Football alumnus pays it forward with annual student-athlete award

October Athletes of the Month

Shaun Keyes ('99) has established the 'October Athletes of the Month' award to recognize and celebrate varsity student-athletes. Keyes played defensive back for the Mounties and wanted to do something to recognize the efforts of varsity student-athletes on campus. He was named October Athlete of the Month in his final year at Mount Allison.

“Being a varsity student-athlete was the cornerstone of my Mount Allison experience and it's important to me to recognize the commitment and effort these student-athletes put into their sport at Mount Allison. I would like to encourage other former student-athletes to find new and creative ways to give back,” says Keyes.

The October Athletes of the Month, one male and one female, will be chosen each year to receive the award based on a combination of exceptional athletic performance in their sport and leadership both on and off the field. The $1,000 award will be shared between the two student-athletes to foster a strong sense of team spirit through a team celebration. 

The inaugural awards were presented by Keyes to second-year Hockey Mountie Bianca Zak and fifth-year Football Mountie Josh Hicks.

In the month of October, Bianca Zak led her team to a thrilling double overtime 2-1 win over StFX, stopping 36 shots and all three shooters in the OT shootout. This marked the first win for the Mounties over perennially-strong StFX in five years. Zak is a BSc psychology student from Stonewall, MB and has played all but one game between the pipes for the Mounties since mid-October, establishing herself early in her Mounties’ career as a team leader both on and off the ice.

In October, Josh Hicks spearheaded a trip back to the playoffs for the Mounties, helping the team win two pivotal games vs. SMU and Bishop’s and narrowly being defeated by undefeated Acadia 33-31, to finish the season at 3-5. In the win vs. Bishop’s, Hicks had 142 receiving yards and was named Athlete of the Week at Mount Allison. In the loss to Acadia he had an AUS record 16 receptions for 300 yards and a touchdown. The 300 yards also tied the AUS record for receiving yards in a single game. Hicks had an exceptional fifth and final year for the Mounties and will finish his career with 129 receptions — placing him third in the Mounties all-time list behind Gary Ross (’10) and Adam Molnar (’12). From Moncton, NB, he also completed two degrees — a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in economics.