WIKWEMIKONG— Wikwemikong High School athletes, parents and coaches gathered last Wednesday evening at the school for the 15th annual Warriors Athletics Banquet.
“Wikwemikong High School opened in September 1997 with one Grade 9 class,” explained athletic director Jillian Peltier during her opening remarks. “Jodi Nadijwon and John Capin met with the North Shore group this year to add our school to their athletic association. In 1998 to 1999, our first year in the NSSSAA (North Shore Secondary Schools Athletic Association) league, we had a boys basketball team and a girls volleyball team. In December 1998 we hosted our first boys basketball game and won 40-27 against JN from Blind River. The team wore Warriors jerseys with a logo that had been designed by a student, Leonard Trudeau. In February of 1999 we held the first girls volleyball game at our school against Manitoulin Secondary School.”
“In 2001 to 2002 we introduced golf, cross country, track and field, badminton and we had girls and boys basketball and volleyball teams,” continued Ms. Peltier. “Since then, we have added a few other teams including wrestling and lacrosse for a few years and, more recently, archery in 2010 and obstacle racing in 2013. Thanks to all of the coaches who have given their time over the years, especially Mr. Recollet who started in 2001 (Ms. Peltier herself has been the director since 2000). Over the last 15 years, we have come a long way from competing with the bigger schools in the ‘A’ division to the ‘B’ for smaller schools which we helped to establish. In 2007-2008 out boys made history and won both NSSSAA volleyball and basketball championships. In 2008-2009 the boys won the school’s first NOSSA championships in both volleyball and basketball.”
Ms. Peltier also noted that the Warriors have won several championships since, 2008 including the boys volleyball team in 2009 winning both the NSSSAA and NOSSA (Northern Ontario Secondary School Association) championships, the girls basketball team in 2009 winning the NSSSAA championships, the boys volleyball team winning the 2013 NSSSA championships, the girls ‘basketball team in 2014 winning the NSSSAA championships and the boys’ volleyball team in 2014 winning the NSSSA championships.
“It is clear that our school has developed an excellent athletics program over the last 15 years and all of our athletes should be proud to call themselves Warriors,” said Ms. Peltier. “We look forward to many more years of great experiences and wonderful memories.”
Following a barbecue dinner, the Warrior coaches presented this year’s awards.
Golf coach Clifton Wassengeso presented Harley Maiangowi with the Most Improved Player Award, while Brandon Pheasant received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award.
Girls’ basketball coach Nelson Wood recognized Tammara Kagige as the team’s Most Improved Player and Tessa Ominika as the MVP.
For boys’ volleyball, Colton Trudeau received the Most Improved Player Award from coach Jamie McCarville. Coach McCarville also presented Noah Ominika with the boys’ volleyball MVP Award.
Girls’ volleyball coach Jacob Fox recognized Harmony Rivers with the Most Improved Player Award and Tessa Ominika with the MVP Award.
Wiin-gash Mandamin was presented with the Most Improved Player Award for boys’ basketball by coach Nelson Wood, while Wyatt Bell-Metansinine received the MVP Award.
For badminton, team coach Nelson Wood presented Nimkii Peltier with the Most Improved Player Award and Star Lee Kanasawe with the MVP Award.
Harmony Rivers received the track and field Most Improved Player Award from coach Marcel Recollet and Mathew Oshkabewisens received the team MVP Award.
Tennis team coach Clifton Wassengeso awarded Hunter Roy with Most Improved Player Award and Chase Assiniwe with the Most Valuable Player Award.
The archery awards were presented by coaches Raymond and Sheila Madahbee. The pair presented Tia Wemigwans with the Most Improved Player Award and Reynold Assiniwe with the MVP Award.
Obstacle racing coach Nelson Wood awarded Mary Anges Shawana with the Most Improved Player Award and Austin Pangowish with the MVP Award.
The Most Sportsmanlike Athlete Award went to Andrea Trudeau in the senior girls category, Cole Baibomcowai in the senior boys category, Eileen Letander-Trudeau in the junior girls category and Wiin-gash Mandamin in the junior boys category.
The female Athlete of the Year Award was presented to Aurora Ominika-Enosse.
“Aurora participated on several teams this year including girls’ basketball, badminton, obstacle racing and track and field,” said Ms. Peltier during the presentation. “Aurora works hard and has been a great role model for her teammates and her classmates by demonstrating good sportsmanship, leadership and maintaining good grades. Aurora’s coaches and teammates know that they can always count on her and that she will give 100 percent effort on the court. Aurora is the first Grade 9 student to be chosen for the Athlete of the Year Award.”
The male Athlete of the Year Award went to Adrian Trudeau.
“This is the second year in a row that Adrian is receiving this award,” noted Ms. Peltier. “Adrian is a strong member of three Warrior teams this year including boys’ volleyball, basketball and the obstacle racing team. Adrian is an excellent role model for his teammates and classmates. He has continued to maintain good grades and has been a key player on all of the teams that he participated with. Adrian will be in his final year of high school next year which means we will have him as part of our athletics program for one more year.”
The final award of the night was the Student Athlete of the Year Award which was presented to Annie Wemigwans.
“This award is for a student who has participated on several teams and has been a strong and successful student,” explained Ms. Peltier. “We know it is very difficult to create a balance in your life as a teenager and we want to acknowledge this when it does occur. We hope this award will encourage our students to strive towards being excellent student athletes in the coming years. Congratulations to Annie who has maintained excellent grades to demonstrate her leadership as Student Athlete of the Year for 2014-2015.”
Wikwemikong Board of Education Director Dominic Beaudry presented the coaches with awards recognizing their hard work and dedication.
The coaches included girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball and badminton, coach Nelson Wood; boys’ volleyball, coaches Jamie McCarville and Jillian Peltier; tennis and golf, coach Clifton Wassengeso; girls’ volleyball, coaches Jacob Fox and Holly Hoy; track and field, coach Marcel Recollet; archery, coaches Raymond and Sheila Madahbee and Ilia Proulx; and obstacle racing team coaches Nelson Wood and Valerie O’Leary.
“You do some wonderful work,” said Mr. Beaudry of the coaches. “And students, we are extremely proud of all your achievements.”
Wikwemikong High School Principal Mick Staruck gave the banquet’s closing remarks, noting the amazing work of the coaches in continuing to develop and grow the school’s athletics program.