The Western Hockey League announced today the Red Deer Rebels have been awarded the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy as the WHL Scholastic Team of the Year for the 2023-24 season.

The WHL Scholastic Team of the Year Award was renamed in honour of Jim Donlevy, longtime WHL Director, Education Services, who passed away in August 2019 following a courageous battle with cancer. This marks the fourth occasion on which the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy will be presented to a WHL Club since its dedication.

“On behalf of the Red Deer Rebels, I’d like to thank the league in being selected for the Jim Donlevy Scholastic Team,” said  Teresa Jaeger, Education Advisor for the Red Deer Rebels. “We take great pride in education here and working with our players to be the best that they can be.

“I’d like to thank the players for their hard work and all their commitment they put into getting the best grades and getting their assignments done. I’d also like to thank the teachers at Notre Dame and Athabasca University for helping the team.”

With nine players attending high school, the Rebels combined high-school average for the 2023-24 academic season was 88 per cent. A hardworking group, the Rebels’ high-school aged players put pride in achieving in the classroom, going the extra mile in order to have success.

“On behalf of my family, I am honoured to present the winner of the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy, presented to the WHL Scholastic Team of the Year,” said Lisa Stollery, daughter of Jim Donlevy. “A huge congratulations to the Red Deer Rebels – their extremely hardworking student-athletes, their teachers who help these young men to excel in their academics, their Education Advisor Teresa Jaeger, the Rebels coaches and management team, and the families that support and love them. They are extremely hardworking students.”

As an organization, the Rebels have taken a collaborative approach to working with players to ensure academic success. Jaeger works closely with Hockey Operations staff and leadership from Red Deer’s Notre Dame High School to continually monitor how players are progressing. By having daily sessions, players are provided with the structure and support required to get the most from the learning time available to them.

While on the road, Hockey Operations staff provide leadership and support to keep players on academic track during road trips. Times are designated for players to focus on coursework and they have the opportunity to connect with teachers and Jaeger through Zoom, text, email and Google Meets.

The Rebels insistence on a regular and productive academic routine, combined with support and supervision, has created an environment that fosters academic success.

This is the first occasion in which the Red Deer Rebels have been named the WHL Scholastic Team of the Year.

Winners of the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy (since 2004)

2023-24: Red Deer Rebels

2022-23: Portland Winterhawks

2021-22: Brandon Wheat Kings

2020-21: Not presented due to COVID-19

2019-20: Kamloops Blazers

2018-19: Portland Winterhawks

2017-18: Saskatoon Blades

2016-17: Victoria Royals

2015-16: Spokane Chiefs

2014-15: Kamloops Blazers

2013-14: Calgary Hitmen

2012-13: Portland Winterhawks

2011-12: Edmonton Oil Kings

2010-11: Swift Current Broncos

2009-10: Tri-City Americans

2008-09: Prince Albert Raiders

2007-08: Chilliwack Bruins

2006-07: Kamloops Blazers

2005-06: Kootenay ICE

2004-05: Vancouver Giants

2003-04: Portland Winter Hawks