HHSS celebrates athletes, coaches
By Sue Tiffin
Published June 19, 2018
Athletes, coaches, family and friends celebrated a year of HHSS sports at the high school’s annual athletic banquet held on June 12.
Speeches were often emotional as coaches recounted memorable events and moments and named most valuable players from each team in: wrestling, curling, figure skating, snowboarding, ice hockey, volleyball, basketball, football, golf, cross-country running, rugby, field hockey, soccer, track and field and badminton. The night was particularly emotional for coaches and educators Judi Paul, Russ Duhaime and Ron Yake who are retiring this year.
Yake was athlete of the year himself at the school in 1981, and has been involved in coaching and organizing HHSS sports since 1988. While introducing Yake for an Impact Award, Jason Morissette said he was patient, humble, kind, an all-around exceptional athlete and that his passion and enthusiasm had motivated countless individuals throughout the years.
The evening ended with the announcement of athlete of the year awards.
Ben Schmidt, who has been involved in badminton, cross country, soccer and track and field was the male recipient of the athlete of the year award.
“I don’t have one favourite moment that stood out, but experiencing OFSAA three separate times for badminton were all my favourite,” he said. “Being able to be in such a big event was a very exciting learning experience.”
Schmidt said he loves the competitive aspect of sports, but doesn’t play to win.
“I’ve never been one to play sports for the glory,” he said. “I play sports for the personal benefit of it, and I just want to be able to tell any other young athletes to not do it to win, but to strive to do your best and keep beating your best. It doesn’t matter who you are, anyone can participate in sports and have fun playing them.”
Incredibly, Schmidt’s win makes him the fourth person in his family – the last of four brothers – to win the award.
“We can thank our parents for teaching us to be driven, hard working, and to not give up,” he said.
Emily Klose, who was part of field hockey, wrestling, badminton and soccer, was the female recipient of the athlete of the year award.
“The most memorable athletic moment for me was probably OFSAA wrestling in Grade 12,” she said. “I won a couple of difficult matches and made it on to the second day of the event. This experience was very memorable because I’ve been doing wrestling since I was about 10 years old, and I could see the results of my efforts at this event.”
Klose acknowledged that Coach Smith, who presented the award to her, had helped her grow both physically and mentally, and on stage, made a point to thank her teammates and parents for helping her.
“It’s nice to be recognized for the time I’ve spent doing sports throughout high school,” she told the Echo. “It means a lot to me to be singled out as an able athlete, but mostly I just did sports because I enjoy doing sports. I’m extremely grateful for all the time and effort my coaches and teammates have put into my improvement, and my winning athlete of the year was a result of their contribution to my athletics. “
Athletes of the Year: Ben Schmidt, Emily Klose
Cumulative Minor Athletic Award: Shawn Walker, Aidan Coles, Kyle Cooper, Jacob Haedicke, Coleman Heaven, Camraen Little, Zach Morissette, Carson Sisson, Connor Spence, Trevor Turner, Rebecca Archibald, Melissa Brinkos, Noelle Dupret Smith, Madeline Hopkins, Freya Moran, Mia Quigley, Hannah Riopelle, Chloe Samson, Kailynn Sikma, Isaac Little, Madison Allaire
Cumulative Major Athletic Award: Emily Klose, Dakota MacDonald, Nolan Flood, Liam Little, Owen Patterson Smith, Natalya Gimon, Arden Harrop, Matt Manning
Award of Excellence: Sam Longo, Ben Schmidt, Zak Shantz
Kit Pizzey Intramural Participation Award: Matt Manning
Rising Red Hawk Award: Isaac Little, Melissa Brinkos