Canadian Kyle Betts named student-athlete of the year in NCAA Eastern conference

·2 min read

Kyle Betts of the Flesherton area in Grey County has just been recognized as student-athlete of the year by ECAC, one of six conferences in Division 1 NCAA ice hockey.

Betts is a senior Electrical & Computer Engineering major at Cornell University in Ithaca, and is an assistant captain for the “Big Red.”

Kyle grew up near Flesherton. His parents are Scott and Tanya and his sister is Brooke. Kyle played hockey with the Grey Bruce Highlanders and in Powell River, B.C. before going to Cornell.

His father said that because of the suspension of games during the pandemic, Betts has had his eligibility extended by a year, and will be doing course work in 2021-2022 to complete two minors, including business.

News of the award was released last week. It’s meant to recognize students who are leaders on their team, in their academics and in the community.

“Not only has he excelled in the classroom himself, he’s taken it a step further and served as a TA, where he’s received rave reviews from both professors and students,” the ECAC press release said.

“Outside the classroom, he’s volunteered in countless endeavors, including the coaches vs. cancer events, mentor program at a local school, and a missions trip to the Dominican Republic,” the notice continued.

Kyle has had a 4.0 Grade Point Average most terms, and is in the top one percent in his class.

“Kyle Betts is remarkably intelligent and driven to succeed,” said School of Electrical and Computing Engineering Professor David H. Albonesi.

“Near the top of his class in one of the most difficult majors in the university; and one of the finest individuals that I have encountered in my academic career.”

His coach also sings his praises. “Kyle is the definition of commitment as an athlete,” said Cornell head coach Mike Schafer.

“I have never had any athlete who trains as hard as he does on a day-to-day basis”.

At the time of its last game, the Cornell team was ranked #1 in the nation.

Although contribution on-ice had to be waived this season since only four of ECAC Hockey's 12 programs competed, Cornell sources say that Betts had already cemented his role on the nationally-elite university hockey team.

The team could rely on Betts on face-offs and he often was assigned the job of neutralizing the opposition’s most powerful forward line, Cornell said.

Proud dad, Scott, said Kyle’s accomplishment was a feather in his cap, since it has been 20 years since a Cornell student won the honour. His parents are looking forward to congratulating him in person when border restrictions and timing allow.

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald