Even though they contend for titles year after year, the value of competing for a provincial championship is never lost on the athletes of Duncan Christian School.
Provincial tournaments were recurring themes as the school’s top athletes commented on the 2013/14.
The volleyball championships, which DCS hosted, were highlights of the year for senior girls Athletes of the Year Becky Bazinet and Lauren King-Nyberg, as well as junior girls Athletes of the Year Brenna Bazinet and Danielle Groenendijk.
As King-Nyberg pointed out, volleyball was the only sport in which DCS’s girls team qualified for a provincial tournament, but the experience was bigger than that.
"We improved so much in our hometown, and we had the fans and everything to support us," Brenna Bazinet said.
Becky Bazinet lauded the way the school came together to put on both the boys and girls B.C. championships.
"It was a good community effort to make it all happen," she said.
Becky Bazinet was an Island allstar in three sports: volleyball, basketball and soccer, and the school’s MVP in volleyball and basketball. Two years ago she was named junior Athlete of the Year, so she was pleased to wrap up her high school career with another award.
"I loved playing sports here, so it’s a good way to finish off," she said.
King-Nyberg, who has a year left at the school, shared basketball MVP honours with Bazinet, and was also an Island all-star in basketball. She was also named school MVP in badminton and soccer, and played volleyball and ball hockey. Still, she wasn’t expecting to be honoured at the end of the year.
"It feels pretty cool," she said. Doug Groenendijk capped off a dominant year in multiple sports by being named DCS’s senior male Athlete of the Year. He earned MVP honours at the Island championships
in both volleyball and basketball, and was a first-team all-star at provincials in both sports. He was also on the school’s ball hockey and track teams.
"It felt good [to be honoured]," he said. "It shows that hard work and practicing pays off in the end."
Groenendijk will continue his volleyball career next year with Thompson Rivers University, but he admitted he will miss Duncan Christian.
"It kind of sucks, but it’s going to be good at Thompson Rivers," he said. "They have pretty good volleyball there."
Both junior girls Athletes of the Year had familiar names as Brenna Bazinet and Danielle Groenendijk continued their families’ legacies.
A key player on the basketball and volleyball teams, Bazinet saw the honour as a reward for a year’s worth of hard work.
"It wasn’t a goal, but I always believe I should try my very best in everything I do, so it’s nice to be recognized for something I really tried hard for," she said.
Groenendijk was named MVP at the Island volleyball championships, and was an honourable mention all-star at provincials, as well as playing basketball and track.
In addition to Doug, older siblings Megan and Cam have also helped the family accumulate hardware over the year, and Danielle is more than happy to add to the total.
"It would be nice to do as good as they did, but I’ll just do my best and see what happens," she said.
Both junior boys Athletes of the Year – Mike Brandsma and Adam Kapteyn – admitted they had their sights set on the award all year, but were pleased to share it with each other.
"There was a lot of competition this year," Brandsma said. "It felt good to share it with Adam as well."
Despite being junior athletes, both Brandsma and Kapteyn played on the senior boys volleyball and basketball teams, as well as the badminton and ball hockey squads. Both cited basketball provincials as highlights of the year.
"It just felt good to be so young and playing at a high level and doing well," Brandsma said.
"It felt good to actually play," Kapteyn added. "Last year I went with the team, but I just sat there."
Jenna Bakker and Matt Brandsma were named Athletes of the Year, kicking off promising high school sports careers. Both were also the MVPs for their respective volleyball and basketball teams.
"It’s uplifting for next year," Bakker said. "I’ll probably want to work towards that goal again."
"It feels pretty good to put in all the work and get an award out of it," Brandsma said.