More Than a Student-Athlete: Becoming a Role Model On and Off the Field

Jeff Mills Memorial Cup Awarded to John Abbott College Football Player and Science Student.

The Jeff Mills Memorial Cup is presented annually to the student-athlete who best embodies athletic, academic and community leadership characteristics. This year, John Abbott College awarded Louis Prince, a football player and science student, for his hard work, dedication, and leadership.

A long time John Abbott College employee mentioned to me last night that the Jeff Mills is not won but earned. I think that we are all very proud to see Louis rewarded. […] In this day and age, it’s uncommon to see a kid, anyone really, embrace such a vocal leadership role and completely have his actions aligned with his words. Louis is such a consistent performer. He shows up every day and works very hard with energy and enthusiasm. – Patrick Gregory, Head Coach, John Abbott College Football

Louis Prince (centre) awarded the Jeff Mills Memorial Cup at the Annual Islanders Awards Night on May 3, 2023, at John Abbott College. Pictured with Prince is last year’s recipient of the award Sena Cartterall (left) and Dennis Waide, Director of Student Services (right).

Photo courtesy of Kevin J. Raftery.

Prince began his football career at the age of 10 in Verdun, playing for the Pointe St-Charles Aces and the Verdun Ti-Cats. In 2019, Prince joined the Québec Bantam Football League (QBFL) all-star team, but his time was cut short due to the pandemic. Once John Abbott College returned to in-person activities in 2021, Prince was given the opportunity to play for the football team, going on to win the coveted division championship Bol D’Or. Beyond his football career, Prince has been heavily involved in extra-curricular activities. During the 2021 season, Prince joined the Social Justice Committee at John Abbott College and worked part time for the Facilities Management Services department.

It’s a tremendous honour to win this award that commemorates someone who made a large impact both on and off the field. I think a large part of why I was selected for this award is because of my impact on my teammates. Entering my final season, I tried to be the mentor I would have needed as a young player. Through this lens, I was able to form personal relationships with each of my teammates which strengthened the team as a whole. I believe that my involvement in the Social Justice Committee sparked others from my team to join, creating a positive impact in the community. – Louis Prince, Jeff Mills Memorial Cup recipient.

Louis Prince giving his acceptance speech as the recipient of the Jeff Mills Memorial Cup at the Annual Islanders Awards Night at John Abbott College on May 3, 2023.

Photo courtesy of Kevin J. Raftery.

The Jeff Mills Memorial Cup is named after Jeff Mills, a football player for the Macdonald-Abbott Clansmen in 1973-74, who met an untimely death in 1975. Mills was known as a leader on and off the field and was a true representation of a team player. The award has been given out since 1975 and has had over 50 recipients. Amongst those recipients are Gord Brabant, the first recipient of the award, Mike and Sean Smallwood, the father-son duo, Georgina Paull, one of two female CFL officials, and Scott, Robert, and Justin Pemberton, three brothers who each won the award individually.

The Annual Islanders Awards Night rewards student-athletes for their dedication in school and in their sport. Prince also received the Jonathan Ruiter Memorial Award for the best team player on the football team.

My hope for future athletes at John Abbott is that they strive for success, not only in their sports but in all other areas of their lives. School should be a top priority and taking pride in your effort can go a long way. Getting involved in the community and forming relationships with those around you is super important in order to be a well-rounded student athlete. – Louis Prince, Jeff Mills Memorial Cup Recipient

Prince will be continuing his football career at the University of Ottawa where he will be playing for the Gee-Gees football team and studying mechanical engineering.

 

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