PCHS coaches celebrate their athletes’ dedication

Athletes at Ponoka Composite High School had one last hurrah together June 7 to celebrate a year of sports accomplishments.

Grade 12 nominees Austin Jacobson and Mikeal Skaley stand beside Bronc of the Year Tucker Dougherty (Drake McCheyne shared the award but was not present) and Athlete of the Year Jason Rausch.

Athletes at Ponoka Composite High School had one last hurrah together June 7 to celebrate a year of sports accomplishments.

The athletic awards banquet brought coaches and family to honour the young athletes with specific awards, namely, the Athlete of the Year and the Bronc of the Year being presented. Individuals in each grade were nominated and then the final winners were chosen.

Athletic director Jody McElroy said it is a time to bring teams back together, “Just to see that camaraderie.”

Junior varsity volleyball coach Kylie Kissel enjoyed the growth in his athletes. “It’s great to see the athletes develop, not just in their sport, but as people as well.”

His team finished second in the Central West Alberta Junior High Schools Athletic Association (CWAJHAA) finals losing to Lindsey Thurber High School.

Track and field coach Mark Richter said his Grade 9 team placed second overall but had some significant individual accomplishments. Zoe Cire placed third overall, Savannah Slater was second, and Ryan Herman was best overall in the Grade 9 boys. Some students began indoor training in late March and their hard work paid off as 23 students competed at zones. “It was nice to see some of those kids advance on.”

Basketball coach Blaine Haines said his Grade 9 boys team won the CWAJHAA banner with the senior boys finishing third in zones.

With six Grade 10s on the senior team he felt they competed well. “We were really young and yet we competed really well…that bodes well for next year.”

McElroy was pleased with how all the Broncs teams did.

“We had two provincial golds in high school,” she stated.

The gold medalists were Amy Lank and Jason Rausch for badminton mixed doubles and Kelsey Raab for gold in rural and provincial wrestling. She praised Raab for single-handedly winning the provincial wrestling banner.

McElroy and other coaches had a challenge deciding who should win the coveted Athlete and Bronc of the Year awards, both of which are awarded to a girl and boy in each grade. “Athletes, you make it extremely hard to decide. Thank you for putting effort every time you touch the field or court.”

McElroy has started a new tradition to have the Grade 12 athletes sign a piece of equipment to be displayed in the school’s new trophy case. “Our goal is that we’ll have a little bit of that history.”

Richard Hinkley was thanked for his time and dedication at all the PCHS sporting events. He records stats and scores at every PCHS sporting event he attends.

“I must admit, our stats are never wrong,” explained McElroy.

The Athlete of the Year is presented to one athlete who has demonstrated outstanding exceptional athleticism in one or more school based sports during the school year. Bronc of the Year is presented to one athlete who has best combined athleticism, participation, and leadership in a school-based sport during the school year.

Some of the categories had two winners.

Bronc of the Year:

• Grade 9 girls: Kendra Emes.

• Grade 9 boys: Jordan Labrie and Keenan Haines.

• Grade 10 girls: Maddison Pearman.

• Grade 10 boys: Ethan Cire.

• Grade 11 girls: Kelsey Raab.

• Grade 11 boys: Josh Simmons.

• Grade 12 girls: Amanda Klimec.

• Grade 12 boys: Drake McCheyne and Tucker Dougherty.

Athlete of the Year:

• Grade 9 girls: Daria and Shaye Leidenius.

• Grade 9 boys: Tavis Lee.

• Grade 10 girls: Maddison Pearman.

• Grade 10 boys: Davis Labrie and Brandt Seibel.

• Grade 11 girls: Amy Lank.

• Grade 11 boys: Kenton Rodney-Gagne.

• Grade 12 girls: Taya Hoar.

• Grade 12 boys: Jason Rausch

McElroy was also presented with the Linda Richter Junior High Athletic Administrator of the Year Award. Coach Richter presented the plaque.

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