Elyse Schebesch presents the girls snowboarding team with their awards. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Sparwood Secondary School recognizes athletes

On June 15, Sparwood Secondary School (SSS) coaches presented 41 students with awards, recognizing them for improvements and achievements throughout the past year.

The 41 students participated in senior boys, junior boys, bantam boys, bantam girls, junior girls and senior girls basketball. Young snowboarders, curlers, soccer enthusiasts, golfers and track and field athletes were also presented with awards.

SSS held an award ceremony at the end of the winter, and now another at the end of the year.

SSS athletic director, Penny Lowe, is proud of her students accomplishments in athletics, this year.

“This is the start of a new era in celebrating our athletes, and our coaches,” she said. “This is a (time) to celebrate being a Spartan.”

Lowe was referring to the words inscribed on the gym wall, which speak to the morals of Spartan athletes; sportsmanship, passion, attendance, respect, teamwork, academics, never quit, and success.

“Even in life, those words will hold you well and keep you going in the right direction,” said Lowe.

Awards were presented to, “athletes that went above and beyond.”

Dave Endicott and Phil McLachlan of the Sparwood Curling Club were first to present athletes with awards. Kurtis Chatterson was named Most Valuable Player, Connor Furedi was named Most Improved, and Erik Fehr was named Most Sportsmanlike.

Bantam girls basketball coaches, Lorne Cook and Mack Adams, presented three awards. Kourtenay Holberton was named Most Valuable player, Heide Wilson was named Most Improved, and Cheyenne Smith was named Most Sportsmanlike.

This was Wilson’s first year playing basketball.

“To go from tryouts to most improved is quite a task,” said Cook.

Coach Christenson and Coach Elliot awarded four bantam boys basketball players with awards. Brady Drake was named MVP, Aidan Latka was the Most Improved player, Drycen Beranek showed the best sportsmanship, and Dylan Rauser was named, ‘Mr. Hustle.’

The coaches also acknowledged the senior boys basketball team, and how they have set the bar high for the athletes stepping into their place next year.

Christenson and Elliot then awarded four junior boys basketball players because of their efforts. Brendan Walgren was named MVP, Wyatt MacDonald was named most improved, Gage Paskiewich was the most sportsmanlike, and Jordan Webber was named, ‘Mr. Hustle.’

Tanya Wagner awarded the junior girls basketball team with their awards of accomplishment. The award for Most Improved Player went to Angelica Goetting. A second Most Improved Player award was given out to Sharane Blair. Two awards were given for most sportsmanlike player; one to Sidney Nelson and the other to Sierra Wyld. Kaylee Reed was named MVP.

Wagner also presented the senior girls basketball awards.

“We had a great season,” she said, thanking some of the junior girls who stepped up to the plate when some senior girls could not make it.

The two most improved senior girls basketball players were Audrey Roberts and Brittany Caron. Paige Engle was recognized for her heart, her hustle and her sportsmanlike behavior. Two MVP awards were given, both for different reasons. Team captain, Riley Olden, had a calming affect among the girls on the court, and seemed to put everyone together in stressful times. Braelyn Beranek was named MVP because of her spot-on court performance, and playing almost every minute of every game.

Peter Templin and Adam Christenson then presented the senior boys basketball awards. For this team especially, 2016-17 was an exceptional year. The senior boys won every game played in the Kootenay’s. They won six tournaments, and by the end of the year, they had lost only four games.

“Thank you to the players, you guys put in a great effort all year long,” said Templin

“Just a great bunch of kids to deal with, it was an honour,” he added. “All you players, you’re all inspirational to me.”

The most inspirational player for 2017 was Mack Adams. Most sportsmanlike player award was given to Wyatt Wyld, for acting like a gentleman both on and off the court. The player deemed most valuable was Tyler Bruce, and the player most improved throughout the season was Bradley Bodie.

Elyse Schebesch then presented the awards for girls snowboarding. This is the first year ever that Sparwood Secondary School has competed in girls snowboarding. With much effort, they achieved a spot at zones and provincials in Whistler.

Payton Bruce was awarded MVP, Mackenzie Harrison was named most improved, Audrey Roberts had the fastest time, and Amanda Liebe was named best teammate.

Four individuals excelled in girls soccer, and three were chosen equally as MVP’s; Kourtney Holberton, Sierra Wyld and Macenzi Lukkar. Kaley Campbell was named most improved.

Golf was popular among many Sparwood youth as well. Hayden Syrja was named MVP, Tyler Bruce was recognized for his improvements, and Dane Campbell was awarded for his sportsmanlike behavior.

The junior and senior male MVP’s for SSS golf were Kelton Kinch and Gage Paskiewich. The female MVP’s included Isabelle Beaune and Kourtney Holberton.

Next year, SSS is looking at the possibility of combining both the winter and summer sports awards ceremonies into one large banquet, and with many new students stepping into new roles, the faculty expressed they are excited for what next year will bring.