Drayton native Nathan Spaling was named the 2009-10 University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) male Athlete of the Year recently at the school’s 4th annual athletic Banquet.
A third-year Criminology major, Spaling is quickly developing a name for himself across Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and on campus as an exceptional hockey player and a natural leader.
In the 2009-10 varsity season, Spaling averaged a point per game on the scoresheet and often found himself on the ice in key situations, helping lead the team to its first ever playoff appearance.
Spaling is one of the top overall students in the Faculty of Criminology, Justice and Policy studies and a two-time winner of the UOIT Scholastic award for having the top GPA. He has become accustomed to life as a varsity athlete, ensuring he is fully dedicated to the team but also to his studies.
On the ice, Spaling is the Ridgebacks’ all-time leading scorer with 65 career points and has played in every game in the program’s history. To add to this accomplishment, you can also often find Spaling helping out the department with different initiatives and community activities such as the leading the team’s effort at the Terry Fox Run, leading minor hockey practices or visiting elementary schools.
Spaling was also the recipient of the inaugural James-Baun Cup – along with women’s hockey assistant captain Rikki Palmateer – which was presented by Greg Baun and Michelle Carol, son and daughter of Toronto Maple Leaf legend Bobby Baun.
The James-Baun Cup is presented to a student-athlete on the men’s and women’s hockey teams who show commitment, dedication, perseverance, academic responsibility, leadership and is a great teammate in the pursuit of excellence. The Cup is named after Bobby Baun and his long time friend Don James.
“To achieve the highest grades of any varsity athlete and to be named the athletes of the year is an unbelievable accomplishment,” said Ken Babcock, UOIT athletic director.