Commitment on and off the court earns awards for Duncan Christian School athletes

Corbett and Mitchell share Sportsperson award; Bakker, Russell and Brandsma take senior honours

A torn ACL last fall effectively ended Anna Corbett’s ability to play sports for Duncan Christian School this past school year, but that didn’t stop her from contributing.

Corbett’s commitment to DCS athletics, even when she wasn’t able to participate directly, helped the Grade 11 student earn one of two Sportsperson of the Year awards for 2017-18.

“I couldn’t be part of a team, but I tried to contribute as much as I could,” said Corbett, who admitted it was a tough year.

“I went to every practice, every game, trying to show I was still part of the team and had the commitment.”

Corbett played as much as she could with the senior girls volleyball team, but also stepped up elsewhere as she officiated, organized and coached in soccer and basketball. She plans to be back in action next year, with a year of off-court experience to draw on.

“It was a good opportunity,” Corbett said of her time on the sidelines. “I learned a lot from it.”

The other Sportsperson of the Year was Jordyn Mitchell, a Grade 12 student who has dedicated countless hours to DCS athletics over the last five years, including invaluable contributions to the provincial basketball and volleyball championships the school hosted during her tenure.

“It means a lot, after all the hours I’ve contributed to the school, for school to be grateful for what I did,” Mitchell said. “Since Grade 8, I’ve done a lot of scorekeeping and helped [athletic director Tom Veenstra] a lot.”

Mitchell played for the DCS badminton team for four years, but got more out of helping out with other sports. She plans to attend Vancouver Island University next year to start on a Bachelor’s of Education, and will continue volunteering.

“The feeling I get from volunteering and helping people out is a feeling of completeness,” she said. “I enjoy watching sports; I’m not a very athletic person, but it’s fine.”

The Junior Girls Athlete of the Year Award was shared by Morgan Nederlof and Jaymie Brandsma, both high achievers in multiple sports.

Nederlof, a Grade 10, was the Most Inspirational Player on the junior girls volleyball and track and field teams, the Most Sportsmanlike Player on the senior girls basketball team, and the Most Improved Player on the senior girls badminton team. She also received the Jack Boersma Jr. Award from the BC Christian Athletic Association.

“I wouldn’t do something to get the award,” the grateful Nederlof said. “But I would do something and then think about it after.”

Nederlof said she enjoys basketball and volleyball equally, but her goal before her time at DCS is up is to bring home a title in one specific sport.

“My friends and I want to win Islands in volleyball before we graduate,” she said.

Grade 9 athlete Brandsma was MVP of the senior girls volleyball team and an all-star at the Island championships, a key contributor to the senior girls basketball team, and a top scorer for the senior girls soccer team.

“It’s really great,” she said, admitting that the award was one of her goals for the season. It means all my hard work pays off.”

The award for Junior Boys Athlete of the Year went to Andrew Young. Young was the Most Improved Player on the senior boys volleyball team that went to provincials, Most Sportsmanlike Player on the senior boys soccer team, and the Golfer with the Most Potential, and also played for the junior boys basketball and badminton teams.

With two years remaining at DCS, Young wants to bring home some hardware for the school.

“I want to win in volleyball, basketball or soccer,” he said. “I want to make my school proud.”

Grade 12s Meaghan Russell and Jenna Bakker shared the Senior Girls Athlete of the Year award.

Known for her hard work, Russell was MVP of both the senior girls volleyball and basketball teams, and an Island all-star in basketball. Although many students attend DCS from kindergarten to Grade 12, Russell made her mark on the school in just a short time after coming to Duncan from Calgary.

“It’s a big deal, especially coming here for just two years,” she said. “I felt I got close to everyone through sports. This year in Grade 12, having a leadership position was a fun part.”

Russell plans to return to Calgary next fall to study business administration at Ambrose University, where she also hopes to try out for the basketball team.

Bakker was the Most Improved Player in senior girls volleyball, shared the basketball MVP award with Russell, and also tried out track and field and golf, new sports for her this year.

“It meant a lot,” said Bakker, who has been at DCS since kindergarten. “I’ve been going to this school so long, and I’ve put lots of time and effort into sports. It’s what I like to do. It’s nice to be recognized.”

The entire season was a memorable one for Bakker, who will study nursing at Camosun College next year.

“In general the whole year was a highlight,” she said. “I took more time to appreciate the players I was playing against or with.”

The MVP of the senior boys volleyball, basketball and beach volleyball teams, and an all-star at Islands and the B.C. Christian championships in volleyball and basketball, and at provincials in volleyball, Matt Brandsma was a shoo-in for the Senior Boys Athlete of the Year honour.

“It’s a big honour to be selected out of a great group of athletes at DCS,” he said. “It means a lot in my Grade 12 year to be rewarded for my time here since I’ve been at this school so long.”

Brandsma also represented DCS in badminton and golf.

“I tried to do as many sports as I could as best as I could,” he said.

Being named an all-star at the single-A volleyball provincials was the highlight of the year for Brandsma, who earned a volleyball scholarship to Dordt College in Iowa for 2018-19.

“We were one of the lowest (-placing) teams at provincials to get an all-star,” he said. “That was kind of cool.”