished 23rd overall at the CCAA National Cross Country championships and was named a National All-Canadian for his provincial excellence.