Amaral goes out on a high
It seems fitting that J.P. Amaral studied electrical engineering at Georgian College.
Through five seasons with the Grizzlies varsity men's basketball team, the 23-year-old guard never hit a short circuit.
In fact, the Barrie native's energized, charged-up play was nothing but electrifying.
Amaral ranks second on the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association all-time career scoring list with a mind-boggling 1,526 points.
He averaged 20.6 points in his final season.
The four-time all-star and four-year Grizzlies team captain led the league with 100 free throws in his final campaign.
At Georgian's varsity athletic banquet at the Barrie campus on Thursday night, the lights were officially dimmed on Amaral's esteemed college career, but not before one final surge.
He was named the school's male athlete of the year.
"I try not to think about it, but I guess that's it," said Amaral, holding the Cloutier Cup as he recalled his time playing for his hometown college team.
"I still remember every single year, every single team, every single coach," the former St. Joan of Arc Knights high school standout said. "Without basketball, (college) wouldn't have been the same."
The hardwood gang shone bright in the major awards category,
as Innisfil native Dana Marley swooped up the Greer Trophy as the school's female athlete of the year.
The five-foot-nine guard soared to new heights in her fourth season with the women's basketball team, averaging 14.8 points to go along with 9.6 rebounds per game.
She humbly accepted the coveted award, which she said came as a complete surprise.
"I'm very shocked," Marley said. "They were reading off my stats and I didn't really clue in until they said my name.
"I just think it's amazing," she added. "I'm really speechless."
Georgian's women's basketball team lost all-star Summer Bly to a season-ending injury at the start of the campaign, leaving Marley to step up and lead the squad into the playoffs with an all-star season of her own.
"I knew that someone would have to take her place. Someone would have to be the scorer. Someone would have to be there to encourage the girls," said Marley, who studies psychology through Laurentian University at Georgian. "I kind of had no choice, but, in a way, I enjoyed it."
Barrie native Erin McClean picked up the female rookie of the year award. The 18-year-old outside hitter led her women's
For a complete list of winners, visit thebarrieexaminer.com
volleyball team in kills and points, while finishing eighth in the conference with an average of 3.02 points per game. The Innisdale Secondary School grad was named to the OCAA East Region second all-star team, finishing with 154 kills, 40 aces and five blocks.
Multi-sport athlete Dan Leonhardt was the recipient of the male rookie of the year award for his play on the volleyball and badminton courts. The 20-year-old Brodhagen native teamed up with Elliott de Jong to qualify for the provincials in badminton -- finishing sixth -- while having the third-most kills and points per game with the men's volleyball squad.
Barrie native Pat Mercer received the Howard/Belcourt award for outstanding sportsmanship. The 25-year-old fourth-year student led by example, playing indoor soccer while receiving an OCAA All-Academic award, which recognizes student athletes who achieve an 80% average or higher.
Nicole Laviolette, a Belleville native, also plays indoor soccer and was the recipient of the McKillican Trophy, recognizing outstanding contributions to the athletic department. Laviolette is a part-time staff member at the college's athletic centre, and she's also an accomplished artist. She jazzed up her school with Grizzly-themed artwork throughout the year and also painted the Grizzly logo on the rugby field.
The athletic banquet is a celebration of athletes, coaches and support staff, said intercollegiate co-ordinator Jeff Harris, adding it's never easy picking the award winners.
"It's tough to choose, and we like having that problem," he said.