Mallory Mueller will likely remember June 6, 2012 as one of those special days in her young life.
Earlier in the day last Wednesday, she helped guide the St. Marys DCVI Junior girls soccer team to the Huron-Perth League championship—winning two exciting one-goal games on home turf. The Jr. Salukis finished the season with an impressive 10-1 record under the leadership of coach Nich Seebach and assistant Mueller.
The 18-year-old Mueller returned to the school just a few hours later, and was named winner of the graduating athlete award at DCVI’s annual sports awards banquet.
The prestigious award is voted on by all school coaches each year.
“We’re very sad to see her go; she will truly be missed,” said presenter Sue Lawrence, a teacher and coach at DCVI.
Lawrence described the fourth-year student as an athlete who has “a tenacious desire to win, is a true and vocal leader, a person who cares for fellow athletes and coaches, and someone who brings a 100 per cent effort to sports.
“We will miss you Mallory, congratulations.”
Mueller played a variety of sports during her Saluki career, including: tennis, basketball, volleyball, slow pitch and badminton, and she also helped coach school volleyball and soccer.
This year, Mueller was named co-MVP with Brittany Smith on the Senior girls basketball team, and co-MVP with Makayla Lewis on the Senior girls volleyball squad. She was also co-sportsmanship winner with Brittany Smith on the Senior girls badminton team.
“I’d like to thank all my coaches over the last four years,” Mueller said as DCVI athletes posed for photos afterwards. “Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to improve like I did. They helped me pick up my game, and they gave me the opportunity to play. I’m grateful for the playing time and the experiences that I got here at school.”
In the fall, Mueller will start a four-year nursing program at the University of Western Ontario. She’s also a good student, maintaining over a 90 per cent grade school average.
A minimum of three sports
Thirteen other DCVI students were presented major awards as well. Athletes winning major awards had to have competed in a minimum three sports over the school year.
Among the Grade 9s, Emma Watt won the female sportsmanship award. Presenter Kara Donnelly described Watt as “extremely coachable” and one who “leads her teammates on and off” the field/court.
The Grade 9 sportsmanship award for males went to Drew Wrigley, who was a member of six school teams.
Presenter Ian Moore said that Wrigley is always positive, always encourages his teammates and always has a smile on his face. He played any role a team asked of him, and “being part of a team” is the most important thing for Wrigley.
The MVP among the Grade 9 female athletes is Madeline Aarts. Presenter Annette Wrigley described Aarts as an athlete who has “loads of raw talent.”
“She is motivated by an intrinsic desire to do well in each sport she participates in, and possesses a belief, albeit sometimes shaky, that she is both mentally and physically capable of being a valuable, contributing athlete,” Wrigley said.
Trent Dundas, who was a member of three teams, is the Grade 9 male MVP. Presenter Simon Bishop described Dundas as a “hard-working, dedicated and tremendous athlete and person.” He recently ran in the OFSAA West Regionals in Windsor as a member of the DCVI Midget boys 4X100 relay team.
The Junior female sportsmanship award went to Taylor Simpson, who won sportsmanship awards on three of her school teams. Presenter Nich Seebach said Simpson is an athlete who is “positive, encourages her teammates, and leads by example.”
Andy O’Connell received the Junior male sportsmanship award, and presenter Kirk Gregory said he was “proud” to make the presentation to this athlete. He described O’Connell as “enthusiastic, dedicated and a leader.”
Shauna Simpson, one of the best young athletes to attend DCVI in recent years, was selected the Junior female MVP. Presenter Scott Shaddick described Simpson as “an exceptionally gifted athlete.” Her athleticism and personality “allows her to excel in every sport she play in.”
Led her team to H-P title
A good example of her leadership abilities occurred just hours earlier on the soccer pitch as Simpson sparked the Junior girls to the H-P championship, Shaddick added.
Travis Mann was also a good choice for Junior male MVP. Presenter Annette Wrigley says Mann possesses a “love for competition.”
A member of four school teams in 2011-12, Mann “appreciates the efforts and successes of other individuals. Because he has the sense that training hard can produce results, he competed well on all of the teams he tried out for; cross-country running, Nordic skiing, soccer and track and field,” she said.
The Senior female sportsmanship award went to personable Laura Van De Walle.
Presenter Jessica Chateauvert described Van De Walle as “a leader on and off the field” and “a pleasure to coach.”
Justin Benner took home this year’s Senior male sportsmanship award. Presenter Stephen Chateauvert lauded Benner for things such as his “strong work ethic,” his desire “to work with his coaches,” and he’s an athlete who “never misses practice.”
The Senior female MVP is multi-sport athlete Deanna Kerekes. Presenter Bob Ellison said several of her coaches described her as “super.” She’s an athlete who works hard, is enthusiastic with lots of energy, and she’s always supportive of her teammates.
Ellison also said that “great character” is also something that makes Kerekes special.
Dominic Pieroni was also a good choice for Senior male MVP.
Presenter Wayne Murray said he’s coached Pieroni for several years. Some of the attributes Murray gave this multi-sport athlete were: “very competitive, gracious in defeat, good sportsman, dedicated and a leader.”
A special award was presented last Wednesday to well-liked student athlete Mike Hitchcock.
It was given for his contributions to school athletics over seven years. Over the years, the graduating student has played on several teams and served as team manager on others.
“We wanted to thank Mike for everything he’s done,” presenter Wayne Murray said. “He still wants to volunteer at the school and help a couple of the teams.”
Murray said Hitchcock also competes in Special Olympics away from school, playing in sports such as basketball, baseball and track.
Hitchcock received a standing ovation when he accepted his plaque.
Sports banquet notes:
•In her opening address, DCVI principal Deb McNair said: “Involved kids have a good time in school. They are the most successful kids in the school.”
•There are currently 600 students at DCVI, and 200 of those competed on sports teams this 2011-12 school year.
•Black Angus restaurant in St. Marys provided a delicious meal last Wednesday