SSHS celebrates athletes’ achievements

Kate Scott/Courier - In an award ceremony last Tuesday at the St. Stephen High School, co-recipients for the Female and Male Athlete of the Year were selected. From left: Courtney Taylor and Jesse Williams, Female Athlete of the Year; Alex Hart and Lucas Hanson, Male Athlete of the Year.

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.

Kate Scott/Courier – Presented by Neil Grant (right), St. Stephen High School senior Sam Poirier was this year’s recipient of The Nick Desilets Scholarship Award. Poirier was presented with the award at St. Stephen High School’s athletic banquet last Tuesday.

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.

Kate Scott/Courier – Alex Hart (left), a St. Stephen High School senior, was chosen to receive The Tom Eagan Sports Scholarship Award. Hart was presented the award by Jim Maxwell last Tuesday evening at the St. Stephen High School athletic award banquet.

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.

Williams: Teamwork.

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

Varsity Baseball

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

Varsity Softball

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

Varsity Football

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