St. Stephen – The athlete of the year award at St. Stephen High School has been chosen
to go to three senior recipients this year.

Jake Hughes was named the male athlete of the year, while Sophie Caldwell, and Leanne Mawer were chosen as co-recipients during a ceremony at St. Stephen High School last Monday.

Presenting Caldwell’s award, Dave Taylor, co-athletic director, described Caldwell as “one of the most dedicated athletes” at SSHS, and said she has maintained a high honour average, while also being a major contributor to four varsity sports – softball, basketball, volleyball, and rugby.

“She has been a great competitor, never backing down from a challenge, and doing whatever it takes to come out on top. … I read once, that an athlete should demonstrate character, sportsmanship, and integrity, as well as outstanding ability. I feel she easily displays these characteristics,” Taylor said.

“Her ability to make others around her better is a special gift that she brings to the sports arena every day. Her work ethic and coach-ability are second to none.”

Caldwell, daughter of Scott and Lori Caldwell, also won the MVP for varsity girls volleyball, and the coach’s award for varsity girls basketball.

Co-athletic director Pat Zwicker presented Mawer (daughter of Carrie and Brian Mawer) with her award, and told of her hard work as a soccer, wrestling, and rugby athlete.

“[Mawer] has been setting the bar for excellence ever since she entered the building four years ago,” Zwicker said, noting she was a role model for her teammates, and classmates with her “tremendous effort, drive, and enthusiasm.”

“When a coach is trying to build a competitive team, he or she is looking for athletes that love to compete and want to win. They want athletes that know success only comes from hard work, and discipline.

“They want athletes that lead by example, never say the word can’t, and always put their team’s success as their No. 1 priority. They want athletes that represent their team with class, and dignity. They want athletes like Leanne Mawer.”

Mawer was also named the MVP for soccer and rugby, and nabbed the coach’s award for wrestling.

Zwicker, who also presented Hughes (son of Bob and Kelly Hughes) with his award, described him as “a student leader at SSHS both in the classroom, and on the playing field, and said he has played a huge role on his three varsity teams – soccer, wrestling, and rugby in the last two years.

“It is rare to find a high school athlete that comes to every practice with the goal to become the best they can be.

“It is even rarer to find an athlete that is more concerned about the team’s success than their own. Jake Hughes has represented the St. Stephen Spartans to the very best of his abilities, and is the worthy recipient of this award.”

Following the award ceremony, standing together in the SSHS gymnasium, where they spent so much of their time as high school athletes, the three agreed they were surprised to receive the honour.

“There are a lot of great athletes in this school – it’s a competitive award,” Mawer said, while Caldwell added “I thought anyone could have got it really.”

The award is a first for all three at the high school level, though Hughes won the title in middle school.

“There are a lot of great athletes in this school – it’s a competitive award,”

~ Leanne Mawer,
SSHS female athlete of the year co-recipient

The multi-sport athletes explained sports have played a big role in their time as an SSHS student, and agreed it taught them the value of hard work, and time management.

“It taught me to persevere,” Caldwell said, while Hughes nodded.

“You can’t do the bare minimum,” he said. “If you want to succeed, you have to do stuff on your own, to push you to the next level.

“It taught me to trust in myself and in my own ability and trust that you can do anything, and just to press over, and over, to gain the confidence.”

Expanding on their thought, Mawer said reflecting on her time as an SSHS student, she has come a long way since her Grade 9 year.

“I’m a lot more confident now than I was in Grade 9, and more outgoing than I was.”

Taking turns to speak, Caldwell, Mawer, and Hughes said they each had a great support system from parents, and coaches.

Mawer and Hughes each named Zwicker (wrestling coach, and varsity girls soccer coach) as a coach who has made a big impact in their lives, while Caldwell said Taylor, her basketball coach, did the same.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have Zwick, and my other coaches too,” Mawer said. Sports have really helped me through all of my years of high school, so I want to thank them.”

Given the opportunity to leave a message to their juniors, the three stressed the importance of leaving the comfort zone.

“It’s important to try new things,” Caldwell said, while Mawer finished her sentence – “and leave your comfort zone,” while Hughes agreed.

“Take the opportunities that you have now, because later in life they might not be there,” he said, and nearly in unison, almost as if planned, the three said together “and respect your coaches.”

Kate Scott/Courier file
Sophie Caldwell was a co-recipient of the St. Stephen High School’s female athlete of the year.
Kate Scott/Courier file Jake Hughes, a soccer, wrestling, and rugby athlete, was named as the male athlete of the year for St. Stephen High School.
Kate Scott/Courier Leanne Mawer was one of two recipients of this year’s St. Stephen High School female athlete of the year.
Kate Scott/Courier In a ceremony at the St. Stephen High School last Monday, three students were chosen to receive the athlete of the year honour. From left, Leanne Mawer, female athlete of the year co-recipient; Jake Hughes, male athlete of the year, and Sophie Caldwell.

SSHS list of award winners:

Varsity girls soccer:

Most Valuable Player – Leanne Mawer

Most Improved Player – Erin Butler

Rookie of the Year – Grace Huys

Coach’s Award – Courtney Taylor

Varsity boys soccer:

Offensive MVP – Alex Hart

Defensive MVP – Jake Hughes

Coach’s Award – Sam Huys, Curtis Snow

Unsung Hero – Lucas Hanson

Varsity football:

Team MVP – Josh McFarlane

Offensive MVP – Kyle Stewart

Defensive MVP – Nathan Lord

Varsity boys baseball:

Impact Player Award: Dawson Hatt, Evan Gullison, Jakob Connick

Coach’s Award – Tanner Morrow

Varsity girls softball:

Coach’s Award: Mallory Davis, Rhea Davis, Julia Scullion

Rookie of the Year – Nicole Westhaver

Most Valuable Player – Jesse Williams

Varsity girls swimming:

Top swimmer – Su Yagmur Eryasar

Coach’s Award – Emma Brown

JV girls swimming:

Most Improved Swimmer – Charlotte Caswell

Varsity Boys Basketball:

Most Improved Player – Sam Poirier

Defensive Player of the Year – Jakob Connick

Dedication Award – Justin Dempsey, Balthasar Unger

Coach’s Award – Mark Gallant

Varsity girls basketball:

Defensive Player of the Year – Gracie Murphy

Offensive Player of the Year – Cara Babcock

Coach’s Award – Sophie Caldwell

Unsung Hero Award – Rhea Davis

Rookie of the Year – Kelci Williams

JV Boys Basketball:

Offensive Player of the Year – Ben McShane

Defensive Player of the Year – Hunter Milligan

6th Man Award – Matthew Lloyd

Most Improved Player – Jayden Roy

JV Girls Basketball:

Defensive MVP – Elizabeth Scott

Offensive MVP – Kallie Calder, Nelleka Atkinson

Coach’s Award – Brieanna Comeau

Varsity boys hockey:

Top Forward – Alex Hart

Top Defenseman – Tanner Morrow

Coach’s Award – Lucas Hanson

Most Improved – Jackson Furlotte

Most Valuable Player – Tanner Morrow

Varsity girls hockey:

Most Valuable Player – Erin Butler

GRIT Award – Jordyn Gayton

Most Improved Player – Janelle Snow

Rookie of the Year – Olivia Amos

Coach’s Award – Jennifer Lord

Girls wrestling:

Coach’s Award – Leanne Mawer

Varsity boys wrestling:

Most Valuable – Jake Hughes

Boys wrestling:

Most Improved – John Luc Landry

Varsity girls rugby:

Rookie of the Year – Erin Butler

Top Forward – Gabrielle Richard

Top Back – Emilia Cooper

Most Valuable Player – Leanne Mawer

Coach’s Award – Aislyn White, Sarah McCullough

Varsity boys rugby:

Boot Award – Jake Hughes

Sandi McGeachy Award – Nathan Lord

HAM Award (Hostile, Agile, Mobile) – Colton Stewart

Varsity girls volleyball:

Most Valuable Player – Sophie Caldwell

Front Court Player of the Year – Cara Babcock

Rookie of the Year – Caitlyn Moore

Varsity boys volleyball:

Manager Award – Tanner Anderson

Rookie of the Year – Hutson Brisley

Most Valuable Player – Sam Huys

Coach’s Award – Evan Gullison

JV girls volleyball:

Most Valuable Player – Maria Bellver

Most Improved Player – Brianna Calhoun

Sportsmanship Award – Janelle Snow

JV boys volleyball:

Most Valuable Player – Tanner Morrow

Rookie of the year – Tuomas Boland

Coach’s Award – Ben McShane

Male Athlete of the Year – Jake Hughes

Female Athlete of the Year – Sophie Caldwell and Leanne Mawer

Tom Eagan Award – Mark Gallant

Nick Desilets Award – Cara Babcock