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By Chris Marchand
To call the 2014-15 athletic season at DHS anything less than remarkable, would do it a disservice.
The opening of a new track facility, a football squad who finished with an unheard of winning record of 4-3, an OFSAA bronze in girls hockey, hosting two ‘AA’ provincial high school championship volleyball tournaments and several more OFSAA appearances provided ample talking points in the 46th Annual Eagles Athletic Awards Banquet, June 11.
You could say it was also the year that individual sports forever changed how school sports and athletes are perceived at DHS.
Capturing Male Athlete of the Year was perhaps one of Eagles Athletics most amiable personalities, football lineman and senior basketball player and the last in a long line of athletic brothers, Jed Benham. Benham follows in the footsteps of his father Dean who captured the honour in 1983.
“I was very surprised to hear my name called tonight,” said Benham. “I didn’t even know my Dad had won it until about three days ago. Usually it goes to a guy who plays three or four sports. It means a lot. I don’t think any of my brothers got it, so it feels good to be the first Benham since my Dad to get it.”
Benham heads to Alberta in the fall to Lakeland College for a year of general agriculture studies and plans to return to the Dryden area.
The Female Athlete of the Year honour was a split decision between two great athletes in Andie Wood and Kyla Lindquist.
Following a stellar cross-country running season, Andie Wood rolled her superb conditioning into a new sport, nordic skiing, and despite a lack of experience qualified for OFSAA championships. This spring Wood led a powerhouse Eagles Track and Field squad that took 11 NWOSSA golds in 17 events, breaking records that have stood for 50 years. She went on to take 5th in the steeplechase at OFSAA.
“Nordic skiing was a definite highlight,” said Wood. “I’d had it in Grade 10 Outdoor Ed, but that was a mess. Kyla could attest to that. But I think every athlete should get a chance to compete at an OFSAA, it’s amazing.”
Kyla Lindquist played key roles on multiple teams, including soccer (co-MVP), senior girls basketball, senior girls volleyball, and the OFSAA bronze winning girls hockey team (most dedicated) which earned her a gold ‘E’ letter award, along with her Athlete of the Year distinction. Between volleyball and hockey, Lindquist enjoyed an intense year of competition to the highest levels in the province.
“The OFSAA for hockey — it was great to go there with my team after all the hard work we put in,” she said. “Same for every team actually. Just getting to play with all those girls was an awesome experience.”
Wood and Lindquist had high praise for their coaches, teammates and official who made the season happen.
Sportswoman of the Year went to the indomitable Chelsea Martel who shared co-MVP honours with Elisa Mawby in senior girls volleyball and snagged the most dedicated award in senior girls basketball all the while battling knee injuries.
Sportsman of the Year went to Bruce Anderson (most improved senior basketball), a member of multiple teams who was lauded by several coaches for his attitude and coachability.
Female Rookie of the Year Corrin Kuzemchuk established herself as a rising star — qualifying for OFSAA four times in three sports (cross-country, nordic skiing and track and field) in her rookie year as an Eagle.
Thomas Moline took the Male Rookie of the Year Award.
Click here for a full gallery of the evening’s award winners
Dryden High School Eagles 46th Eagles Athletic Awards, June 11, 2015
Most Dedicated – Kelsey Fenwick – Casually Hip (*sponsor)
Most Improved – Maya Oversby – Eagles Booster Club
Most Valuable – Kyla Lindquist/Emmy Arsenault – Masala Restaurant
Most Improved – Payton Boyko – Dryden Youth Soccer
Most Valuable – Brendan Bartlett – Gould’s BrandSource
Most Improved – Graham Oliphant
Jr. Boys Volleyball
Most Valuable – Devan Schmidt – Home Hardware
Most Improved – Xavier Korzinski – Riverview Lodge
Jr. Girls Volleyball
Most Valuable – Monica Tourond – Riverview Lodge
Most Improved – Maya Nickle – Best Western Plus
Jr. Boys Basketball
Most Valuable – Jacob Bilous – Husky House Restaurant
Most Improved – Jared Vandenbrand/Mike Bell – Subway
Jr. Girls Basketball
Most Valuable – Jesscia Carter/Sarah Benson – Dryden GM
Most Improved – Marcie Coles – Tim Horton’s
Sr. Girls Volleyball
Most Valuable – Chelsea Martel/Elisa Mawby – Dryden Volleyball Club
Most Improved – Celena Brosseau – Dairy Queen
Most Dedicated (Pat Collins Award) – Chelsea Martel – Extra Foods
Sr. Boys Volleyball
Most Valuable – Devon Noel – Northern Lights Credit Union
Most Improved – Zach Lugli – Walmart
Sr. Girls Basketball
Most Valuable – Emmy Arsenault – Standard Insurance Brokers
Most Improved – Jayne Pateman – Tremonti Family
Most Dedicated (Kathy Sanders Award) – Chelsea Martel – Sanders Family
Sr. Boys Basketball
Most Valuable – Brandon Thompson – Gardam Family
Most Improved – Bruce Anderson – Gillon’s Insurance
Defense – Jacob Bilous – McLeod Chiropractic
Offence – Braydon Hansson – Domino’s Pizza
Lineman – Jed Benham – Cran Family
Most Improved – Kyle Johnston – Pizza Hut
Track and Field
Most Valuable – Andie Wood/Elisa Mawby – PRT
Rookie – Taylor McLarty – PRT
Most Valuable – Andie Wood – PRT
Rookie – Corrin Kuzemchuk – PRT
Outstanding Performance – Jeremy Braun
Most Valuable Jr. – Thomas Moline – McKinstry Chrysler
Most Valuable Sr. – Jacob Mousseau – Safeway
Most Valuable Jr. – Monica Tourond – Iron Range Bus Lines
Most Valuable Sr. – Jordan Bakos – Young Drivers of Canada
Most Valuable – Matt Pitchenese – Dingwall Ford
Outstanding Contribution Award in Memory of Neil Fadden – Keith Wrolstad – Murphy’s Trophy Depot
Most Valuable – Cara Balla – Hagens Dressing Ltd.
Most Improved – Jacquie Grandmont – Dryden Girls Hockey
Most Dedicated – Kyla Lindquist – Kano Reid
Boys Most Valuable – Cam Zapitelli – Krantz Family
Girls Most Valuable – Rachel Getson – Bryck Family
Most Valuable – Andie Wood – Dufresne Furniture
Most Improved – Corrin Kuzemchuk – Canadian Tire
Most Valuable – Tristan Thibault – Eagles Booster Club
Sportswoman of the Year – Chelsea Martel – Fenton Family
Sportsman of the Year – Bruce Anderson – Schultz Family
Female Rookie of the Year – Corrin Kuzemchuk – Zilkalns Family
Male Rookie of the Year – Thomas Moline – McDonald’s Restaurant
Female Athlete of the Year –Andie Wood/Kyla Lindquist – UNIFOR Union – Local 105
Male Athlete of the Year – Jed Benham – Domtar Inc.
NorWOSSA Michael Smith Award — Andie Wood