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Dr. John Hugh Gillis in Antigonish honours athletic excellence

Major award winners Aidan MacDonald (left) and Rebecca Lambke (co-female athletes of the year), Jack Pittman (male athlete of the year), Sophie MacInnis (Angus Kell Award), Mark Chisholm (Angus Kell Award) and Jessie Weaver (Angus Kell Award) pose for a photo with principal Darryl Breen. Corey LeBlanc
Major award winners Aidan MacDonald (left) and Rebecca Lambke (co-female athletes of the year), Jack Pittman (male athlete of the year), Sophie MacInnis (Angus Kell Award), Mark Chisholm (Angus Kell Award) and Jessie Weaver (Angus Kell Award) pose for a photo with principal Darryl Breen. Corey LeBlanc - Corey LeBlanc

The Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional Royals celebrated athletic excellence during their annual year-end banquet.    

The festivities took place June 4 at Antigonish Education Centre.    

Rebecca Lambke, Aidan MacDonald and Jack Pittman were named top athletes, recognized for having “demonstrated high athletic ability and success in his or her sport or sports.”    

“It feels great,” MacDonald, an accomplished runner, said as her fellow winners nodded in agreement.    

The female co-winners noted they were thrilled to share the honour.    

“That’s really exciting,” Lambke said.    

Pittman said the honour served as a great ending to a great season, which included a Division 2 provincial championship for the boys’ basketball team.    

“It’s awesome,” he said.    

The three sensational student-athletes made sure to thank their coaches for their contributions and guidance.    

Abigail MacDonald, Ben Boudreau and Jason Dayman received Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) Celebration of School Sport Awards.    

They honour female and male student-athletes, along with a coach, “who exemplify the qualities the NSSAF strives to develop through participation in school sport. They are true examples of good sportsmanship, they demonstrate respect for others and they are our exemplary students and coaches.”     

Grade 9 Good Sport Awards honour recipients for their “commitment to fair play, integrity and respect of all in sports, with Tyler Doiron and Malia Artibello recipients from the Regional.  

The Grade 9 NSSAF Ron O’Flaherty Scholar Athlete Award, which recognizes student-athletes for outstanding ability to combine excellence in academics with excellence in athletics, was presented to Peter Duff and Siona Chisholm.    

Jessie Weaver and Johannes ‘Beannie’ Harrison-Steinhart garnered the Grade 12 NSSAF Ron O’Flaherty Scholar–Athlete Award.    

Weaver also co-merited the female Angus Kell Award with Sophie MacInnis, while Mark Chisholm received the male honour, which goes to a Grade 12 student “who has demonstrated athletic skill, good academic standing and superior leadership skills in their high school career.”    

“I am very honoured,” MacInnis, of the senior girls’ volleyball team, said.    

Weaver, a basketball and running star, agreed.    

“It is very special,” she said.    

Chisholm, like his female counterparts, noted he was surprised to receive the award.    

“It is incredible,” the multi-sport athlete said.    

Three-time Olympian and Antigonish native Eric Gillis, as guest speaker for the celebration, provided a thumbnail sketch of his journey.    

The now head coach of St. F.X. cross country and track and field talked about the importance of mindfulness and focus, whether it is in athletics or life.    

Gillis said “the set-up” and the ability to deal with adversity are keys to success.

The winners    

The individual award winners for each team include:    

Golf: Jakob Lorefice (rookie of the year);    

Senior football: Johannes ‘Beannie’ Harrison-Steinhart (top lineman), Dion Durant (defensive player of the year), Matthew Gallen (offensive player of the year), Colleen MacLeod (top special teams player), Colby MacDonald (Donnie Campbell Award for senior player, minimum three years with the team, who has shown dedication, both on and off the field); 

Intermediate girls’ cross country: Siona Chisholm (most outstanding runner), Mairin Canning (team award), Maddy Fraser (most determined and dedicated);

Intermediate boys’ cross country: Iain Polson (most outstanding runner), Mark MacDonald (most determined and dedicated),    

Senior boys’ cross country: Alex LeBlanc (most outstanding runner), Oliver Storseth (team award), Mark Chisholm (determination and dedication);    

Senior girls’ cross country: Aidan MacDonald (most outstanding runner and Bernie Chisholm Road Warrior, which recognizes commitment, dedication, teamwork and perseverance), Lauren Lowther (team award), Abigail MacDonald (determination and dedication);    

Senior boys’ soccer: Peter Kopf (MVP and top scorer), Ben Boudreau (top defensive player), Oliver Storseth (coaches’ award), Mark Chisholm (Frank Isherwood Award for leadership and determination);    

Senior girls’ soccer: Rebecca Lambke (MVP), Elise Canning (top defensive player), Sophie Delorey (top rookie), Mary-Beth Corsten (Bruce MacDonald Award);    

Junior varsity girls’ volleyball: Victoria Rankin (co-MVP), Maura Kell (co-MVP), Emily MacEachern (most dedicated);    

Senior girls’ volleyball: Sophie MacInnis (MVP), Alexis MacInnis (most improved), Brooke Morris (most improved), Brianna Avery (top rookie), Stephanie Wallace (Lynn Mersereau 3D Award for dedication, desire and determination);    

Junior varsity girls’ basketball: Lilly MacFarlane (MVP), Jasmine Desmond (3D Award), Olivia Russell (coaches’ award);    

Senior girls’ basketball: Jessie Weaver (MVP and Johnnie and Mary MacDougall Memorial Award for leadership, team play and skills), Sophie Delorey (most improved), Briar MacDonald (top defensive player), Hannah Bance (Murdo MacIsaac 3D Award for determination, dedication and desire);    

Senior boys’ basketball: Sam Anthony (sportsmanship), Jordan Phee (most improved), Nicholas Dayman (top rookie); Jack Pittman (Blair MacMillan Memorial Award, presented to the Player best exemplifying leadership and ability);    

Senior badminton: Emma Jewkes (most improved), Jakob Lorefice (top rookie), Trevor Hayne (MVP); Ben Boudreau (3D Award):    

Table tennis: Cody Broussard (MVP);    

Special Olympics’ award winners: Kiana Jordan and Roslyn Samson;    

Senior girls’ rugby: Riley Stewart (co-MVP), Jazmyn Desmond (co-MVP), Mary Quirk (most improved);    

Intermediate girls’ track and field: Siona Chisholm (most outstanding runner), Mairin Canning (dedication award), Malia Artibello (determination award);    

Intermediate boys’ track and field:  Mark MacDonald (most outstanding runner), Craig Landry (coaches’ award);    

Senior girls’ track and field: Lauren Lowther (top runner), Alessia Hatch (determination and dedication), Aidan MacDonald and Jessie Weaver (team award);    

Senior boys’ track and field: Alex LeBlanc (top runner), Oliver Storseth (determination and dedication), Alex Lambourne (team award).    

Provincial championship team members also received school pins.

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