Athletes, parents, coaches and fans gathered on June 7 in celebration of Humboldt Collegiate athletes’ achievements. The annual HCI Athletics Awards and Banquet recapped the highs of the athletic season and paid tribute to those who made it possible. The ceremony also provided an opportunity to recognize some departing coaches and HCI staff members who have long contributed to the program’s successes.
Coach/teachers Kerri Archibald and Nicole Unrau kicked off the awards ceremony, recognizing that the break in athletics due to the lockdown was followed by robust numbers in school sports this season. Parent Patti Durant shared a message on behalf of all parents.
“After enduring months of zero or limited collegiate sports followed by significant protocols, we know how happy you were to be back on the field,” Durant shared. “We know because we were just as happy to be there with you.”
HCI alum Caitlynn Hooker encouraged the students to be fearless in pursuit of their athletic and life goals. The U of R graduate followed her own advice when she trekked to far off Iowa to pursue studies in chiropractics. Now practicing with her husband, Tom, back in Humboldt, Caitlynn served as a model for young athletes pursuing excellence.
“Just go out and do what you love. You are not going to regret ever doing something and failing. You are always going to learn something from it. It’s better to fail at something and learn than to just step behind and not do anything.”
HCI Vice-principal David Millette acknowledged the leadership of three outgoing coaches. Shaun and Karla Gardiner are retiring this year, while former principal Cory Popoff has stepped into a superintendent role with the Horizon School Division. Each of the three provided immeasurable service during their years at the Collegiate, both in the classroom, with administration, but also leaning into the development of young people through athletics.
Big scholarships for the evening included the Tyler Bieber and Brody Hinz Memorial Football Reporters of Canada Award to Katie MacLean. The award is named in honour of HCI alumni and Bolt FM family members Tyler Bieber and Brody Hinz, both lost in the Bronco bus tragedy. The trophy, presented by Marilyn Hay, Tyler’s mother, and the Hinz Family, recognizes the Collegiate’s best prepared athlete. MacLean also took away the Top Female Athlete of the Year Award.
MacLean is bound for Acadia University to play in USport volleyball. Asked how her formative years in HCI have prepared her for that level of competition, she talked about her own growth
“I think the biggest thing is leadership skills. Playing at this level has shaped me into the person that I am today, not only being a leader, but how to work in groups. Competing at the 4A level is tough competition, but it’s also learning that the weight room is important and working together is important.”
The Jacob Leicht Memorial Scholarship went to Dallin Fraser. The award was presented by Kurt and Kiana Leicht, father and sister of the late Jacob Leicht who was also lost in the tragedy. The award recognizes a U18 hockey player who is hard-working and dedicated to the game, and who intends to pursue post-secondary study.
The American Hockey League Broadcasters Tyler Bieber and Brody Hinz Memorial Award went to Jocelyne Durand for her commitment to communications in sports.
Senior Male Athlete of the year was multi-award winner Ben Yungmann. For his part, Yungmann also focused on those leadership opportunities, particularly given the unique circumstances surrounding his graduating year.
“I think it’s also helped my leadership abilities, particularly coming out of COVID. Everybody on the team is younger, and nobody has experience with high school sports at all. I helped my team, where nobody had other than Grade 7 volleyball experience, go to provincials. I feel that really built my patience and confidence as a person.”
The list of winners follows, along with a photo gallery of the evening.
2020-2021 Excellence in Athletics Award Winners
Cross Country: Jocelyne Durand
Golf: Sr: Dallin Fraser and Tyler Lindal /Jr: Ian Haeusler
Sr. Boys Soccer: Vince Agayao /Sr. Girls Soccer: Jocelyne Durand
Sr. Girls Vball: Katie MacLean / Sr. Boys Vball: Ben Yungmann
JV. Girls Vball: Rebecca Heuser /JV Boys Vball: Alex Behiel
Jr. Girls Vball: Kierra Richels
Sr. Fball: Rudolph and Carter /Jr. Fball: Thomas Ries
Sr. Boys Bball: Ben Yungmann /Sr. Girls Bball: Jocelyne Durand
JV Boys Bball: Andrew Santos /JV Girls Bball: Abbi Smith
Jr. Curling: Alexis Eagles
Sr. Badminton: Emma Knight/Taryn Stock /Jr. Badminton: Sophia Babagonio
Track: Boys: Dylan Smith / Girls: Alexus Roach
Girls Flag Football: Abigail Gerwing
Sr. Male Athlete of the Year: Ben Yungmann
Jr. Male Athlete of the Year: Easton Ottmann
Sr. Female Athlete of the Year: Katie MacLean
Jr. Female Athlete of the Year: Alexus Roach
Football Canada Award: Katie MacLean
Broadcaster Award: Jocelyne Durand
Jacob Leicht Memorial Award: Dallin Fraser