LCHS names Athletes of the Year
Athletes of the year David Mueller and Kaitlin Swartz, as well as Ram Award winners Erin Hepburn, Lucas Wessner and Darin Fodor pose for a picture following the annual LCHS Athletic Awards on June 28, 2017 in the LCHS gym. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
If there was one commonality amongst Lacombe Composite High School’s athletics awards winners, it was exceptional hard work.
This proved most true for LCHS’ Athletes of the Year, Kaitlin Swartz and David Mueller.
It was the second year in a row that Swartz had received the award, primarily for her performances in track and field.
At the 2017 Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association Track and Field Championships, recently, she racked up four different medals - a gold, two silver and a bronze in the 800-metre, 1,500, 400, and 4x400 relay, respectively.
Mueller, meanwhile, was awarded a full scholarship to play football for the University of Calgary next year.
Neither expected the award, but were happy, regardless.
“I think it was just hard work that I put in outside of practice hours,” said Mueller.
“People just started to notice and that went along way both performance-wise and in showing coaches what I can do and what I want to do to be better.
“It was a really great way to end high school and it was a great senior season.”
While both athletes were humble and few with words on their success, Rams coach Jason Petrie had plenty of praise.
With Swartz, he said he loved her competitive spirit.
“One of the things I touch on quite a bit with the kids is will over skill,” he said. “She’s fortunate. She was born with a fantastic, natural skill set, but that only take you so far. She has a will and a desire probably stronger than most in society today to succeed.
“Every so often you get special kids and she’s one of those.”
Mueller, he said, out-trained everyone, showing up at 5:45 a.m. daily to train.
“This year he was an exceptional player in our league and one of the best receivers in the province at the high school level,” he said.
“I can’t say we’ve had too many kids in our province get offered a full scholarship to play sports and he’s getting one. That’s pretty cool.”
Swartz, a grade 11 student, will possibly go for a three-peat next year with one more school year left.
Mueller graduated on Saturday and will play at U of C, where he’s enrolled in the School of Business and School of Kinesiology.
Both winners, Petrie said, could also have been chosen as Ram Award winners, which honours athletes and their commitment and dedication to making the school a better place, in addition to athletic success.
Erin Hepburn, Darin Fodor and Lucas Wessner were given the honours.
Hepburn lettered in most of the sports she played, made it to provincials in cross country and track and placed fifth in track in the 800-metre. She had a practice or game every night of the school year.
Fodor lettered in badminton and basketball. He and his badminton partner made it to provincials, and he was part of the basketball team that made it to provincials and won zones for the first time ever at the school in 4A.
Wessner lettered in three sports - cross country, track and football. He made it to cross country provincials, track provincials and ran personal bests in both.
“The coolest thing is all five of these kids are excellent students. All five of them are honour roll students,” Petrie said. “It speaks volumes to their dedication and their commitment to being better, to making themselves better.”
He added they weren’t just making themselves better in sport, but in life, and that the community, and society is in good hands going forward.
“I hear people complain about kids, worry about the future,” he said.
“My take away from that whole thing is if we have five kids like this moving forward as adults, we’re in good hands.”
Male Athlete of the Year - David Mueller
Female Athlete of the Year - Kaitlin Swartz
Ram Awards - Lucas Wessner, Darin Fodor and Erin Hepburn
Outstanding female – Kaitlin Swartz
Outstanding male – Nathan Swartz
Both girls and boys teams earned silver medals for team competition. Brady McKinley won bronze and Meg Crawford won silver individually. In provincial championships, Brady McKinley placed highest out of all LCHS golfers at 15/140.
Outstanding female – Meg Crawford
Outstanding male – Brady McKinlay
First at Memorial Composite tournament and silver medal at RAMS home tournament and a bronze medal at the 4A Central Alberta League playoffs.
Most Valuable Player – Carter McLenahan
Most Improved Player – Caleb Derksen
Best teammate – Laine Unger
Sr. Girls Volleyball
Most Valuable Player – Kelly Hoogenboom
Short Award – Lauren Derksen
Most Improved Player – Mariska Konnik
JV Girls Volleyball
Won silver at the Hunting Hills High School tournament, gold at Stettler, bronze medal league finish.
Most Valuable Player – Keyana Kamps & Callie Braun
Most Improved Player – Erica Knight
Sr. Boys Basketball
Won the 3A/4A Central league championship for the first time in 35 years, and their first ever 4A Central Zone Championship with a 27-9 record.
Most Valuable Player – Andrew Cunningham
Most Improved Player – Utah Lamb
JV Boys Basketball
Silver medallists in both Hunting Hills and RAMS home tournament, bronze medal finish in Wetaskiwin tournament.
Most Valuable Player – Jaden Derksen
Most Improved Player – Luke Gudwer
Sr. Girls Basketball
Most Valuable Player – Danielle Wilson
Most Valuable Player – Mya Baptiste
Coaches Award – Isla Mueller
JV Girls Basketball
Most Dedicated Player – Heather Schellenberg
Most Improved Player – Rachel Bahler
Four teams qualified for provincials.
Most Valuable Player – Darin Fodor & Gina Sosnowski
Most Improved Player – Shams Zahid
Most Valuable Team Player – Jacob Hamilton
Coaches Award – Bevan Heslop
Bronze medal finish in the final tournament.
Most Valuable Player – Breanna Strand
Most Improved Player – Josie McMillen
Most Valuable Player – Erin Hepburn
Most Improved Player – Ranell Smereka
Track and Field
Outstanding female – Kaitlin Swartz
Outstanding male – Daniel Szucs