BY IAN THORPE
School has been back in session for a month now, which means that extra-mural athletic programs are again up and running. Football and volleyball are two of the popular fall sports in local schools and another is cross country. Elementary students will be training for zone meets later this month, while secondary runners will be aiming to qualify for the B.C. High School provincial cross country championships to be held in Nanaimo on Nov. 3 at Beban Park.
So with another school athletic season underway, we take time this week to acknowledge local high school students who earned special recognition for their athletic achievements at the end of the last school year.
At Dover Bay Secondary, awards for top Grade 8 athletes were given to Elise Olson, Sophie Fitzsimmons, Sonya Urbanowicz, Lauren Olson, Dawson Blackford, Blake Steel and Will Flint. From Grade 9, top athletes were Annika Puls, Olivia Lundman, Maria Patenaude, Tynan Palfrey and Stewart Stephen. Olivia Ory, Mackenzie Belyea, Cyrus Urbanowicz and Fraser Van Allen were athletes of the year from Grade 10. At the Grade 11 level, winners were Shannon Kearey, Jordan Khakh, Jack Harrison and Jared Chwelos. Athlete of the year honours for graduating students in Grade 12 went to Cara Dunlop, Sarah Zuccaro, Thomas Wright, Candan Nixon and Linden Kaps.
Also from Dover Bay, athletics coordinator Josie Webb sends word that the Bruce Mitchell athletic leadership award was shared by Kim Dinh, Melody Meadows, Joshua Pooley, Graham Dimos and Andrew MacLeod. Winners of the Neal McCormick spirit of sport award were Mariella Sumile, Keelin Nixon, Kristian Owen, Jackson Isnor and Ryland Irving. The Jeet Purhar award was presented to Meadows, Dunlop, Zuccaro, Sophie Scobie and Jessica Ory.
In major awards at Wellington Secondary, coordinator Nicole McRae reports that the Grade 8 athletes of the year were Ryleigh Handby and Nick Kauffman. Jenna Rodway and Keemo Sorochan were the schools junior athletes of the year. Top senior athletes were Gordon Yam and Cassidy Giesbrecht. The Coach’s Award was shared by Hamish MacMillan and Kevin Chen, Volunteer Award winners were Taylor Eshelby and Burken Giesbrecht and the Academic Athlete of the Year was Cassidy Giesbrecht.
Athletic director Glenn Johnson supplied award winners from Nanaimo District Secondary. From last years Grade 8 teams, top athletes were Gus Johnson, Nate Paris and Bailey Rossnagel. Named as top junior athletes were Jamie MacColm, Erin Jensen and Jazmine Wilkinson and top senior athletes were Zephyr Melnyk, Maren Bradbrooke, Jayden Saywell and Mona Pei. Jenna Falkenberg, Giselle Soares and Brianna Gray received the Coaches Award, with major service awards going to Ava Johnson, Arielle Dupuis and Mel Dolbec. Inducted into the NDSS Sports Hall of Fame were former students Michael Edgson for swimming and Scott Ranger for lacrosse.
Over at John Barsby Secondary, awards were given to Svea Debruin, Jake Putz and Jayden Watson as outstanding Grade 8 athletes and Jocelyn Powell, Shaylyn Postema and Ethan Hart as top juniors. The school’s top senior athletes last year were Hope Stewart and Steen Rasmussen. Named as outstanding female athlete overall was Carmen Murphy and outstanding male athletes were Zach Taylor and Ethan Katzberg.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.