Clark and Bettencourt named Orillia Thunderwolves 2019-2020 athletes of the year

A men's soccer player kicks the ball during a game


Chris Bettencourt member of the varsity men's indoor soccer team.

March 27, 2020 – Orillia, Ont.

The Lakehead Orillia Thunderwolves didn’t let the cancellation of the annual Athletic Awards Banquet stop them from celebrating a successful 2019-2020 athletics season. On Friday, March 27, the Thunderwolves handed out awards to student athletes during a virtual banquet.

“This isn’t the way that we wanted the season to end, but it was important for us to celebrate the accomplishments of our athletes with their teammates and peers,” explained Sarah Batley, Student Athletics and Wellness Coordinator. “Thank you for the incredible spirit and passion you have shown, this year, for your sport. And a special thanks to our graduating athletes. Congratulations to everyone, in particular our award winners.”

Hannah Clark (women’s basketball) and Chris Bettencourt (varsity men’s indoor soccer) were named 2019-2020 Athletes of the Year.

A female basketball player dribbles a basketball down the court

Hannah Clark of the women's basketball team.

Clark, a Master of Education student, helped lead the women’s basketball team to three championships. This year, she stepped up to mentor and welcome new players into the Thunderwolves family, and committed to making the new on-court partnership with the Georgian Grizzlies a success.

Bettencourt, a fourth-year Business Administration student, will leave the program on solid footing. For four years, Bettencourt led the varsity men’s indoor soccer team with dedication, charisma and hard work. As team captain, he took an active role in supporting the first-year players and ensuring that they adapted to the program and the collegiate level of play.

Gia Spiropoulos player-coach

Gia Spiropoulos, player-coach for the women's basketball team.

The new Principal’s Award for Leadership in Athletics and Recreation was presented to Gia Spiropoulos (women’s basketball) and Peter Scholtes (men’s basketball). Both Spiropoulos and Scholtes stepped up to take on player-coach roles for their respective teams in their first year with the Thunderwolves. Neither of these student-athletes needed to take on the role of coach, adding to their already demanding academic programs, but they both did so in order to allow their teammates to continue playing.

Peter Scholtes player-coach

Peter Scholtes, player-coach for the men's basketball team. 

Another major award winner was varsity golfer Lucas Chiarot who received the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) All-Academic Award. The OCAA All-Academic Award is presented to full-time student athletes who also meet honours academic standards at Lakehead University.

A young man watches his golf ball after a chip shot

Lucas Chiarot, member of the varsity men's golf team and recipient of the OCAA All-Academic Award.

Awards were also presented to top student athletes in each of the University’s sports teams: varsity golf, equestrian, men’s and women’s hockey, dance, men’s and women’s varsity indoor soccer, and men’s and women’s basketball. Most valuable player and rookie of the year were announced and presented by the team coaches, who were also recognized and thanked by the University.

A complete list of award winners from the evening can be found below as well as on our website

Athletes of the Year

Hannah Clark – Women’s Basketball
Chris Bettencourt – Varsity Men’s Indoor Soccer

Principal’s Award for Athletics in Leadership and Recreation

Gia Spiropoulos – Women’s Basketball
Peter Scholtes – Men’s Basketball

Team Awards

Men’s Basketball
MVP: Kurtis Page
Leadership Award: Brett Tomlinson

Women’s Basketball
MVP: Breanna Shaw
Rookie of the Year: Avery Williams

MVP: Lauren Oke
Most Dedicated: Elizabeth Reynolds

MVP: Jill Widdifield
Rookie of the Year: Meaghan Welch

Varsity Golf
MVP: Josh Brown
Rookie of the Year: Alex Castanheiro

Men’s Hockey
MVP: Santino Tonigussi
Rookie of the Year: Kyle Kopko

Women’s Hockey
MVP: Jordan Bolzon
Rookie of the Year: Fairyn Bannerman

Men’s Varsity Indoor Soccer
MVP: Chris Bettencourt
Rookie of the Year: Connor Chowen

Women’s Varsity Indoor Soccer
MVP: Ally Morris
Rookie of the Year: Grace Heywood

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Media contact: Jaclyn Bucik, Media, Communications & Marketing Associate at

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. In 2019, Maclean’s 2020 University Rankings, once again, included Lakehead University among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, while Research Infosource named Lakehead 'Research University of the Year' in its category for the fifth consecutive year. Visit

A woman dribbles a basketball and a young male runs after a soccer ball