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  • Photo By: Rusty Barton

    Sixteen student athletes earn McDonald’s scholarships

    Grades in the stratosphere and athletic accomplishments to match, the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association, partnered with McDonald’s, handed out scholarships to 16 of its best and brightest, both on and off the court, on Monday.


    Eight female and eight male athletes each received $1,000 toward their post-secondary education in a renewed partnership between the MHSAA and McDonald’s Canada.


    The 2017 McDonald’s Leadership Awards were handed to worthy recipients who demonstrated exceptional leadership in high school sport, school and community involvement while maintaining a minimum 75% average at an event outside a McDonald’s restaurant on Regent Avenue.


    What it meant for those 16 students, including Cole Penner, a Grade 12 student at Garden City Collegiate averaging 99.3% in the classroom, is a chance to continue their studies and endeavours in sport.


    After a successful high school career where he played basketball, volleyball and badminton, just to name a few, Penner is now looking forward to focusing solely on the classroom at the University of Manitoba in the Faculty of Science.


    But he won’t stray too much from sport.


    “I’m still going to be involved, playing senior men’s league,” Penner said. “Sports are a big part of my life and it would be too hard to leave that behind.”


    Vincent Massey Collegiate’s Taylor Kleysen has watched her sister, Stephanie, turn a successful university basketball career into a professional one in Germany. And while she won’t be following her footsteps in the same sport, Taylor’s hoping to reach the same heights as a volleyball star at the University of Winnipeg.


    “It was a really hard decision for me between basketball and volleyball,” she said. “I’m excited to have a different experience than my sister had. And I’m really excited about going to school to become a teacher. I’ve know I wanted to do that since I was really little.”


    Brandon’s Dylan Sutherland, meanwhile, will be heading to the University of Manitoba this fall to play volleyball under the tutelage of legendary coach Garth Pischke with the Bisons.


    “It’s a huge step, the Bisons are a very developed program and it will be an opportunity to learn and become a better player and person,” said Sutherland, who is taking engineering. “It’s huge (the scholarships). It gives us the opportunity to move on and take courses and provides us with the funds to go to school.”


    Chad Falk, executive director of the MHSAA, said they had well over 100 applications from across the province, each nominated by their individual schools.


    “It means so much to us to give back to the student athletes, and it means so much that McDonald’s helps us to what we do in our day-to-day operations, but then also take part in that sponsorship,” Falk said. “It means so much to give out $16,000 to our students.”


    Head of the Class


    List of 16 student athletes receiving scholarships:


    Female Recipients


    Bailey Paziuk – Ste. Rose School – Academic average of 98%


    Shayna Timmerman – Treherne Collegiate – Academic average of 97%


    Jessica Edel – Morris School – Academic average of 93.2%


    Kailen Ledochowski – Teulon Collegiate – Academic average of 97%


    Carrie Livingston – Sanford Collegiate – Academic average of 93.8%


    Danielle Algera – Calvin Christian School (Winnipeg) – Academic average of 95%


    Ariana Streu – River East Collegiate – Academic average of 92%


    Taylor Kleysen – Vincent Massey Collegiate (Winnipeg) – Academic average of 93%



    Male Recipients


    Riley Enns – Carman Collegiate – Academic average of 84%


    Rylan Metcalf – Carman Collegiate – Academic average of 83%


    Carson Ouellette – Stonewall Collegiate – Academic average of 94.4%


    Luke Bossuyt – Sanford Collegiate – Academic average of 92%


    Ryan Eisbrenner – St. John’s Ravenscourt School – Academic average of 91%


    Cole Penner – Garden City Collegiate – Academic average of 99.3%


    Dylan Sutherland – Vincent Massey High School (Brandon) – Academic average of 92%


    Riley Francey – Garden City Collegiate – Academic average of 96%


    Savvy veterans carry Oak Park to title

    The Oak Park Raiders’ No. 1 ranking, their resiliency and ultimately their resolve were put to the test by a familiar foe, a test they passed honourably led by two veterans of their leadership core in the dying moments Monday night.


    Leading by three with less than 30 seconds to go, Raiders forward Wyatt Tait drove to the basket. His layup attempt missed, bouncing off the rim and out, but guard Chris Chang was there to tip the rebound into the net. It was Oak Park’s 23rd offensive board of the game, and the dagger they needed to secure a 78-73 victory and their second varsity boys provincial basketball championship in three years.


    Click here for the full story from the Winnipeg Free Press.


  • Credit Unions of Manitoba Scholar Athlete Awards Presented

    The Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association, with support from Manitoba’s Credit Unions, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016-2017 Credit Unions of Manitoba High School Scholar Athlete Awards. These $1000 scholarships are awarded to four graduating high school student athletes who maintained a minimum 85% average and competed in at least two interscholastic sports.  Other criteria included school, community, volunteer, and citizenship activities.

    The presentation took place at a ceremony hosted by Her Honour, the Honourable Janice C. Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba at Government House.  Awards were presented by the Lieutenant Governor Janice C. Filmon, MHSAA President Mr. Chris Gudziunas (Assistant Superintendent of Hanover School Division), Mr. Kurtis Brown (Oak Bank Credit Union) and Ms. Amy Doerksen (Westoba Credit Union).

    34 students were nominated this year:

    Danielle Algera – Calvin Christian Collegiate

    Kezia Balzer – River East Collegiate

    Kieran Baydock – Shaftsbury High School

    Charlot Butler – Vincent Massey High School (Brandon)

    Stephen Crew – St. Paul’s High School

    Sarah Demare – Kelvin High School

    Skylar Diamond-Burchuk – Kelvin High School

    Erin Doherty – Morden Collegiate

    Jessica Edel – Morris School

    Bailey Grantham – Portage Collegiate

    Trent Favoni-Grossart – Dakota Collegiate

    Ashlyn LaLiberty – Tec Voc High School

    Sarah Jensen – Arborg Collegiate

    Zachary Janzen – Linden Christian School

    Jake Ledochowski – Teulon Collegiate

    Kailen Ledochowski – Teulon Collegiate

    Calli Lenderbeck (Benes) – Hapnot Collegiate (Flin Flon)

    Carley Matkowski – Gimli High School

    Georgia-Rae Maxwell – Elton Collegiate (Forrest)

    Rylan McCallum – Morden Collegiate

    Carson Ouellette – Stonewall Collegiate

    Bailey Paziuk – Ste. Rose School

    Cole Penner – Garden City Collegiate

    Jordyn Pickup – Major Pratt School (Russell)

    Taylor Opperman – Killarney Collegiate

    Jolene Rondeau – Prairie Mountain High School (Somerset)

    Jennifer Saj – John Taylor Collegiate

    Robert Scharfenberg – Rosenort School

    Cole Scott – Roseau Valley School (Dominion City)

    Samantha Siemens – Virden Collegiate

    Rebecca Silk – Miles Macdonell Collegiate

    Dylan Sutherland – Vincent Massey High School (Brandon)

    Victoria Tachinski – Vincent Massey Collegiate (Winnipeg)

    Haley White – Dakota Collegiate


    The four student athletes awarded $1000 scholarships were:


    Jessica Edel of Morris School - participates in volleyball, basketball, soccer and track & field.  She was captain of both her volleyball and basketball teams, and won zone banners in both sports.  Jessica received the Players Choice Award at Provincials and was also named to the Graduating All Star Teams in both Volleyball and Basketball.  She was also awarded the Ron Meyer’s Leadership Award and the McDonald’s Leadership Award.  Jessica maintains an academic average of 93% while also participating in Club Volleyball, President of the Student Council, Grad Committee, Year Book Committee, Band, Kids Caring for Kids and Teens Against Destructive Decisions.  She volunteers to keep score and officiate at volleyball and basketball games, as well as teaching Sunday School, volunteering for Love Morris, Cancer Care and her church Tec Committee.  

    Jessica states: “Growing up in a small school gives you lots of opportunities to play sport. I can’t imagine my life without athletics. I believe high school sport is important because it teaches life lessons that shaped me into the person I am today. I have learned many things including: teamwork, work ethic, time management and dedication and how to deal with challenges. Sports is critical in helping to deal with failure and loses. It teaches you that any failure is just a temporary setback from which lessons can be learned to improve. I will never forget the life lessons that school sports have taught me.”


    Carley Matkowski of Gimli High School – holds an academic average of 95.6% while participating in soccer, golf, cross country, volleyball, basketball, badminton and track and field. Several of her sports teams participated at the Provincials. She was awarded MVP at the volleyball and basketball provincials, won the basketball “AA” Provincials, was captain of her volleyball and basketball teams and has participated as a graduating all-star in basketball. She is on her schools Honour Roll, and has received the Science and Literature award and was a finalist for the Loran Scholarship. She is president of the student council, is involved in the social justice club, environment club, drama, band and the yearbook committee as well as the student representative on the Evergreen School Division Board. She coaches boxing, is a personal trainer for Dream Fit, volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Minds in Motion and Community Fair Trade Committee and will be one of the torch bearers for the 2017 Canada Summer Games.

    Carley states: “I am extremely grateful and privileged to have participated in the athletic community throughout high school. Sports have provided opportunities for athletic, personal, and career development, but most significantly, shaped me into the person I am today.  Involvement in school sports teams and extracurricular fitness has taught the importance of teamwork and when faced with adversity, how to work with others respectfully and productively. I have established relationships and gained many diverse friendships through sports-related experiences; I have built another “family” along this journey.”


    Georgia-Rae Maxwell of Elton Collegiate – participates in basketball, volleyball, badminton and track and field. She was awarded the Dr. Dale Iwanoczko Memorial Scholarship for volleyball and played in the Provincial Championships for basketball and volleyball, and was chosen as a graduating all-star in both sports. She finished first at badminton zones. Georgia-Rae is a member of the Elton Collegiate Honour Roll and has refereed volleyball and basketball for junior high as well she is a member of the grad committee.  She maintains an academic average of 99% while also volunteering her time at the Brandon Humane Society, and is a Sunday School teacher, and sings in the choir. She had been awarded the McFadden Piano Scholarship for the highest mark and the Grade 10 Piano Solo Award at the Rolling River Festival of the Arts.  

    Georgia-Rae states: “In my opinion, high school sports prepare students for the real world better than anything else in the education system. The world outside of school is alien to most students and requires many skills that you can’t learn in the classroom. High School sports help students to positively deal with success and failure. They teach you that the amount of effort and hard work you put in directly relates to the amount of reward. In addition, they teach essential job skills, such as, time management, leadership, and working with others. I believe high school sports allows athletes to build confidence and meaningful relationships.”


    Cole Penner of Garden City Collegiate – was captain of both the volleyball and basketball team.  He was ranked 7th in the Province in both Volleyball and Basketball. He participated in men’s doubles in badminton and finished 2nd at KPAC and Provincials to help win the team aggregate points.  He was a volleyball graduating all-star, athlete of the month, and leading team scorer in basketball.  He received the Carl Ridd Award in basketball and was chosen Athlete of the Week by MHSAA.  Cole was also a recipient of the McDonald’s Leadership Award.  He maintains an academic average of 99% while also participating in the grad committee, Garden City Fundraising, peer tutoring, junior high and junior varsity volleyball and basketball practices, Salvation Army clothing drive and referee for junior high volleyball.

    Cole states: “High school sports are so much more than games, scores, wins and losses. There are several life lessons and skills that athletic participation can teach a person.  All the qualities needed to be successful in post-secondary studies as well in the work force are mirrored in athletics.  As a result, the traits which sports can develop in people arguably prepare them for the future more so than, or just as well as, the classroom does. I have gained so many positive experiences from sports that it would be impossible for me to choose just one as my favorite.  It’s the overall journey – the highs, the lows, the success and the failures – that makes it significant and unforgettable. There isn’t one thing I would change regarding my high school athletic career. It’s my life and I have no regrets.  High School Athletics, the other half of education, have helped make me the person I am today.”


    Each of the four winners received a $1000 scholarship courtesy of Manitoba’s Credit Unions.



    Raiders claim girls' provincial hoops crown

    They swung back and forth at each other all season, exchanging rights and lefts and a few jabs to remind each other neither was backing down.


    It was the Oak Park Raiders who dealt the final haymaker, a knockout blow that crowned them varsity girl’s provincial basketball champions for a fifth time in a 81-67 win over the Vincent Massey Trojans Monday night at Investors Group Athletic Centre.


    Click here for the full story from the Winnipeg Free Press.


  • Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun

    Raiders beat St. Paul's to win boys hoops title

    Not since 1977 had the same high school won both the boys and girls provincial championships at the highest level of basketball.


    The Oak Park Raiders pulled off the double-whammy at the U of M on Monday night, the boys following up the girls’ win with a nailbiting, 78-73 win over the St. Paul’s Crusaders.


    Click here for the full story from the Winnipeg Sun.