The Ponoka Broncs high school football club honoured its players and the overall team’s success last week.
The annual awards banquet was held at Ponoka Secondary Campus on Feb. 27 as a follow up to last season that saw the club host a playoff game for the first time in years. On top of that the team and two players named as league all-stars.
One of those players was Jared Bussiere, who walked off with the Broncs’ most valuable player and offensive player of the year.
Bussiere, who will be back for his graduating season next fall, was a valued player all over the field according to co-head coach Cody Baird.
“He was able to be on the top end of rushing yards, receiving yards and punting yards. To have one player be in the top of all of these categories speaks about the impact he had,” Baird said, noting Bussiere also led the club in interceptions.
“Teams had to plan how they were going to stop Jared…He is the ideal athlete, who doesn’t quit and is one of the living definition of what it is to be a Bronc.”
The other Broncs all-star is another Grade 11 player, Tristan Young, who was presented with the defensive player of the year award.
Tristan is the biggest threat to other teams and has improved his game each year, explained Baird.
“He is one of the feared players on our team as his opponents do not want to run the ball in his direction.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the awards featured a variety of rookies and veterans.
Connor Stiles, Grade 10, spent the past two years with the bantam Broncs and was named the team’s rookie of the year with Baird explaining the kicker and defensive player defied the ‘rookie’ moniker by outplaying the majority of his more senior opposing players.
A new Ponoka student, though not new to football, was Grade 12 Tyler Lagarde and he was presented with the special teams player of the year award. The kick off artist for the team was in on nearly every tackle and was also a key threat while receiving and running back kicks and punts.
The lineman of the year award was split this year, just like Cole MacCallum and Jake Scheffer split their time on both sides of the line. MacCallum played offensive guard and defensive nose tackle, while Scheffer was an offensive tackle and defensive end.
Baird noted the ‘big men’ were the backbones of both lines, taking on all opposition and helping lead the club courtesy their hard work.
Lastly, the Feschuk Passion award was handed to a pair of Grade 12 players — Clayton Raugust and Derek Lange.
Raugust’s enthusiasm and desire was evident, according to Baird, even after he suffered a concussion that ended his season early. Meanwhile, Lange had an unstoppable work ethic.
In closing, Baird stated past Broncs teams struggled to compete, but the success this year and a very promising next year will continue to improve the team’s experience level.