Small school, big results
CLEARVIEW TWP. - Stayner Collegiate Institute (SCI) celebrated its multi-talented athletes at its recent athletic banquet.
In addition to top junior and senior male and female athletes, SCI also awarded the Pursley Award, chosen by the coaches for the athletes who have made a significant contribution to the athletic program over four years.
This year’s male winner is Jake Underhill, who is also the co-recipient of the senior boys Athlete of the Year award with Gavin Proud.
“He is a very accomplished athlete who played soccer, volleyball, basketball, hockey, badminton and golf over the past four years,” said Corey French, department chair for physical and health education and the cross country, hockey and soccer coach.
“In addition to his athletic accomplishments, he was a devoted member of the athletic council who took on so many jobs including scorekeeping, lining the field, organizing intramural activities and even helping with coaching duties with the girls hockey, soccer and volleyball teams.”
Underhill said his highlight of the year was with the volleyball team that went into the playoffs low-seeded.
“We played the top team in our first game and we just went there assuming we would get crushed and we took 'em to four or five sets so it was a very close game. It was very exciting,” he said.
As well as competing on teams, Underhill was the assistant coach for girls volleyball and soccer teams this year and hockey team last year.
“I’m going to miss the small school atmosphere. It’s a really tight-knit group. You know everyone on the team and going to a big school next year it’s going to be difficult to form that bond with the teams. It’s pretty valuable the small school,” he said.
Underhill will attend the University of Guelph in September to study bio-medical engineering.
Outside of high school, Underhill played midget-rep hockey with Creemore Minor Hockey.
This year he was the captain of his SCI volleyball and soccer teams as well as the Creemore hockey team.
The female Pursley award also went to a multi-sport athlete who won the co-senior girl’s Athlete of the Year award, Ally McLeod, 17.
McLeod has competed on basketball, volleyball and soccer teams for the past four years.
“I cannot begin to describe how much time and energy she has put into going that extra mile to make our school a fun and spirited place to be,” said French.
McLeod scheduled intramural games, typed up team lists, set up soccer nets in the rain, and helped out with elementary tournaments and scorekeeping games after school.
“She did all while balancing a hectic figure skating schedule, part-time jobs, maintaining academic excellence and being president of student council for the past two years,” he said.
“We’re certainly going to miss having her around next year,” said French.
The captain of the both the volleyball and soccer teams, McLeod said her highlight of the year was going to the Georgian Bay Secondary Schools Association championships (GBSSAs) with the soccer team where they placed second.
Her second highlight was with the volleyball team.
“We made it to the SCAA (Simcoe County Athletic Association) final,” she said, and the team placed second.
“All my friends play everything with me so it’s fun having them on the team,” she said.
McLeod will be attending Western University in September where she will be studying kinesiology. She plans to compete on the figure skating team.
She’s been figure skating since she was four years old and has made it to the gold level and competes individually with the Stayner Figure Skating Club.
Madeleine Holland, 18, was the co-recipient of the seniors’ girls Athlete of the Year award. She played on the hockey, flag football, and soccer teams.
“I’ve played on them all every year,” said the Grade 12 student.
On the flag football team she was the quarterback.
“It was really fun to have girls who have never played it come out and help teach them how to learn. We won a couple of games, so we are getting better,” she said.
Outside of high school, Holland has played hockey for 15 years. This year she played for the rep Orillia Midget BB team and was the captain.
Holland will be attending Mohawk College in September and has her career goal set to be a pediatric nurse.