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PECI Panthers’ athletic prowess praised on stage

This year’s major award award winners were, from left, Hannah Goad (Junior Female Athlete of the Year), Mikayla Leavitt, (Senior Female Athlete of the Year) Bruce Reynolds, (Jeremy Vincent Award) Lauren Smith and Vanessa Wilton, (Grade 9 Female Athletes) Aiden Reddick, (Grade 9 Male Athlete) Nic McGrayne (Junior Male Athlete) and Cooper Rogers (Senior Male Athlete) – Sue Capon photos

Individual and team athletes were honoured on the Regent Theatre stage Wednesday night in praise of an excellent year of sports at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute.

The coaches had high praise for athletes with this year’s championship teams.

“What an incredible season,” said Rob Garden, Senior Girls’ Basketball Coach. “The third straight Bay of Quinte Championship, COSSA Championship and an OFSAA appearance in London.”

Noting he wasn’t sure about the group in the beginning of the season, he recalled playing at Queen’s University against the eventual OFSAA champion team from Timmins.

“We got whacked. I remember talking to the girls after the game thinking I’m not sure we have it this year,” he said. “But they stuck together, worked extremely hard at practice and slowly started to turn their season around… and soon dominated at Bay of Quinte and COSSA Championships.”

Mikayla Leavitt was named the team’s MVP as the one who “always stepped up in big moments. She had some career games this year including a 27-point game… and became a great leader both on and off the court.”

Alexa Prinzen was named MDP, as the “glue girl” “When things go tough, she kept it light. When a teammate did something great, she was the first one to give them a high-five. And when she got on the court, she was fearless,” said Garden.

Also speaking as a coach with the Senior Boys’ Basketball team, Garden was proud to speak to its history-making moments.

“Over the course of PECI’s 75 year history, no senior boys basketball team had ever won COSSA and qualified for OFSAA. This group has been playing together for the past seven years, starting with County Clippers in public school, and growing together as high school teammates.”

They played the eventual gold and silver medal OFSAA winners and held their own… Most impressively, this group went to AAA OFSAA in Hamilton. They were the smallest school from the smallest town in the tournament. They picked up a win versus the #14 seed from Orillia and gave the #1 seed a pretty good scare for the first half.”

Garden called MVP Alex Arsenault a natural athlete able to dominate at both ends of the court who impressed scouts at OFSAA and has a bright future in the game.

Devon Wilton, (MIP), earned the award over the past four years of hard work and stepping up to lead the team from the point guard position.

Coach Matt Ronan praised the successes of the Panther baseball team of 19 players.

“In the 10-year history of Bay of Quinte baseball, the Panthers have won seven titles, won COSSA five times and represented at OFSAA five times.

“Our school of 500 consistently battles and defeats schools more than twice its size. This year was no different. The Panthers went 9-1; were the Bay of Quinte Champions and COSSA silver medalists.

Brodie Byford and Will Ronan shared the MVP award as team leaders in both pitching and offence.

“Will Ronan pitched the win for game one COSSA and Brodie Byford shut down both Crestwood and St. Peters in two very gutty performances. On offence, Ronan led the Panthers in COSSA going 8-9 with four RBIs while crossing the plate five times and Byford went 5-9 with two RBIs.

Individuals were also presented the school’s major athletic awards, praised by coaches and applauded by their peers, families and friends in the audience.

Senior Female Athlete of the Year Mikayla Leavitt with Jenny Lyons

Mikayla Leavitt earned the Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award. She played basketball, volleyball and soccer.

“She plays her game with a natural talent, as well as a drive and determination to work hard in order to develop her talent,” said coach Jenny Lyons. “She competes with a mindset of playing smart, executing plays and following her instinct as she increases the chances of scoring for her team and finally, competes with intensity, passion and grit that does not falter.”

Senior Male Athlete of the Year Cooper Rogers with Pam Goad

Cooper Rogers was named Senior Male Athlete of the Year.

Coach Pamela Goad called him intensely competitive and skilled at every sport he plays, including soccer, badminton and baseball.

“He is heavily relied upon for his formidably defensive skills in soccer… He is one of the most vocal players communicating strategies and leadership to the team and is both respected and highly valued.”

She noted he is also described as an intense athlete in badminton who plays to win. As a third year player he demonstrated powerful leadership, sportsmanship, tact and discipline on and off the court.

As a baseball player, he echos these qualities, she said.

“He’s a valued member of the team who is one of the key players that contributed to the core strength of the baseball team.”

Junior Female Athlete of the Year Hannah Goad with Rob Garden

Hannah Goad was named the Junior Female Athlete of the Year and coach Rob Garden had high praise, noting the Grade 10 student’s achievements sound more like a senior student’s resume.

“She excelled in both individual and team sports. She competed at four sports and went to COSSA on three separate occasions, including a COSSA gold medal,” he said. “She amassed the highest point total out of any athlete this year, with 65 points. She also won two MVP awards tonight.”

Junior Male Athlete of the Year Nic MacGrayne with Josh Chambers

Nicholas McGrayne received the Junior Male Athlete of the Year award with praise from coach Josh Chambers, and from other coaches noting his drive to succeed with strong defensive instincts.

“He excelled in multiple sports both individual and team – golf, volleyball, badminton, varsity hockey and baseball and outside school in hockey, basketball and coaching youth.”

Grade 9 Female Athletes of the Year Lauren Smith and Vanessa Wilton with Rob Garden

Garden also presented the Grade 9 Female Athlete of the Year Award to co-winners Vanessa Wilton and Lauren Smith, who both played basketball, soccer and volleyball.

“At a time where we are seeing a decrease in female participation year after year, these two are true role models,” he said. “They are multi-sport athletes, fierce competitors, great teammates and very easy to coach.”

Grade 9 Male Athlete of the Year Aiden Reddick with Matt Ronan

Aiden Reddick was named the Grade 9 Athlete of the Year by Coach Ronan, honouring his achievements in volleyball, hockey, badminton and baseball, while playing rep hockey for the Prince Edward County Kings and Rep Fastball for the Napanee Express.

“His volleyball coach noted his tenacious play kept many rallies alive. His hockey coach said he was an outstanding addition to the team… He was an impact each time he took the ice demonstrating strong, physical, offensive play and a willingness to learn and improve.”


Jeremy Vincent Award winner Bruce Reynolds, with Beth Bell.

The Jeremy Vincent Award for an athlete who excels in a sport was presented to Bruce Reynolds for excellence in pole vaulting.

“He competed in an event that no one from PECI has ever tried before and reached his personal best in this last season,” said coach Beth Bell. He qualified for East Regionals with a first-place finish in COSSA three years in a row.

The O.P.I.E Award for unselfishly contributing to interschool sports or the life of sports in the school, was presented to Jack MacCool, Brodie Byford, Thomas Davies, Rebecca McCugh, Nolan Steen and Sidney Davies.

Individual awards for school teams (with comments from the coaches):

Cross Country
Tally Wilkinson (MDP) – Most dedicated runner is a multi-sport athlete demonstrating intrinsic motivation to meet her goals and pull the team together.
Amanda Johnson (MVP) – Most Valuable Runner who trains consistently, runs with enthusiasm and also pulls the team together.

Cameron Pero (MVP) – One of just two Bay of Quinte golfers to qualify for COSSA as an individual player.

Varsity Girls’ Rugby
Terra Cobb and Abigail Ramsbottom were both named Most Dedicated Players. The two became key players and leaders, especially for rookie players.

Junior Boys’ Soccer
Ross Maycock (MVP) – This year’s Most Valuable Player consistently brings a high level of intensity and effort to every game and he is heavily relied upon for both his defensive and offensive skills in the midfield.
Liam Cairns (MIP) – This year’s Most Improved Player brought a positive and healthy vibe
to the team and was heavily relied upon for his defensive skills and boundless effort.

Senior Boys’ Soccer
Gabe Goad (MVP) – Selected by his teammates as the Most Valuable Player, he consistently brought a high level of skill, commitment and maturity to the Panther soccer tean and a skilled difference maker.
Braedon Sharpe (MDP) – This year’s Most Dedicated Player was also voted by his peers as a player that never gives up, despite the score, a player committed to productive practicing and one who had the best interest of the team.

Junior Boys’ Volleyball
Aiden Reddick (MIP) – Demonstrated a consistent
willingness to improve both his skills and knowledge of the court strategy and movement involved in high school volleyball.
Peter McGuey (MDP) – Took his game and practice time seriously and always put the team ahead of
any personal accomplishments or recognition. He was a pleasure to coach.

Senior Boys’ Volleyball
Nolan Dawson (MIP) – Became a starter by seson end, with a strong court presence.
Cole St. Pierre (MDP) – He includes the role of
assistant coach in his portfolio. He communicated with his teammates on and off the court and provided welcome feedback to coaches.

Junior Girls’ Basketball
Hannah Goad (MVP) – Goad was called ‘a really big engine.’ as top scorer all year who could always be counted on in big moments.
Lauren Smith (MIP) – Started the year tentative and shy and ended as a starter who led by example and played hard.

Junior Boys’ Basketball
Ryan Doolan (MVP) – A key cog with unparalleled love for the sport and a willingness to sacrifice everything for his teammates.
Harm Veenstra (MIP) – Went from a timid player to a shot blocker; playing with confidences and intensity.

Junior Girls’ Volleyball
Abby Conley (MVP) – All-round excellent key starting setter playing with confidence and intensity, leading the team with a fierce inner strength.
Jolie Elliot (MIP) – Brought positive energy to the court and worked hard to develop skills. Both winners were instrumental in the team making it to a second place in the Bay of Quinte, then COSSA play.

Senior Girls’ Volleyball
Mikayla Leavitt (MVP) – An easy choice based on her spiking and play at the net, she consistently rallied the team with her offence and inner strength.
Katherine Reddick (MIP) – With a lot of hard work and determination, she finished the season as the team’s primary setter.

Boys’ Hockey
Alex Brady (MDP) – Stepped on the ice with energy and enthusiasm every game and practice, showing leadership and encouragement to teammates. Was named captain of the Varsity boys hockey team.
Nicholas McGrayne (MVP) – An exceptional athlete whose talent as goalie helped carry the team with quick reflexes and confidence.

Girls Curling
Amanda Johnson (MVP) – Talented curler who can make hard shots and maintain a positive mindset no matter the outcome and works to make sure everyone leaves the rink feeling good about themselves.
Elle Ball (MDP) – Shows up ready to contribute during practices and games. Dedicated leadership
evident as she helped run practices.

Boys Curling
Malcolm Ross (MVP) – Seasoned player kept a positive attitude and motivated his team as he lead the group of new curlers to success.
Riley Rogers (MIP) – Started the season falling over and ended as a player to count on to make the shot.

Junior Badminton
Abby Conley (MVP) – Shows natural sense and ability. She and partner’s accomplishments in their two junior years reaped gold at Bay of Quinte and COSSA this year.
Cameron Pero (MVP) – Huge tenacity to improve and be the best possible. Played each game full throttle earning gold at Bay of Quinte and a trip to COSSA in first year of singles.

Senior Badminton
Nolan Dawson (MDP) – Showed commitment to learn role and strategy with much time and effort to become highly skilled.
Elle Ball (MDP) – Constantly performed to best of ability in strategy based and precision drills.

Junior Girls’ Soccer
Hannah Goad (MVP) – A fierce comopetitor with a drive to win battles and contributes to positive attitude of the team.
Lauren Smith (MIP) – Transformed during the season from shy and hesitant to aggressive and confident.

Senior Girs’ Soccer
Maddy Young (MDP) – Put herself on the line for the team; eager to learn new techniques and improve her skill set.
Mikayla Leavitt (MVP) – Endurance, skill and desire to give it all for the team with talent and commitment.

Track & Field
Eili Akey (MIP) – Made it to east regionals in two events. Improved his personal best in high jump by 15cm for best jump of 180cm. In triple jump he jumped just 4cm short of 13m.
Tristan Ticheloven (MDP) – Demonstrated commitment and dedication throughout the season with a friendly relaxed demeanor and progressed to East Regionals with steady improvement.

Earning 120 Athletic Points were: Brodie Byford, Ben Clarke, Sydney Davies, Gabe Goad, Mikayla Leavitt, Jack MacCool and Dylan Morrow.

Earning 100 Athletic Points were: Alex Arsenault, Thomas Davies, Cole St. Pierre, Devon Wilton, Amanda Johnson, Case McFarland, Bruce Reynolds, Cooper Rogers, Will Ronan, Emma Lamorre, Joey Monroe and Nolan Dawson.

Earning 80 Athletic Points were Hannah Goad, Chloe Marshall, Joe Burley, Ian Forsyth, Trinity Roche, Madalynn Snider, Kaleb Stacey and Logan Stark.

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesHastings & Prince Edward District School BoardLocal NewsPECI - It's a Panther ThingSports & Recreation

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