Volume 96, Issue 94
Thursday, March 27, 2003

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Jimmy and Judy snag top athletic honours
Niru Somayajula/Gazette
HOW MUCH BEER WILL IT TAKE TO FILL THESE CUPS? Jimmy Grozelle and Judy McCartney have the answer: Much.

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

Jimmy and Judy went up on stage
To fetch a pair of plaques;
Judy stepped down
With her new crown,
And Jimmy came beaming after.

Amateurish poetry aside, Western's Annual Athletic Awards banquet, held on Tuesday night at the Hilton London, was an extremely raucous affair.

The evening was marked by an emotionally charged and apparently "liquidated" audience, most notably the women's lacrosse team (screaming "Bene, Bene," in admiration of coach and Most Valuable Player Anne Benedetti) and the men's and women's soccer teams.

However, when the big hardware was presented, the crowd went silent. Jimmy Grozelle, point guard of the men's basketball team, was announced as the Dr. Claude Brown Memorial Trophy recipient as the male student-athlete who has made the greatest contribution to intercollegiate athletics within the university. Judy McCartney, most valuable player of the women's rugby team, was awarded the F.W.P. Jones Trophy as the female student-athlete who exhibited the same traits stated above.

Grozelle's selection was marked by audience eruption, as they gave the unassuming, pint-sized baller a lengthy standing ovation. He appeared completely enthralled with the reception and when asked what the award meant to him, was forced to take a deep breath.

"I can't put it into words," Grozelle said. "Western basketball has been my life for the past five years. I've been part of an incredible tradition here at Western – there are so many amazing athletes here tonight."

McCartney summed up her feelings succinctly. "Obviously, it's great to be chosen – who wouldn't be thrilled?"

Grozelle's basketball career has spanned five years, growing from a driven and confident rookie from the small town of Ridgetown, Ontario, to the calm and collected veteran who has put together quite possibly the greatest individual performance in Western basketball history.

The game in question was against the Waterloo Warriors Jan. 25 at Alumni Hall, where Grozelle ran through, around and over every hapless Warrior defender to score 50 points. Western head coach Craig Boydell spoke emotionally about his star player's performance.

"It was the signature on his career," Boydell said. "The amazing thing about the game was that he did all of it within the offense in an overtime game while in foul trouble. It might be the best line in the history of Canadian university basketball."

"When I was asked to submit my selection for this award, I tried to capture the essence of his career," Boydell explained. "There have been two eras in Western men's basketball: the John Steifelmeyer era and the Jimmy Grozelle era. He played with three All-Canadians, but he was the glue through the careers of those guys – he defines an era."

McCartney, likewise, has been a rugby goddess, leading the women's ruggers to silver medals at the Ontario University Athletics Championship as well as the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championship.

"Judy's been through a transition," said head coach Natascha Wesch. "We wanted to make [the Western program] an elite one and Judy has set the path for the players who come after her. She's set a great example academically and athletically."

In addition to McCartney's athletic prowess on the field, the fourth-year science student has also excelled in the classroom, where she maintains an 85 per cent average. This classroom profiency resulted in the flanker's selection as a two-time academic All-Canadian.

McCartney is headed to Waterloo next year for graduate studies and will be married in June. How does she do it all?

"I wonder sometimes how I do it," McCartney said with a chuckle. "It gets stressful, but I get through it - I can't imagine myself not being a part of the rugby program."


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