By Emilie Medland-Marchen, April 6 2017 —
Every year, the Gauntlet gives out two Extra Effort Awards to a male and a female Dinos athlete at the annual Night of the Dino. Our female award winner this year is Temitope Ogunjimi. Ogunjimi exemplifies extra effort in everything she does — whether she’s playing for Dinos rugby, competing for Dinos wrestling or balancing academics with training for both disciplines. Ogunjimi was a major force in earning the Dinos rugby team their first ever Canada West championship and a spot in the U Sports Finals. She earned two U Sports medals this year — bronze in rugby and silver in the 63 kg wrestling division. Her strength as a multi-sport athlete is an admirable feat as a university student, which is why she is this year’s female Extra Effort Award winner.
Our Gauntlet Extra Effort male award winner is Niko DiFonte. DiFonte was the secret weapon of the Dinos football team this year and his incredible kicking efforts helped bring the team all the way to the Vanier Cup championships this season. His impressive field goals gave the Dinos the lead in key moments throughout the season. After Johnny Mark left the kicking position vacant for the Dinos this season, DiFonte beat out fourth-year kicker Alec Curtis for the spot on the team. Despite being a first-year athlete, DiFonte’s impressive skill this season shows that he has the talent to follow in Mark’s footsteps. Joining the Dinos directly from high school, DiFonte had a lot to prove this season, but he managed to blow everyone away despite his young age.