St. Thomas Aquinas High School hosted its annual Athletics Banquet on June 13th celebrating outstanding athletic achievements in sports.
The Saints had an exceptional year, receiving provincial and national recognition and adding a few more banners to the walls of fame in the gymnasium. In March, Grade 10 student, Gabe Mastromatteo brought home OFSAA Gold in the 100 m breaststroke, breaking a 22-year record in the process. In April, the Saints Cheer Team brought home national gold from the Cheer Evolution National Championships.
St. Thomas Aquinas High School was also successful in NorWOSSA and attended five OFSAA Championships this year in Nordic Skiing, Swimming, Boys' Basketball, Girls' Volleyball and Girls' Soccer.
Chelsea Henderson was named the Senior Female Athlete of the Year, and Jayson Lebel was named the Senior Male Athlete of the Year.
Lebel plays basketball, volleyball and soccer. He was named the Most Improved Player in soccer and mentioned it as his favorite sport. "Soccer is my favorite sport. We weren't much of a soccer group but we definitely buckled down and worked hard and won NorWOSSA this year. Sadly, we came short for NWOSSA. I'm happy to play with such a great group of guys," he said.
Lebel was surprised to learn he won. "I was not expecting the award tonight but I am certainly proud that I got it. Just being able to be here, playing sports at St. Thomas Aquinas is such an honour. The school and teachers are supportive and it's just wonderful."
Lebel was also honoured as the Most Improved Player on the Senior Boys' Volleyball Team.
Recognized as a multi-sport athlete, playing hockey, soccer and basketball, Henderson won numerous awards. She won the Most Valuable Player and Sportsmanship Award in basketball and the Most Improved Player in soccer. She was also named Most Valuable Player for the Girls' Hockey Team.
"I just love playing on all the sports teams that I play on because they are all my family and it's exciting to play with everyone," she said.
Henderson credits her teachers for helping her to keep on track with her academics. "With so many sports you are always on the road, and miss a lot of classes. My teachers are great. They really do their best to accommodate me and help me."
Up and coming athletes Mason Barclay, Alyssa Turcotte and Abigail Dent received the Junior Athlete of the Year Awards.
Olympic medalist, Janine Stephens provided the keynote address at the banquet, inspiring students to work hard and give 100 per cent to each practice. She also talked about the importance of choosing the right attitude and having positive communication with the team. Stephens is a former Canadian rower from Winnipeg on the Canadian National Team. She won the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as part of the woman's eights rowing team.
The Senior Girls' Volleyball Team is proud to host the 2019 OFSAA Girls' Volleyball Championships, March 4 – 6, 2019 and are excited to welcome over 200 athletes to St. Thomas Aquinas High School.
For a full listing of award recipients for the 2018 Athletics Banquet please click on the link below