St. Stephen – “Learn. Achieve. Aspire.”
The St. Stephen High School’s motto was well represented Tuesday evening when student athletes were celebrated at the annual athletics award ceremony.
Athletes were celebrated in each SSHS sport prior to the presentation of the major awards – The Nick Desilets Scholarship Award, The Tom Eagan Sports Scholarship Award, and Female and Male Athlete of the Year– to conclude the ceremony.
Sam Poirier was the recipient of The Nick Desilets Memorial Award, which is presented to a graduate who demonstrates a significant enthusiasm and dedication to academics and athletics, and who embodies the Spartan spirit.
The Tom Eagan Sports Scholarship Award, presented for the 23rd year, is given to a student who best represents the qualities Eagan valued. Senior Alex Hart received the award.
This year, both the Female and Male Athlete of the Year were awarded to co-recipients; senior Jesse Williams, Grade 11 student Courtney Taylor, and seniors Hart, and Lucas Hanson, respectively.
Following the ceremony, the four spoke of their time as members of Spartans athletics.
Q: What sports do you play?
Taylor: Varsity soccer, basketball and volleyball.
Williams: Varsity baseball, softball and volleyball.
Hart: Varsity soccer, hockey and rugby.
Hanson: Varsity soccer, hockey and rugby.
Q: How long have each of you been involved in athletics?
Williams: Forever (laughs). Ever since I can remember I always had my hand on a ball or something.
Taylor: Since I was really little.
Hart: Since I was four I think, officially.
Hanson: Probably four or five.
Q: How did you first become involved?
Taylor: My dad.
Williams: Yeah, parents.
Hart: Yeah, my dad.
Hanson: My dad as well.
Q: In your time as a Spartan athlete, what is the most important lesson you have learned?
Taylor: To manage your time well. Have a positive attitude, otherwise it’s really easy to get down on yourself.
Hart: I think to build a relationship with your teammates because if you build something off the ice and you respect each other, not just off the ice, but on a field as well, it translates that way and to also try to not be selfish and put your team first.
Hanson: Working as a team, being a team player all the time, and don’t be selfish.
Q: If you could pick one message to leave to your juniors, what would it be, and why?
Hanson: It doesn’t last forever.
Hart: Yeah, I think not to take it for granted and to always to push yourself to your limit, because if you don’t push yourself in practice than you’re never going to get better. Also to push your teammates to grow as a team and to always go in with a positive attitude because that’s the best outcome.
Williams: Just to have fun and enjoy it. Like (Hanson) said, it doesn’t last forever and four years is a very short time. Enjoy it while it lasts and go in with a positive attitude. Don’t get down on yourself all the time because then you won’t enjoy it.
Taylor: Try your best to work as a team because you’ll be more successful.
Q: Thinking back over your athletic career, is there a certain highlight that sticks out to you?
Taylor: Hosting sectionals this year. (The St. Stephen varsity girls’ basketball team had home court advantage for both the South West Regional Tournament and Sectional Tournament. Fighting for a berth in provincials during the sectional tournament, the squad put up a tough fight against the Woodstock Thunder, but dropped 71-66 in the final.)
Williams: I enjoyed playing on the boys’ baseball team. That was super fun and I’m very happy that they respected me and didn’t come to ‘oh, she’s a girl’. It was truly based on skill, and I really enjoyed that. (Willams was awarded as the Top Defensive Player for her contributions to the St. Stephen varsity baseball team.)
Hart: I think winning soccer provincials this year, especially after the heartbreak of the last two years as well, and everything we put into it over the past four years. It kinda all came together on that last day, especially at home. (After two consecutive years of a silver place finish in the provincial final, the St. Stephen Spartans varsity boys’ soccer team finally got their storybook ending, and ended a 39 year drought winning the provincial championship – on home turf no less.)
Hanson: Repeating the rugby provincials and also winning soccer. (The St. Stephen varsity boys’ successfully defended their sevens title at the end of May.)
Q: As a member of the Spartans, what is something you’re going to take with you as you move on?
Hart: I think just learning to cooperate with others and to use other peoples’ skills to the best of their abilities to help bring the best out in other people. That way when you fit all the parts together, you can create something special, whether it be working in class or working on the field.
Hanson: Working as a team; be a team player.
Williams: Team etiquette. Always have a positive attitude. Always have a smile on your face and work together.
Q: What are your plans for next year?
Hanson: I’m going to PEI for business.
Hart: I’m going to Acadia University and going into environmental science.
Williams: I’m not really sure; I’m playing softball in Bangor this summer, so maybe something will fall in there. If not, I’m going to take some time off and rethink.
Q: Is there anything anyone would like to add that I haven’t asked about?
Hart: I would just like to thank my coaches for dedicating their time to us and for really giving us a platform to make ourselves better. I want to thank my parents as well for helping me for all the years I’ve been involved in sports and making sacrifices so I can be where I am today, and also all my teammates that helped along the way.
Williams: I’ll second that.
Hanson: I’d like to thank my parents and my coaches for everything they’ve done.
St. Stephen High School athletic award winners
The Nick Desilets Scholarship Award (Presented by Neil Grant) – Sam Poirier
The Tom Eagan Sports Scholarship Award (Presented by Jim Maxwell) – Alex Hart
Female Athlete of the Year (Presented by Patrick Zwicker) – Jesse Williams and Courtney Taylor
Male Athlete of the Year (Presented by Dave Taylor) – Lucas Hanson and Alex Hart
Varsity Boys Soccer
Offensive MVP – Alex Hart
Defensive MVP – Curtis Snow
Coach’s Award – Jackson Furlotte
Varsity Girls Soccer
Coach’s Award – Grace Huys
Most Improved – Kelsey Bedford
MVP – Gabrielle Richard
Rookies of the Year – Ayden Arseneault and Chris Gregory
Top Defensive Player – Jesse Williams
Coach’s Award – Tanner Morrow
MVP – Jakob Connick and Bryce Beck
Coach’s Award – Ally Caldwell
Rookie of the Year – Elizabeth Scott
MVP – Jesse Williams
Junior Varsity Boys Basketball
Hustle Award – Talys Townsley
Offensive Player of the Year – Trent Kitchen
Coach’s Award – Marcus Brockway
Varsity Boys Basketball
Coach’s Award – Sam Poirier
Rookie of the Year – Dillon Greenlaw
Offensive Player of the Year – Drew Sears
Defensive Player of the Year – Jakob Connick
Junior Varsity Girls Basketball
Rookie of the Year – Gracie Shaw
Most Improved – Jayden Stewart
MVP – Kallie Calder
Varsity Girls Basketball
Defensive Player of the Year – Megan Haley
Coach’s Award – Ally Caldwell
Offensive Player of the Year – Courtney Taylor
Unsung Hero Award – Elizabeth Scott
Varsity Boys Hockey
Rookie of the Year – Nik McCallum
Unsung Hero Award – Jackson Furlotte
Top Forward – Lucas Hanson
Top Defenceman – Tanner Morrow
MVP – Alex Hart
Varsity Girls Hockey
Rookie of the Year – Leah Carson
Coach’s Award – Grace Huys
Most Sportsmanlike – Kali Essensa
7th Player Award – Erin Butler
Top Forward – Olivia Amos
Junior Varsity Boys Volleyball
Rookie of the Year – Nate Bilsky
Coach’s Award – Parker Johnston
MVP – Ben McShane
Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball
Love of the Game – Julia Scullion
Most Improved – Emma Babcock
MVP – Grace Huys
Varsity Girls Volleyball
Leadership Award – Jesse Williams
Top Playmaker – Megan Haley
MVP – Ireland Eldridge
Varsity Girls Rugby
Rookies of the Year – Rayleen Brisley and Nelleka Atkinson
Coach’s Award – Elizabeth Scott and Dakota MacDonald
Top Forward – MacKenzie Tuddenham
Top Back – Ally Caldwell
MVP – Gabrielle Richard
Varsity Boys Rugby
Sandi McGeachy Award – William McLeod
The H.A.M Award – Deegan Farrell
The Boot Award – Lucas Hanson
Offensive MVP – Kyle Stewart
Defensive MVP – Deegan Farrell
Most Improved – Matthew Lloyd
Mr. Fahrenheit (Most explosive) – Sam Poirier
TKOB Award (Taking care of business) – Cody Savard
Sledgehammer Award (Hardest hitter) – Deegan Farrell
Offensive Lineman of the Year – Drew Sears
Defensive Lineman of the Year – Jayden Roy
Rookies of the Year – Donovan Rogers and Chance Richardson
Kopis Award – Garrett Dewar
Desilets Coach’s Award – Thomas MacMichael
MVP – Kyle Stewart