Vanier celebrates a solid year in sports
COLLINGWOOD – Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School had four teams go to the provincial championships this year as well as individuals going for track and field and alpine skiing.
It was a successful year with Ontario Federation of Secondary Athletic Association (OFSAA) medals, lots of near wins and lots of students participating in new sports, said Liz Payton, athletic director.
“We’ve had many multi-sport athletes. That is the bonus of being in a small school. You have so many opportunities to participate and get involved,” she said.
But one of the most promising points is that both senior athletes of the year Lily Dennis and Nicholas Orr are in Grade 11 and will be back for another year.
“Next year it will be OFSAA for hockey,” said Dennis, 17.
Dennis’ highlight of the year was winning OFSAA gold in slalom skiing with a silver medal in giant slalom in the high school (Level 1) division at Blue Mountain Ski Resort.
“She’s a multi-sport athlete. She picks things up very quickly and easily,” Gosselin said.
“She was able to pick up skiing and everyday you’d see a huge improvement. She won the high school-level slalom by about five seconds, which is an eternity,” he said.
Her No. 2 highlight was making OFSAA with the senior girls soccer team in Toronto.
“It was fun to go as a team. Because when I went for skiing it was just individual. Hanging out with them was fun and it was three days off school,” she said.
Dennis competed with five teams over the school year including golf, hockey, flag football, soccer and alpine skiing. She was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for football, soccer and alpine skiing.
“She’s a very talented and a very dedicated athlete,” said Payton, who is glad she is coming back next year.
Multi-sport athlete Nick Orr won senior male athlete of the year. He was a gold medalist at the OFSAA alpine ski championships and was named team MVP.
Winning the giant slalom event was his highlight of the year.
“I was in fourth place after my first run. It was nice to go from fourth to first after my second run,” he said.
His No. 2 highlight was racing at OFSAA regionals.
Orr competed on four teams, senior boys soccer, senior tennis, track and field and alpine skiing.
Gosselin has coached Orr in skiing since Grade 9.
“He gives you 100% every day. He’s so focused and committed to achieving his personal best all the time.
“He’s a pleasure to coach. Whenever you give him any advice or feedback, he listens, he takes it well and he applies it right away. As a result, he’s able to improve very quickly and make a big change,” he said.
“I would think his goal next year is to medal in both (slalom, giant slalom) events.”
Both Orr and Dennis plan to compete in the same sports for their Grade 12 year.
Michaela Gosselin won junior female athlete of the year. She is also a multi-sport athlete competing on six teams; senior girls soccer, track and field, cross country running, flag football, senior girls volleyball and Level 2 alpine (for skiers who compete outside of high school). She was named co-MVP for football and volleyball and MVP for alpine skiing.
Tom Hollingshead received a loud round of applause when his name was called for junior male athlete of the year.
He competed on five teams including baseball, track and field, varsity boys hockey, junior boys soccer and junior tennis. He was name MVP for tennis and co-MVP for soccer.