St. Michael Mustang Athletics Awards 2022-2023
The St. Michael Mustang Athletics Awards took place on Tuesday, June 13 with the entire high school student body gathering to celebrate the accomplishments of the school’s athletes. The event opened with a highlight video which revealed the MVP and Coach’s Award winners for each sport at St. Michael. (Those award winners are listed below.)
Principal Palumbo, who emceed the event, started with a special recognition of the community coaches who volunteered their time with the school as assistants: Ryan Hodgkins (boys soccer), Will Campeau (boys soccer), Matt Bedard (track and field), Nolan Forbes (baseball), and Steve Pietarinen (senior boys basketball) - with the latter four all being Mustang alumni.
Keeping with the theme of honouring coaches, the school’s athletic director, Ms. Niedre announced that the athletic department had submitted an application to OFSAA seeking a special recognition award for long time Mustang coach Chris Finner. Niedre explained that she had received commendations for Finner from far and wide from many members of the inter-school coaching fraternity. In the meantime, Niedre with the help of one of Finner’s former athletes, presented him with a St. Michael coaching award. Stephanie Mackie, a member of the legendary 2006 Mustang OFSAA Girls Basketball gold medal team, explained that she is carrying on traditions that Finner established many years ago since she is following her mentor’s example and is now coaching local basketball. Finner, normally verbose on the microphone when given an opportunity, was clearly caught by surprise but in a brief thank you speech he acknowledged that re-connecting with over two decades worth of previous Mustang athletes and seeing many of them now coaching youth sports is the most satisfying part of this stage of his career. Principal Palumbo echoed Niedre’s sentiments, thanking Finner for his work on the sidelines but also behind the scenes for Mustang athletics.
With graduating athletes in mind, Mr. Palumbo next presented The Outstanding Achievement in Sport Award. This special recognition is for athletes who have achieved great success over four years in their specialized sport at multiple levels of competition within and outside of high school competition. This year’s winners were Travis Ouellette, Gavin McDougall, and Nolan Foley for their hockey accomplishments, and Colin Devaney for his baseball success. We look forward to seeing all four athletes continue in their sport after high school.
The next presentation was for OFSAA’s Colin Hood Awards. The Colin Hood Award is given out annually to one graduating male and one graduating female in each school in the province who, throughout their high school career, have been committed to the success of school sport at their school and within their association. These award winners are great role models, consistently leading the way in Mustang athletics. Congratulations to Grade 12 students Kloe Lewis and Wesley Finner.
St. Michael annually presents the “Commitment to Sport Award” to a student involved in any and all facets of Mustang sport including competing and assisting with varsity sport and intermural sport. The student demonstrates a positive and encouraging attitude along with outstanding effort and determination in all they do for Mustang athletics. This year’s recipient is Megan Parks.
Finally, the “Athlete of the Year” awards were presented. Ms. Gagnier described the Junior Female Athlete of the Year, Grade 10 Payton Cory, as a great leader, a kind teammate, a star of all of her sports, and a friend to everyone she competes with and against. Grade 9 student Nolan Kennelly won the Junior Male Athlete of the Year. Ms. Niedre revealed that Nolan qualified for three different races at OFSAA swimming and then returned to OFSAA later in the year as a member of the baseball team. Mr. Gillard announced Wesley Finner as the Senior Male Athlete of the Year, highlighting his numerous sports accomplishments as a competitor in addition to his willingness to assist in training and coaching fellow Mustang athletes. Gillard described Finner’s progression from being admired for his skills and fierce competitiveness to becoming a Mustang sports program leader who makes his teammates better by solidifying a culture of Mustang excellence. Wesley’s father then spoke about how the Senior Female Athlete of the Year is “wired” much the same way as his son. Mr. Finner described a time early in their Mustang careers when both athletes had essentially collapsed of exhaustion at the finish line of a cross country race, spending everything available to compete at their maximum level. Finner predicted that one day the audience would see Grade 11 student Ella Niedre on television wearing the Canadian maple leaf as she competes internationally for her country in biathlon or Nordic skiing, or in just about any sport she focuses on. Niedre was able to overcome all obstacles to complete yet another impressive sports year at St. Michael and on the national stage.
The festivities ended with an impressive demonstration by The Mustang Cheer Squad. Grade 11 student Ayreauna Dion and Ms. Nicholl, coaches of the cheer team, were very proud of the team’s performance. Vice Principal Giesbrecht ended the day with thanks for all who contributed to the awards ceremony and to Mustang Athletics in general for 2023-2023.
The Athletic Awards for 2022-2023:
Jr Boys Cross Country- Coach’s Award: Jamie Meikle, MVP: Jack Priestman
Jr Girls Cross Country- Coach’s Award: Aimee Galbraith , MVP: Marieve Galbraith
Sr Boys Cross Country- Coach’s Award: Jet Van der Linde, MVP: Vincent D’Angelo
Sr Girls Cross Country- Coach’s Award: Camryn Crawford, MVP: Megan Parks
Jr Boys Volleyball- Coach’s Award: Hudson Urquhart, MVP: Drew Hunter
Sr Boys Volleyball- Coach’s Award: Wes Finner, MVP: Reuben de Jong
Jr Girls Volleyball- Coach’s Award: Payton Cory, MVP: Mackenzie Graham
Sr Girls Volleyball- Coach’s Award: Makaila Goodlad, MVP: Madison Blundon
Golf- Coach’s Award: Travis Ouellette, MVP: Rhett McLean
Jr Girls Basketball- Coach’s Award: Meredith Norris, MVP: Esther Helleman
Sr Girls Basketball- Coach’s Award: Issabel Charbonneau, MVP: Ella Niedre
Jr Boys Basketball- Coach’s Award: Rowan Murphy, MVP: Hendrick Westendorp-Kun & Liam Ryan
Sr Boys Basketball- Coach’s Award: Bennett Wasylko, MVP: Wesley Finner
Jr Girls Swimming- Coach’s Award: Emily Edmonds, MVP: Kaylee Gigacz
Jr Boys Swimming- Coach’s Award: Kaiden West, MVP: Nolan Kennelly
Sr Girls Swimming- Coach’s Award: Erin Overton, MVP: Ella Niedre
Sr Boys Swimming- Coach’s Award: Vincent D’Angelo, MVP: Nicholas Campbell
Baseball- Coach’s Award: Braiden Leeder, MVP: Wes Finner
Jr Girls Track- Coach’s Award: Payton Cory, MVP: Aimee Galbraith
Jr Boys Track- Coach’s Award: Jamie Meikle, MVP: Dom Lemieux
Sr Girls Track- Coach’s Award: Megan Parks, MVP: Camryn Crawford
Sr Boys Track- Coach’s Award: John McGowan, MVP: John McGowan
Jr Girls Field- Coach’s Award: Jordan Pickard, MVP: Gwen Kelly
Jr Boys Field- Coach’s Award: Jeremie Ashie, MVP: Tanner Rodgers
Sr Boys Field- Coach’s Award: Nolan Foley & Nathan Gagnon
Boys Soccer- Coach’s Award: Sheldon Druery & Will Buell, MVP: Cameron Kelly
Girls Soccer- Coach’s Award: Kyra Lewis, MVP: Rachel Poyner & Kennedy Calder
Nordic Ski- Coach’s Award: Marieve Galbraith, MVP: Aimee Galbraith
Boys Hockey- Coach’s Award: Jack Jansen, MVP: Brandon Taylor
Jr Girls Badminton- Coach’s Award: Jordan Pickard, MVP: Payton Cory
Jr Boys Badminton- Coach’s Award: Hudson Urquhart, MVP: Will Cameron
Sr Girls Badminton- Coach’s Award: Jenna Laverie, MVP: Siyu Dong
Sr Boys Badminton- Coach’s Award: Jayden Hunter, MVP: Rhett McLean
Cheer- Coach’s Award: Ayreauna Dion
Acknowledgment of Volunteer Community Coaches: Ryan Hodgkins, Will Campeau, Matt Bedard, Nolan Forbes, and Steve Pietarinen
Acknowledgement of Coaching Career: Chris Finner
The Outstanding Achievement in Sport Award: Travis Ouellette, Gavin McDougall, Nolan Foley, and Colin Devaney
Colin Hood Awards: Kloe Lewis and Wesley Finner
Commitment to Sport Award: Megan Parks
Junior Male Athlete of the Year: Nolan Kennelly
Junior Female Athlete of the Year: Payton Cory
Senior Male Athlete of the Year: Wesley Finner
Senior Female Athlete of the Year: Ella Niedre
The full ceremony can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/836798075