Athletes look back on a season of achievements

Femi Dimeji and Tatum O'Meara were among the big winners at R.D. Parker Collegiate's Trojan Day athletics awards June 10, picking up the male and female senior athlete of the year awards, respectively.

The award was the fourth of the evening for Dimeji, who was also named the senior boys' volleyball most improved player, the senior boys' basketball most outstanding player and the senior boys' track and field most dedicated athlete.

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O'Meara received two additional awards, including the senior girls' volleyball big blocker award and the girls' soccer most valuable player award.

The junior athletes of the year were Caitlin Fennell and Jared Brown, who were also multiple award winners, Fennell being recognized as outstanding player in girls' soccer and Jared Brown named the MVP of the junior boys' volleyball team.

Another major award recipient was Deandra Howard, who received her second ultimate achievement award in the past three years for once again returning from track and field provincials with a gold medal in the shot put. Howard also received the senior girls' track and field guidance award.

"You get a lot of people that come really close," said emcee Coral Thompson. "It takes a lot of dedication and motivation to actually win a provincial event. In my sport, which I made her do against her will, and she turned out to be great at it."

Thompson, who was one of the track and field coaches, commented on the great performance RDPC's 34 athletes put in at provincials.

"I've been coaching since 2006 and we've had some good provincial years but we've never had a year where I've heard R.D. Parker's name called so much when they actually start tallying the team [points]," she said. "We were in the lead right up until the very end and then that darn Neelin came in with a multi-athlete that got second and we lost the provincial banner by three-and-a-half points. Devastation. So close."

Other teams that made it to provincials in their respective sports were praised by their coaches.

"We got to zones and just peaked perfectly. We rolled through the zones," said senior girls' volleyball coach Ali Duggan. "We got to provincials, did awesome there, met up with Linden Christian who ended up winning, and I'm pretty sure they should be AAAA, just saying, they're pretty strong, so all-in-all we had a great season."

"With the AAAA and the AAA provincials being together it is really an uneven playing field and under the current format I don't think there's been a team north of the city that has won a game at provincials," said junior girls basketball coach Wes Braun. "We went ranked 10th, played seven and surprised them, we hung on in the end but we beat them by four."

The senior girls' basketball team, which had a 26-3 record on the season and won five tournament championships before losing the provincial final, the second straight year RDPC has made the final, was called one of the best in school history by coach sara Gillis, who's been coaching for 24 years.

"I believe this team that's standing in front of you has been one of the most successful teams in R.D. Parker history," she said. "Always the bridesmaid never the bride but maybe we'll get there."

The spirit of sport award was presented to Rodrigo Lopez, an exchange student, for his tremendous enthusiasm.

"He came and tried everything he could," said Thompson. "He just wanted to be involved. We're sad to see him go. He's a great morale booster."

Other multiple award winners included Ameyo De, with three overall, including senior boys' volleyball most outstanding player, senior boys' basketball silent leader, and a senior boys' track and field dedication award. Also receiving three awards was Jamie Verhaeghe, who was the girls' soccer outstanding defensive player and also won a junior girls' volleyball digger award and a junior girls' basketball leadership award.

Five other athletes received two awards each. Blair Bodie was the girls' soccer rookie of the year and also received the junior girls' track and field "grit and grin" award. Tyler Braun received a junior boys' basketball leadership award and the junior boys' volleyball rookie of the year. Dylan Stacey was named the junior boys' volleyball and junior boys' basketball most improved player. Lori Miscavish received the senior girls' volleyball dynamite passer award and the senior badminton most dedicated award. She was also the recipient of the $500 Zone 11 athletic bursary. Krystin Williams was named the senior girls' volleyball passionate player and the senior girls' basketball tough, versatile and consistent player.

Other athletes who received awards were Chloe Verhaeghe (girls' soccer coach's award), Danielle Dnistransky (girls' soccer most improved player), Edon Shabani (boys' soccer MVP), Nick Singha (boys' soccer most improved), Austin McKerracher (boys' soccer sportsmanship award), Niko Anderson (boys' soccer rookie of the year), Kathleen Downton (junior girls' volleyball most dedicated), Amnesty Tate (junior girls' volleyball best offensive player), Marlon Garrioch (senior boys' volleyball MVP), Charity Constant (junior girls' basketball leadership award), Hareet Narhan (junior girls' basketball leadership award), Erik Sinclair (junior boys' basketball most dedicated), Dale Cook (junior boys' basketball best defence), Nicole Robson (senior girls' basketball team leadership), Brianna Bourguignon (senior girls' basketball dedication award), Querwin Campecino (senior boys' basketball tenacity award), Tyler Thompson (senior boys' basketball coach's award), Kalie Cummings (junior badminton spunk and spirit award), Landus Mercredi (junior badminton outstanding player), Kennedy Murray (junior badminton most dedicated player), Alyssa Campbell (junior badminton outstanding rookie), Justin Baker (senior badminton most improved player), Noman Khawar (senior badminton rookie of the year), McKenzie Backhouse (field lacrosse leadership award), Gordie Reuther (field lacrosse most improved player), Jack Kennedy (junior boys' track and field point-getter award), Eric Olson (junior boys' track and field immediate chucker award), Kendal Plante (junior boys' track and field commitment award), Karly Kraychuk (junior girls' track and field point-getter award), Aubrey Queen (junior girls' track and field most improved), Kerri-Ann Sweeney (junior girls' track and field kicker award), Landon Dobson (senior boys' track and field leadership and dedication award), Vatineh Magaji (senior girls' track and field silent leader award), Danielle Van De Kerckhove (senior girls' track and field "came too late" award), and Sarah Bonner-Proulx (senior girls' track and field "came too late" award.)

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