Barons athletes had the chance to show their pride and receive recognition at the LCHS Athletic Awards Banquet this week. The banquet highlights the athletic success of students throughout the 2018/2019 season.
Sixteen different teams were celebrated for their achievements. Awards were given to honour roles such as MVP, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved, Barons Pride and others. Athletic director and vice principal at LCHS, Doug Smith, says he’s watched the growth of these young athletes and believes they have bright futures ahead of them.
“A lot of these graduating athletes, when I came to the Comp [sic], they were in grade ten. To watch them grow as athletes, but more importantly as good people, has been nothing short of impressive. It just speaks to what our coaches, parents and teams do to prepare them for out of school,” says Smith.
The night also awarded a scholarship to four lucky students. The William Gow Memorial Scholarship commemorates the life of a man highly involved in the Border City’s athletic community, coaching public, collegiate and club volleyball. Gow passed away in 2017 at the age of 57. His wife, Dianne, helped nominate the students chosen to receive the scholarship.
The scholarship is based on the academic achievement, dedication, leadership and post-secondary acceptance of a student-athlete. One of those recipients, Blake Killam, also won MVP for track and field and volleyball. Killam graduates this year and says it was a long road to success, adding he was never that good at sports.
“I was always an athletic kid, I wasn’t really great though. It wasn’t until grade nine when I started doing track and field, I ended up going to provincials and I was wearing size twelve volleyball shoes that were way too big for me. I ended up placing well in the finals so that kind of started my track career,” says Killam.
Once he reached grade 10, Killam got into volleyball, and the two sports carried him throughout his time at LCHS. Looking ahead to his graduated year Killam plans to attend Lakeland College to explore what he wants to do. The support and recognition of the scholarship has deep meaning after a long, hard road
“I’ve worked hard for this. Throughout middle school, I’d go to the gym before school. Everything I’ve worked for, to be recognized now, is just great.”
Two barons athletes were also recognized as top male and female athletes of the year. Football awards included Best Lineman, and rugby awards honoured a Top Forward, Top Scorer and Best Back.