By Tiffany Willliams
The athletes who wear the Bronc on their jersey representing Ponoka Composite High School all do so with pride. They have worked hard all year long and were awarded during their Athletic Banquet on June 12.
PCHS athletic director Paula Chapman says that athletics is huge at PCHS and connects kids to the school. She says that the kids involved in athletics become a family.
“These awards set role models in the school. We as a staff are saying that these are the people we want students to emulate. I think anybody who works hard wants to be recognized for that effort,” said Chapman.
This year Grade 11 student Matt Currie was honoured with being named the Bronc of the year and the athlete of the year for his grade. Bronc of the year is presented to one male and one female that has best combined athleticism, participation and leadership in a school based sport during the year. He is the first to win both awards at once.
Currie competed in volleyball, basketball and went to provincials in track. Chapman thought that he did so well at so many sports and they had to recognize him.
The Grade 12 Broncs of the year went to Candace Loewen and Bryan Riske.
Riske was very pleased with the award.
“I was quite happy with it because it has been a long time coming. It took a couple of years to get it. I did a lot of sports at the school and did a lot of time here,” said Riske.
He competed in basketball, football, cross-country, track (400m) and curling. He thinks that athletics helps students learn important life traits such as teamwork, camaraderie and leadership roles that students can apply in their careers.
Loewen was a member of the basketball team, volleyball team and track and field (shot put and discus) and said that winning the Bronc of the year was one of her goals for the year.
Eric Dortman named the Grade 12 athlete of the year he will be heading off next year to Red Deer College and will be playing for the Kings basketball team. This year he was a member of the basketball, volleyball, golf, track and curling teams.
“It feels really good to receive the award. It’s an honour. You look at all the kids on the plaque and they were my role models and hopefully kids will look at my name and strive for the same,” said Dortman. “I think athletics are a really important part of school because it teaches kids a lot of life lessons such as leadership, honesty, trust, teamwork and respect.”
Chapman says that Grade 12 girls athlete of the year Wendy Salvisberg is very deserving of the award. She was a member of the volleyball, basketball, track and badminton teams.
“She has been exceptional all four years here at PCHS. She is super coachable, a big team player and a great role model for the program,” said Chapman.
Other winners included: Grade 9 athletes of the year Colin Horan and Ashley Wilton, Grade 10 athletes of the year Wendy Smith and Amara Fofanah, Grade 10 Bronc Richelle Hoar and Lane Hudson, Grade 11 athlete of the year Kati-Ann Kirchner and Matt Currie, Grade 11 Bronc Counrtney Longjohn and Matt Currie.