Brett Thurston, after just two years with the Dinos men's hockey team, was chosen to lead the team as their captain in his third year. Although his five years of experience in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings made him a stellar player, it is not the primary reason for him being chosen as captain.
He had proven himself a leader with three years as assistant captain on the Wheat Kings and showed improvements through his hard work each year as a Dino. This year the defenseman had a goal and nine assists during the regular season and two assists during playoffs.
According to Dinos head coach Scott Atkinson, Thurston has the variety of characteristics that are necessary to lead a team. He has provided better leadership than the team has seen in the past.
"The players have a close affinity to him," Atkinson said of Thurston. "They respect him."
This year, Thurston led the men into playoffs to be beaten in the Canada West mountain division final by the University of Alberta Golden Bears--the same situation as the preceding eight years. Thurston, with two years of eligibility left, will hopefully lead the Dinos beyond the Bears soon.
"Thurston is an example of the values required for success," said Atkinson. "He's the shining example of what so many players on the team have."
Along with being a great leader and player, Thurston always took the time to get back to the Gauntlet hockey writer whether he was busy with exams, training or even in the middle of an important series. Now that's dedication, no?
After just one year with the Dinos women's volleyball team, Deanna Delisle has already made a mark. She started out on the bottom rung and climbed to the top by the time it really mattered. At the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Women's Volleyball Championship at the University of Calgary in early March, she played an integral part in securing the bronze.
After graduating high school in Holbein, Saskatchewan, Delisle took some time off--from school and volleyball--before commencing studies at Red Deer College. There, she played two years of volleyball with the Queens, making a name for herself in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference before joining the Dinos.
Her purpose on the Dinos would be to fill the middle position left open when three middles graduated the preceding year. At 25 years old--the oldest team member--and with no provincial or national team experience, no one expected Delisle to become one of the best middles in the conference.
"Her learning curve was vertical," exclaimed Dinos head coach Kevin Boyles without exaggeration.
And none of this came gift-wrapped with a pretty bow. While Delisle did stand out in the ACAC, she lacked a lot of the skills and abilities of some more experienced Dinos when she arrived. However, not one to back down from a challenge, Delisle put forth every effort to improve, helping her to excel by the end of this season.
"She's all about work," explained Boyles. "She works harder than anyone I've ever seen."
It is for this hard work that she deserves the Gauntlet's recognition. Hopefully, she will keep it up for her remaining years and help the team bring home another national title.