A grand celebration took place June 3 which celebrated sports, extra-curricular activities, volunteerism, and – overall – a commitment to, and appreciation of, Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional High School.
Held at nearby Antigonish Education Centre, awards were presented to student-athletes, members of the school’s band and those involved in other clubs and activities such as French, science, math, art, engineering and debating.
Four volunteer “coaches and teachers of clubs and sports” were recognized upon their retirement during the ceremony.
The quartet included; “Effie Boutilier who has been teaching and coaching the debate team at Dr. J. for 15 years, Brad Puskas who has been teaching the techniques and love of art for 19 years, coaching Dr. J and Antigonish Badminton Club teams for 14 years, Joan Conrad who has been teaching the community living class at Dr. J. for 32 years and has been coaching and holding many positions with Dr. J. Special Olympics and Eastern Nova Scotia Special Olympics organization for 35 years, and coach Gail MacDougall, who has been coaching the Royals senior girls basketball teams for 39 years.”
MacDougall was also presented with the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) Celebration of School Sports Award which goes to a coach at the school for “exemplary service.”
“I guess I have mixed feelings; I have been there for 39 years doing this, enjoyed it tremendously, it has been a huge part of my life,” MacDougall said at the conclusion of the ceremony, the emotions coming through in her tone.
“To associate with young people and see them progress through their lives; especially to have them come back later and still be a part of our program, it means the world to me. It shows they enjoyed what they did and they’re giving back to their communities as well.
“I’m certainly going to miss it next year; it will be tough to sit on the sidelines and watch, but the time was right to make the move.”
MacDougall talked about the support she had during the night, including from event guest speaker Geoff Spencer, her nephew.
“It was special to have Geoff there last night as the guest speaker since he was on the bench with me in my early days with the program. Also to have his daughter Kate with me in my final two years and also present, has been special,” MacDougall said.
“And Mary Beth McCarron, a former Royals player, coach, longtime supporter of both myself and the program, was with me for my final function with the Royals’ program, and I appreciate all she has done over the years.”
And while she will not be on the bench, you can bet she’ll often be in the stands when the Royals – and other local basketball teams – take the court next season.
“You’ll definitely see me in the gym,” she said with a chuckle. “I’ll be following the girls. And high school sports, it’s a whole different thing unto itself; to play for your community, your school, represent as a student-athlete the base of the students, is something you are going to remember for the rest of your life … there is nothing like it.”
Athletes of the year
Knowing that feeling well were the event’s emcees; senior student-athletes Oliver Storseth and Lauren Lowther.
The pair were recognized with the ceremony’s final awards on the event, the male and female athlete of the year at Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional High School for the 2018-19 school year.
The award description reads: “athlete demonstrating and having achieved high level of ability and success in one or more school sports.”
“It really proves hard work can pay off,” Storseth said. “All those long hours and everything we’ve put into our high school careers; it has been a really long journey, but to have all of our coaches and peers, parents, everyone who made it possible here, it’s a really nice way to close it off.”
“A great way to sum up our high school careers; I can’t think of a better way,” Lowther added. “Especially us getting it together, we’ve worked so hard and have been friends for so long.”
Asked about a specific sporting memory from their time as Royals, Storseth reflected on his Grade 10 year on the senior soccer team.
“We went undefeated the whole season and won my one and only regional banner,” he said. “We went on to a provincial qualifier where we lost 1-0 in the last minute of the game to go to provincials, but I made a lot of good memories and grew as a person and player that year. It’s definitely one that sticks out in my mind.”
Lowther said her memories are not about one season or team, but rather the people she has met and come to know from her time as a Royal.
“Not so much a distinct memory but the people I have dealt with,” she said. “Mirian Canning and Siona Chisholm have been my whole support system; I owe so much of my success to them … they have just been amazing.”
Lowther was co-most valuable player, along with Charleigh Clarke, for MacDougall’s final Royals squad.
“I never could have imagined the day, she is amazing, and deserves all the success in the world,” Lowther said. “I just have so much respect for her, an incredible career.”
A complete list of award winners:
Major Athletic Awards:
NSSAF Celebration of School Sport Awards - Awarded to exemplary grade 12 student athletes displaying good sportsmanship & respect for others in sport in their high school career: Stephanie Wallace and Dion Durant
And NSSAF Exemplary Service Award to Royals Coach of 39 years - Gail MacDougall
Grade 9 NSSAF Good Sport Awards - Awarded to grade 9 students who have displayed fair play, integrity, and respect of all in sports: Katie MacNeil and Liam Walker
Grade 9 NSSAF Ron O’Flaherty Scholar Athlete Awards - Awarded to grade 9 student athletes who display outstanding ability to combine excellence in academics with excellence in athletics: Caroline MacDonald and John Kendall
Grade 12 NSSAF Ron O’Flaharty Scholar Athlete Awards - Awarded to grade 12 student athletes who display outstanding ability to combine excellence in academics with excellence in athletics: Gabrielle Jenkins and Oliver Storseth
Angus Kell Award - Awarded to an Athlete demonstrating athletic skill, good academic standing, and leadership over the course of their high school career: Dion Durant and Elise Canning
Male and Female Athlete of the Year - Athlete demonstrating and having achieved high level of ability and success in one or more school sport - Oliver Storseth and Lauren Lowther
Golf: Golf Award goes to; MVP – Jakob Lorefice
Football (Senior Boys):
Offensive MVP - Matt Gallen
Defensive MVP - Dion Durant
Lineman of the Year - Ryan Bekkers and Sean Bekkers
Special Teams Player of the Year - Guilherme Sobral
And the Donnie Campbell Award, awarded annually to a player in their Senior year (minimum 3 years with the team) who has shown dedication both on and off the field to Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional football team – awarded to Logan Williams
Cross Country Teams:
The Intermediate Girls Cross Country Provincial Championship team of Mairin Canning, Siona Chisholm, Emma Cameron, Malia Artibello, Hanna Austen, Anna MacGillivray & Aisling Boyd , Maddie Fraser receive school pin.
Interrmediate Girls Cross Country Team:
MVP- Mairin Canning
Coaches Award- Siona Chisholm
Intermediate Boys Cross Country Team:
Coaches Award-Liam Walker
Senior Boys Cross Country Team:
Coaches Award-Taylor Estabrooks
Senior Girls Cross Country Team:
Coaches Award-Elin Cunningham
The Bernie Chisholm Road Warrior: In Recognition of Commitment, Dedication, Teamwork and Perseverance awarded to a member of the Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional Royals Cross Country teams– this year awarded to
Soccer (Senior Boys):
Most Valuable Player -Oliver Storseth
The Golden Boot Award-Michael Putnam
Rookie of the Year-Liam Statchook
And The Frank Isherwood Award – For Leadership & Determination – Awarded to Andrew Green
Soccer (Senior Girls):
Most Valuable Player – Elise Canning
Top Offensive Player – Maura Flynn
Rookie of the Year – Jaimie Tobin
The Bruce MacDonald Award – presented to player for outstanding skill, dedication and passion towards the Royals team and game of soccer.- Awarded to - Gabrielle Jenkins
Volleyball (J.V. Girls) –
Rookie of the Year: Seraya Knocton
Team All Star: Rachel Thompson
MVP: Lucy Chisholm
Senior Girls Volleyball:
Most Valuable Player – Stephanie Wallace
Most Improved Player – co-merited Jeanne LeBlanc & Breanna Grant
Rookie of the Year – co-merited Katie MacNeil & Meredith Grant Spin
And The Lynn Mersereau 3D Award for Dedication , Desire & Determination – presented to - Alexis MacInnis
JV Girls Basketball:
MVP - Anna MacGillivary
Defensive Award – Sara Van der Linden
Most Improved – Abbie Sullivan
Senior Girls Basketball:
MVP: Co-winners Lauren Lowther and Charleigh Clarke.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER. Emily MacDonald.
MOST IMPROVED. Brooke MacDonald
The Murdo MacIsaac 3D Award – for Determination, Dedication & Desire – to Taylor Gorman
The Johnnie & Mary MacDougall Memorial Award for Leadership, Team Play & Skills – to Madison Gorman
JV Boys Basketball:
Coaches Award: Sam Colton
Most Improved: Tyler Doiron
MVP: Eric Grenier
Senior Boys Basketball:
Would the following Players please come to accept your School pin for your Provincial Championship.
Martin Puga Sieiro, Cole MacDonald, Christian Vitug, Jordan Phee. Nicholas Dayman, Tyler Pictou, Adil Rahman, Anthony Sears, Leo Grenier, Czai Pangan, Peter Duff, Nathan Dayman, Liam Walker, Ben Anthony
MVP - Nicholas Dayman
Most Improved - Cole MacDonald
Rookie of the Year - Nathan Dayman
The Blair MacMillan Memorial Award – presented to the Player best exemplifying Leadership & Ability – awarded to - Peter Duff.
Senior Boys Hockey:
MVP: Kuri Smith
Top Defensive Player: Scott Chiasson
Top Forward: John Brophy
Bernie Gillis Award: for Leading Scorer - Peter Bekkers
Play Unified Sport & Special Olympics Awards 2019 –
Play Unified is a program offered through Special Olympics in high schools throughout the province. There are 3 awards this year for Play Unified basketball.
MVP – Amber Logue –
Most dedicated – Lauchlin Delorey –
Most improved – Logan Halloran –
Play Unified 3 on 3 team
This year our Play Unified basketball group received a special invitation to participate in the first ever National 3 on 3 unified basketball tournament as part of the Invitational Youth Games in Toronto. We would like to recognize the members of this team for their dedication and commitment to developing the Play Unified program.
Play Unified Team Awards go to - Lauchlin Delorey, John Gavin, Kiana Jordan, Amber Logue, Sam Silver, Oliver Storseth
Special Olympics 2019
Dedicated, hard working and talented.
Most Accomplished Junior Athlete goes to Roslyn Samson.
Intermediate - Badminton
Equally merited - MVP Briley & Merci Hillyard
Most Improved Player - Casey Briggs
Senoir – Badminton:
Most Improved - Equally merited Yuan Zhang & Trevor Hayne
MVP – Carly MacDonald
Rugby (Sr. Girls) –
MVP: Molly Vokey
Coach’s award: Jessica Mackinnon
Rookie of the year: Madison Delorey
Track & Field teams:
The following Team members are to come forth to receive their school pins for Intermediate Girls Provincial Championship. Emma Cameron, Malia Artibello, Siona Chisholm, Mairin Canning, Sara Stewart, Nea Risk and Hanna Austen, Anna MacGillivary, Sarica Mohandes, Ainsley Beaton
Intermediate Girls- MVP - Siona Chisholm
Coaches Award-Malia Artibello
Dedication & Determination Award –Mairin Canning
Intermediate Boys- MVP -Mark MacDonald
-Coaches Award- Fergus Porter
Dedication & Determination – Liam Walker
Senior Girls- MVP- Lauren Lowther
Most Improved – Sara Van Der Linden
Dedication & Persistence – Rebecca MacDonald
Senior Boys- MVP – Craig Landry
Coaches Award – Alex Lambourne
Student Council Awards – 39 members of Royals Student Council received certificates for dedication to their position.
- Outstanding First Year Player – Matthew Phee
- Most Improved – Robyn Eckhart
- Director’s Award for the Most Dedicated Student – Gabrielle Jenkins, Bridget Ward, & Julia Shields
-The Brent Bannerman Senior Band Award for the Most Promising Music Graduate is awarded to – Brian Yang & Asta Stalker
ART AWARDS -
Junior Aritst Award Winners:
Alyssa Morrison & Siona Chisholm
Sr. Artist Award winners:
Sophia Lawrence & Ruthie Stanley Blackwell
Jordon Myles Art Award: Bailey Samson
Top Senior Debater: Asta Stalker
Top Junior Debator: Briley Hillyard
Coaches Award: Evan Dugas
Representing Core French – Grades 10/11/12 – The winner is Ewan MacDuff
Representing IB French – Grades 10/11/12 – The winner is Gabrielle Jenkins
Representing French Immersion – Grades 10/11/12 – The winner is Sébastien Charles
Dr JH Gillis Science Fair Recognition Awards: Lyza Ells, Annie Bloomfield & Malcolm Cameron
In February, students from grades 9 through 11 wrote the Pascal (grade 9), Cayley (grade 10) and Fermat (grade 11) contests produced by the University of Waterloo. These contests were written by more than 62 000 students from over 1500 schools.
Grade 9 student, Taoran “Christine” Zhang receives a medal and certificate for the top score in the school for the Pascal contest.
Grade 10 student, Ewan MacDuff receives a medal and certificate for the top score in the school for the Cayley contest.
Grade 11 student, Lyza Ells receives a medal for the top score in the school for the Fermat contest.
Grade 12 student My Nguyen receives a medal top score in the school for the Euclid Math contest.
Engineers NS Grade 11 Award: This prize is for a Grade 11 student excelling in Math and Science and is awarded by the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia. The recipient of the 2019 Engineers NS Grade 11 award is Cole MacDonald.