2021-22 Griffins Awards: Introducing our Male Athlete of the Year finalists

2021-22 Griffins Awards: Introducing our Male Athlete of the Year finalists

MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Another season of Griffins Athletics is in the books with big wins and great memories to cherish.

Excellence was evident on the field, court and ice as MacEwan student-athletes displayed character, commitment and talent throughout the 2021-22 season.

As we count down to the our annual MacEwan Griffins' Awards Banquet this Saturday we will be revealing the finalists for our major awards in the following order:

Monday: Female Rookie of the Year

Today: Male Rookie of the Year

Wednesday: Male Athlete of the Year

Thursday: Female Athlete of the Year

Friday: Academic Team of the Year and Team of the Year

Here are the three finalists for our 2021-22 Male Athlete of the Year award (in alphabetical order by last name):

Jefferson Morrow, men's volleyball


MacEwan Athletics First Star (Jan. 25)

MacEwan Athletics Third Star (Feb. 15)


The only returning starter on the Griffins after Canada West play resumed following the pandemic-lost season of 2020-21, Morrow was just the steadying presence the team needed.

His passing was relied upon match-in and match-out as the outside hitter led the Griffins with 103 digs.

Morrow was also one of the team's go-to offensive performers, finishing second on the team in kills (153), kills/set (2.47), points (173.0) and points/set (2.8). He also tied for second on the Griffins in service aces (7) and was fourth in blocks (20).

Jefferson Morrow led the Griffins in digs, providing a steadying veteran presence in their passing game this season (Eduardo Perez photo).

Ty Taylor, men's hockey


As the starting goaltender for a Griffins team trying to compete against more-established programs in their inaugural Canada West season, Taylor was forced to stare down more than his share of high-danger chances.

He posted a 4.16 goals against average and .890 save percentage with one shutout – numbers that don't do his performance justice, considering he faced the third-most shots (444) in Canada West.

Advanced stats aren't kept by the conference, but the sheer volume of quality chances he stopped in 2021-22 was larger than most goaltenders in the loop. Taylor's shutout came against Trinity Western on Nov. 26 when he made 29 saves.

As one of the busiest goaltenders in the conference, Ty Taylor faced 444 shots - several of the high-danger variety - as he gave the Griffins a chance each night in their inaugural Canada West season (Joel Kingston photo)

Rakan (Ricky) Yassin, men's soccer


MacEwan's Sandman Player of the Month (October 2021)

MacEwan Athletics' Second Star (Nov. 2)


Yassin finished the 2021 Canada West men's soccer season on a tear and would have likely earned a conference all-star nod if voting didn't happen before the regular season concluded, considering he tied for sixth in the scoring race with four goals and six points in 10 games.

Yassin actually had all of those points in MacEwan's final five games of the season, including scoring the game-winner in a 1-0 triumph over Calgary on Oct. 24 that punched the Griffins' ticket to the Canada West playoffs for the first time in program history.

The second-year striker then led the Griffins with two goals in a 6-3 overtime playoff loss to Victoria, establishing program CW playoff records for goals, points, shots and shots on goal.

Playoffs included, Yassin had the seventh-most goals and tied for the fifth-most points in Canada West this past season.

Rakan (Ricky) Yassin scored many big goals for the Griffins in a historic season that saw them make the Canada West playoffs for the first time (Robert Antoniuk photo)