Senior Broncs football players had their moment in the spotlight during a team awards banquet Wednesday, May 4 at Ponoka Secondary Campus with coaches highlighting the dedication of players over the season.
Co-coach Cody Baird said in an interview that it also gave the team a chance to recognize their first win last season. While the program is still growing, Baird suggests as new players come up from the Bantam program, they will start to see more wins.
One example of that was in the Hamilton IGA Rookie Award, which saw Grade 10 player Clayton Raugust as the recipient. Baird said Raugust started in the bantam program. “He’s the youngest player on our team and he’s still a starting defensive back.”
Raugust’s football future is promising. Not only was he integral in big plays, he is always excited to be on the field and play for Ponoka. That and taking the time to learn the game made Raugust — who plays with Battle River Shock at other times in the year — a valuable asset to the team.
Best Defensive Player and the Goody Award (MVP) went to Braeden Korchinski, Grade 12. What earned Korchinski the two awards is his athletic ability on the field. Baird said when opposing coaches come up to him after a game stating that they changed their plays to deal with Korchinski, they knew he deserved the accolade. “Other coaches had to scheme against him.”
“He’s a true leader,” said Baird. “He’s a gifted athlete to be honest.”
Another reason for earning the MVP award was if the team’s quarterback had an injury, Korchinski stepped into the role to cover.
Offensive Player of the Year went to Doug Burton, Grade 12. “He’s been through our program his entire high school career,” said Baird.
What set Burton apart is his ability to move quickly, and intensely when needed.
“Every play, he plays like the game is on the line.”
The Darryl Feschuk Passion Award went to Kelly Cook, Grade 12. Baird said Cook showed Broncs Pride on and off the field and he was a true ambassador for the team. On the field, when players were out with injuries, Cook would jump into their position and he would know what to do without direction.
Special Team Player of the Year went to Harlin Buffalo, Grade 12. “He’s a quiet leader but is able to lead by example,” said Baird.
With the many injuries over the year, there were games that Buffalo didn’t leave the field, which is one reason he earned the award.
Lineman of the Year went to Ashton Soosay for his passion for the game. There were times that Soosay’s passion changed the flow of the game. “He has the biggest will to do the best,” said Baird.
“Through his passion he is able to spark other players,” he added.
Next season outlook
Injuries plagued the team this year and while coaches and players struggled to gain some momentum in games, Baird suggests they have much to be proud of.
Spring camp started this past Tuesday, May 10 and while there are many seniors leaving, Baird is also optimistic about the outlook of seeing players come up from the Bantam program. He is excited to see who steps up from the Bantam program to the senior team.