St. George – Mariners’ pride shone bright Thursday evening at Fundy Middle and High School.
In a transformed gymnasium, the achievements of student athletes were celebrated in the wide variety of sports offered by the school at the annual athletic banquet.
For each sport at the middle level, junior varsity and varsity level, a coach’s award was presented, followed by the presentation of the major awards.
Grade 8 student Claire Thompson was the inaugural recipient of The Mariner Pride Award, which is presented to an athlete who demonstrates to a high degree the spirit of fair play, competitiveness, and sportsmanship.
Senior Abby Kernighan was honoured with the Eugene Taylor Award, presented in memory of a curling coach to a varsity student athlete who demonstrates leadership, dedication, and commitment, while maintaining honours.
Brennan Sullivan, a senior, was chosen to receive The Richard Joseph Ford High School Athletic Merit Award, given to an athlete who demonstrates the spirit of fair play, competitiveness, and sportsmanship, in memory of Ford.
At the middle level, Ella Cook and Garrett Hatt were selected as Athletes of the Year, while at the junior varsity level; Erin Ingalls and Spencer Stanley were honoured with the award.
Senior Ryan Jones, a cross county, golf, basketball, soccer and rugby athlete was chosen to receive the Varsity Male Athlete of the Year. Grade 11 student Sara Fudge, who played basketball and soccer, was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year. Last year, Fudge received the JV Female Athlete of the Year award. The two were interviewed following the awards ceremony.
Q: How long have you been involved in athletics?
Jones: Since I could walk probably.
Q: How did you first get started?
Jones: When I was one year old, I used to kick soccer balls around with my grandfather, and I started playing hockey when I was three or four.
Q: In your time as a Mariner, what has it been like to represent the school and the jersey?
Jones: It’s definitely been really good. Mariners’ sports have always been known around the province for being good and being gritty with a lot of athleticism, so it’s nice to be part of that team that’s known around the province.
Q: As a Mariner, what is the most important or invaluable lesson you’ve ever learned?
Jones: Sportsmanship probably.
Q: Is there a certain highlight over the course of your career as a Mariner that sticks out to you as being particularly memorable?
Jones: Probably today, getting the Athlete of the Year award. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten one of these. Definitely the most awards I’ve ever gotten at a sports banquet.
Q: This year alone, how much time would you say you spent in training or practicing?
Jones: A lot of time (laughs). I don’t think I could count it. Basketball practice every single day after school for that whole season, and when I’m not doing that I was playing indoor soccer, or out on the field playing whatever soccer I can.
Q: If you could leave one message to your juniors, what would it be, and why?
Jones: Just keep working. When I was younger I didn’t really think I was going to get Athlete of the Year or anything like that. I was involved in a lot of sports but I wasn’t really the best, but I kept pushing and here I am today.
Q: Do you have any plans for next year?
Jones: I’m planning to go to UNBSJ for arts, and I’m playing soccer over there – I’m training with the team. I have tryouts at the end of the summer, so hopefully that goes well.
Q: When did you first get involved in athletics?
Fudge: Early elementary school, I used to go to my sisters’ (Megan and Emma Fudge) basketball practices, because my dad (Paul) coached.
Q: Is that how you got involved in sports?
Fudge: Yeah, my dad always had us in the back yard, playing with the Little Tikes net; we always had nets in the back yard. It was mostly him and my sisters – I was always trying to be as good as them and beat them.
Q: In your time as a member of the Mariners, what is the most important lesson you’ve learned?
Fudge: Probably just getting used to being uncomfortable, because when you’re from such a small place, it’s easy to get used to what you’re around in a small school, so you just need to seek out opportunities to get better, instead of just being good at what you’re good at.
Q: In your time in a Mariners jersey, what is your fondest memory?
Fudge: Probably when I was in Grade 9, and my sisters would have been in Grade 12 and we got to go to Harbour Station together (In the 2016 season, the Fundy Mariners varsity girls’ basketball team battled the Woodstock Thunder in the provincial final. The Mariners won silver medals falling 53-47 to the Thunder).
Q: If you had to pick a message to pass on to the younger students, what would it be?
Fudge: That’s a good question. Probably not to be worried about making a fool of yourself or looking stupid whether you’re trying something new or going into a new sport. I know I’m pretty good at that, and I’m just used to being comfortable being uncomfortable (laughs).
Q: What are you most looking forward to next year?
Fudge: Going to Harbour Station (smiles). Because we have a lot of returning players, we’ve all been together since elementary school, so we have really good chemistry and soon as practices start we’ll be able to get right into it because we won’t have a lot of new faces and its going to be good. I’m excited.
Q: You’re playing for Team New Brunswick again this summer?
Fudge: Yes, this is my third year. Nationals this year are in Fredericton, the second week of August.
Mariners award winners
The Mariner Pride Athletic Award: Claire Thompson
Eugene Taylor Award – Abby Kernighan
Richard Ford Award – Brennan Sullivan
Middle Level Female Athlete of the Year – Ella Cook
Middle Level Male Athlete of the Year – Garrett Hatt
Junior Varsity Female Athlete of the Year – Erin Ingalls
Junior Varsity Male Athlete of the Year – Spencer Stanley
Varsity Female Athlete of the Year – Sara Fudge
Varsity Male Athlete of the Year – Ryan Jones
Middle Level – Madeline Boone
High School – Shane Brown
Golf – Jordan Williams
Middle Level Female Soccer (JV) – Molly Cook
Middle Level Female Soccer (Varsity) – Tatum Fraser
Middle Level Male Soccer – Garrett Hatt
Junior Varsity Female Soccer – Emily Doherty
Junior Varsity Male Soccer – Alex Wilcox
Varsity Female Soccer – Felicia Hatt
Varsity Male Soccer – Ryan Jones
Middle Level Varsity Female Basketball – Teagan Carrier
Middle Level Junior Varsity Female Basketball – Becca Gowan
Junior Varsity Male Basketball – Xander Boles
Varsity Female Basketball – Sara Fudge
Varsity Male Basketball – Andrew Butler
Middle Level Varsity Female Volleyball – Madeline Boone
Middle Level Junior Varsity Female Volleyball – Catherine Thorne
Grade 6 Female Volleyball – Sasha Buchanan
Middle Level Male Volleyball – Garrett Hatt
Junior Varsity Female Volleyball – Emma Willard
Junior Varsity Female Volleyball Exhibition – Renee Tidd
Junior Varsity Male Volleyball – Noah Anthony and Andrew Butler
Varsity Female Volleyball – Sydney Stuart
Middle Level Rugby – Cleoray Celo and Mack Domres
Junior Varsity Boys Rugby – Kyle Schwarz
Varsity Female Rugby – Ana-Maria Puscasu
Varsity Male Rugby – Michael Ingalls
Track and Field – Elliot Whippie