Wikwemikong High School honours athletic achievements

Wikwemikong High School athletes gather for the annual Warriors Banquet at the school, honouring the hard work and dedication of many of the school’s athletes. photos by Robin Burridge

WIKWEMIKONG—Wikwemikong High School celebrated the achievements of its student athletes at the 16th annual Wikwemikong Warrior Athletics Banquet held at the high school last week.

“It has been a year of ups and downs for the athletics program this year, but we have managed to complete the year with some great successes,” said Wikwemikong High School Athletic Director Jillian Peltier, following a feast prepared for athletes, coaches and their families.

Ms. Peltier noted some of the school’s athletic achievements throughout the year, including the boys’ basketball team that finished second in the North Shore Secondary School Athletic Association (NSSSAA) Championships.

Tessa Ominika is the female Athlete of the Year.
Tessa Ominika is the female Athlete of the Year.

She also congratulated the girls’ volleyball team who, along with their new coach Jeff Eshkawkogan, made it to NSSSAA and had a great season despite a “heart-wrenching final.”

“This spring the badminton team travelled to Elliot Lake to compete and the doubles team of summer Wemigwans and Hunter Roy qualified for the Northern Ontario Secondary School Athletics (NOSSA) championship,” continued Ms. Peltier. “The tennis team also participated in the NSSSAA Championship in Blind River and fared well. “

“As for track and field, Mr. Recollet took a small but mighty team to the NSSSAA championship in Elliot Lake where several new Warrior records were set and where Ferris Eshkawkogan qualified for NOSSA in both shotput and discus events,” Ms. Peltier said. “So all in all, it was a good year, like I said, we survived the ups and downs. Chi-miigwetch to everyone who played a part in making sure our school had sports teams for our students this year. I know the students really appreciate what all you do.”

The team coaches presented the Most Valuable Player Awards (MVP) and Most Improved Player Awards (MIP), who each received a water bottle, t-shirt and plaque.

The MVP awards were presented to: Moses Pitawanakwat, cross-country; Tessa Ominika, girls’ basketball; Noah Ominika, boys’ volleyball; Tammara Kagige, girls’ volleyball; Adrian Trudeau, boys’ basketball; Summer Wemigwans and Hunter Roy, badminton; Ferris Eshkawkogan, track and field; Hannah Peltier, tennis; and Tyson Wemigwans, archery.

The MIP awards were presented to: Dehmin Eshkawkogan, girls’ basketball; DJ Maiangowi, boys’ volleyball; Symone Peltier, girls’ volleyball; Seth Peltier, boys’ basketball; Drew Trudeau-Shigwadja, badminton; track and field, Peyton Manitowabi; Ferris Eshkawkogan, tennis; and Annie Wemigwans, archery.

The Most Sportsmanlike Athlete Award went to Patrina Pitawanakwat for junior girls, DJ Maiangowai for junior boys, Eileen Letander-Trudeau for senior girls and Adrian Trudeau for senior boys.

Ms. Peltier presented a special certificate of appreciation to Eugenia Eshkawkogan, who Ms. Peltier noted was the best score keeper she had seen in her 16 years with the school’s athletics program.

Tessa Ominika was named the female Athlete of the Year. “Tessa has participated in our athletics program since she began high school three years ago,” said Ms. Peltier. “This year she played on a few teams including girls’ basketball and volleyball. Tessa works hard and has been a great role model for her teammates and her classmates by demonstrating good grades. Tessa’s coaches and teammates know that they can always count on her and that she will give her everything while on the court. We look forward to one more year with Tessa in our program. Congratulations Tessa and keep up the awesome work.”

The male Athlete of the Year Award went to Ferris Eshkawkogan. “Ferris is only the second Grade 9 student to ever receive the Athlete of the Year Award—this was unheard of in the past. Ferris participated on several Warrior teams this year including boys’ basketball, tennis and track and field. He represented our school very well at the NOSSA track and field event in North Bay, placing fourth in all of Northern Ontario in the shotput event and ninth in discus. Congratulations and keep up the great work Ferris.”

Ferris Eshkawkogan was awarded both the male Athlete of the Year Award and Student-Athlete of the Year.
Ferris Eshkawkogan was awarded both the male Athlete of the Year Award and Student-Athlete of the Year.

The Student-Athlete of the Year was also awarded to Ferris Eshkawkogan. “This award is for a student who has participated on several teams and has been a strong and successful student. We know it is very difficult to create a balance in your life as a teenager and we want to acknowledge this when it does occur. We hope this award will encourage our students to strive towards being excellent student athletes in the coming years. Congratulations to Ferris who is not only the Athlete of the Year, but also maintained excellent grades to demonstrate that he is the Student-Athlete of the Year!”

Wikwemikong Board of Education Director Dominic Beaudry thanked all the coaches for their hard work and dedication including Jeff Eshkawkogan, Andrew Kendall, Raymond and Sheila Madahbee, Jamie McCarville, Illa Proulx, Marcel Recollet, Mick Staruck and Clifton Wassengeso.

Wikwemikong High School Principal Mick Staruck commented on the school’s amazing athletics program and thanked both the coaches and parents who support their children in their athletic endeavours.