Sheridan students honoured during pre-game ceremonies at Blue Jays game

Fourth-year Sheridan student and Blue Jays' Scholarship Award winner, Dan Hilborn, is presented with a plaque by team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jason Smith during pre-game ceremonies at Rogers Centre on Saturday.

Blue Jays’ team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jason Smith presents a plaque to Sheridan student, and Blue Jays’ Scholarship Award winner Dan Hilborn, prior to Saturday’s game.


Two Sheridan College students received prestigious awards at Rogers Centre prior to Saturday’s baseball game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles.

The presentation of the Toronto Blue Jays Sports Medicine Award and Dr. Ron Taylor Award is an annual event recognizing a longstanding partnership between the Jays and Sheridan’s Athletic Therapy program.

Members of the faculty, senior administrators of the college and members of the Blue Jays’ training staff joined this year’s recipients, fourth-year students Dan Hilborn and Alison Skoblenick, on the field for the ceremony.

Hilborn is the 24th recipient of the Sports Medicine Scholarship Award, presented in recognition for outstanding achievement in the Applied Science Athletic Training program. Dr. Jason Smith, orthopedic surgeon for the Blue Jays, presented the award.  As part of the honour, Hilborn is interning with the Blue Jays training staff this season.

“It’s been a great year. It’s a really good group of guys. It’s a really cool gig to work with. I’m getting to learn from George (Poulis) and Mike (Frostad), the two trainers. It’s been a great learning experience as well as great to get to know some of the guys. It would’ve been great to see a few more wins, but it’s been a great experience,” said Hilborn.

George Poulis, head athletic trainer for the team, spoke to The Sheridan Sun while doing an admirable job withstanding injured Blue Jays’ slugger and right fielder Jose Bautista’s joking attempts to elicit an on-camera slip-up or two during the interview.

“Danny’s done a great job. The players like him. He’s very professional. He’s just an outstanding person with great values and there’s no doubt in my mind he’s actually in the footsteps of all the other Sheridan College students that we’ve had,” he said.

The veteran team trainer was direct in his advice to students hoping to land the opportunity in the future. “Stay hungry. Just continue to have a drive. Strive to be the best. No doubt,” he said.

Poulis was on-hand to present a plaque bearing the names of past and present winners of the Blue Jays Scholarship to Sheridan president and CEO Jeff Zabudsky.

“This is one of our most proud degrees that we have and what a wonderful relationship we have with the Blue Jays, who consistently provide a scholarship for our students and an internship opportunity for them,” said Zabudsky.

Meanwhile, the fifth annual Dr. Ron Taylor Award was presented to Alison Skoblenick. The award was established to recognize a student that demonstrates a dedication to their education in Athletic Therapy and exemplifying leadership qualities through their commitment to extra-curricular activities.

“It’s a tremendous honour and it’s fabulous to be recognized with such a humble man in the profession. It’s something to strive for,” said Skoblenick.

When asked what the most exciting part of the day was for her, she said, “meeting the big man himself,” referring to Taylor, the man in whose honor the award is named.

Taylor, team doctor and widely considered a Canadian pioneer in sports medicine, was there to present a plaque.

Taylor, a Toronto native, pitched in the majors for parts of 11 seasons from 1962–1972. He attended medical school after retiring from his playing career and returned to baseball as the Blue Jays’ team physician after graduating.

“I am really impressed by the quality of the Sheridan students over the years, including the group today. It’s quite an honourable profession and they should do well,” said Dr. Taylor.