One can add the annual PECI Panthers sports award gala typically held at Picton’s Regent Theatre as another COVID-19 casualty on the local sporting landscape.
An enjoyable evening of pomp and circumstance where PECI’s best, brightest and most dedicated athletes are honoured with hardware was dashed along with the last half of the school year due to the novel coronavirus.
PECI Athletic Director Laurie Spencer and the school’s student-led athletic council felt it imperative that those competing for the Cats in the Bay of Quinte Athletic Conference this past year have their achievements honoured.
PECI has taken to local and social media to unveil the top Panthers of 2019-20 and Spencer called those wearing the garnet, and grey an outstanding group.
“It is a true pleasure to see the development of these athletes not only on the court/fields/ice, but also as young adults,” Spencer told the Gazette. “Education through sport is an incredible tool and I would like to thank our Athletic Council Co-Captains Sydney Davies and Nolan Steen for working hard behind the scenes to recognize our athletes. Our annual celebration at the Regent Theatre was cancelled so our Athletic Council took to social media and print media to congratulate Panther accomplishments.”
On behalf of the council, Steen said 2019-20 class of PECI student-athletes is one that will go down in history.
“This class of athletes has endured difficult challenges that no other class of athletes has had to face. Never before has PECI seen a school year end quite like this with almost an entire semester being cancelled, along with the numerous sports that were cancelled as well. To all the athletes that had to deal with this, especially the seniors who will not be returning to PECI, I hope you continue forward in life with the same passion for athletics that you have now and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors,” Steen said.” On a lighter note, there are many happy memories to look back on for the 2019-2020 year, whether it be a second COSSA championship and OFSAA appearance in a row for our Senior Boys Basketball team, or simply how our school and community media outlets came together to recognize athletes digitally and through traditional media.”
In terms of major awards, there were ties for both of PECI’s Senior Male and Female Athletes of the year. On the Men’s side, basketball standout Alex Arsenault and golf Most Valuable Player Cameron Pero shared the best overall senior Panther.
On the Women’s side, senior basketball players Davies and Madalynn Snider were co-athletes of the year. In the Junior division, volleyball MVP and basketball Most Dedicated Player Vanessa Wilton was best overall athlete in her category while soccer player Brennan Vincent was the best male athlete of the year.
In the midget ranks, Reese Kleinsteuber and Kayde Channell were tabbed as Grade 9 male and female athletes of the year for 2019-20. Pero was named as the Joe Scott Memorial Award winner as the best athlete displaying specialized excellence in their event thanks to the Bloomfield native’s exploits on the golf course.
The school’s OPIE awards given to the students who unselfishly contributed to interschool sports or the life of sports in the school included Jaylan Pierson (Sr. Boys Basketball Manager), Alexa Prinzen (Varsity Girls Basketball Manager), Sydney Davies (Athletic Council Co-Captain), Steen (Athletic Council Co-Captain), Nolan Dawson (Athletic Council Graduate), Max Lindsay (Athletic Council Graduate), Thomas Davies (Athletic Council Graduate), Case McFarland (Athletic Council Graduate) and Becca McHugh (Athletic Council Graduate).
Overall individual sports awards went to the following:
Cross Country: Sarah Johnson (Most Dedicated Player) & Madison Smith (MDP)
Girls Varsity Rugby: Elle Ball (MDP) & Libby Wallwork (Most Valuable Player)
Junior Boys Soccer: Greg Talbot (MDP) & Brennan Vincent (MDP)
Senior Boys Soccer: Joey Monroe (MVP) & Devon Wilton (MVP)
Junior Boys Volleyball: Matthew Vincent (Most Improved Player) & Aiden Reddick (MVP)
Senior Boys Volleyball: Logan Stark (MVP) & Nolan Dawson (MIP)
Girls Varsity Basketball: Sydney Davies (MDP) & Vanessa Wilton (MDP)
Varsity Golf: Cameron Pero (MVP) & Rylan Lewis (MIP)
Junior Boys Basketball: Luke Raham (MDP) & Stephen McGuey (MDP)
Senior Boys Basketball:Alex Arsenault (MVP) & Ryan Doolan (MIP)
Junior Girls Volleyball: Vanessa Wilton (MVP) & Emily Stasiw (MDP)
Senior Girls Volleyball: Alexa Prinzen (MVP) & Trinity Roche (MIP)
Varsity Boys Hockey: Austin Bryans (MVP) & Nic McGrayne (MDP)
Girls Curling: Elle Ball (MVP) & Sarah Johnson (MDP)
Boys Curling: David Litke (MIP) & Dylan Spafford (MDP)