Stars honoured at Cowichan Secondary athletic banquet

Cowichan Secondary School handed out its athletic awards on Tuesday night.

After their team won the provincial championship last fall, it came as no surprise that two members of the Cowichan Secondary field hockey team were honoured at the school’s athletic awards banquet on Tuesday evening.

Defensive stalwart Sara Goodman shared Athlete of the Year honours with basketball star Noah Charles, while field hockey captain Sophia Murray was named the G.D. Corsan Scholar Athlete.

Although she is only in Grade 11 and the award typically goes to a graduating athlete, Goodman’s accomplishments were too much for the awards committee to ignore. In addition to playing a key role on Cowichan’s provincial championship team, Goodman also played with the provincial and junior national field hockey teams, and found time to play for the Thunderbirds’ girls soccer team, where she was named Defensive Player of the Year. Just a year ago, Goodman was the school’s Junior Female Athlete of the Year.

“I was really surprised,” Goodman said. “I did not see it coming. There are so many amazing athletes who achieve such great things. I’m happy and humble about achieving this award.”

The highlight of the season for Goodman was, not shockingly, winning the provincial title.

“Especially with the team I was on,” she emphasized. “Watching that video again gave me chills.”

Goodman’s goal for her Grade 12 year is to repeat that feat.

“I hope we can win provincials again,” she said.

Charles made it to provincials in two sports, and was named MVP of the senior boys basketball team and Most Valuable Athlete on the senior boys track and field team. Winning the award continues a family legacy: Noah was Junior Male Athlete of the Year in 2014, and his older brother, Josh, was Male Athlete of the Year in 2014 and 2015, and Junior Male Athlete of the Year in 2013.

“I thought I’d be nominated, but I didn’t think I’d win it,” Charles said. “The other guys, especially my best friend [basketball teammate Humza Khan], they’re such great athletes.”

The highlight of the season for Charles was the final game of his high school career, although he admitted feeling mixed emotions.

“Our last game at provincials, all the seniors were crying and we hugged each other,” he said. “It’s sad but happy. We basically became a family.”

Charles will head to UVic next year, where he will join brothers Josh and Jordan on the Vikes men’s team. He gave credit for his success to his mentors over the years.

“Thanks to all my coaches,” he said. “They did it all for me. They basically got me this award. They got me where I am today.”

Murray was able to maintain a 4.0 GPA while serving as a captain of the field hockey team, for which she was named co-MVP along with goalkeeper Robin Fleming. It hasn’t always been easy, but Murray has found a way to balance athletics and academics.

“It’s really important for me to excel in both areas,” she said. “When you come home at night and you’re dead tired, you have to remind yourself that you want to keep your GPA up or that you have to train for field hockey. It takes a lot of focus, but I do what I need to do to achieve my goals.”

Like Charles, Murray will head to Uvic next year to double-major in biology and psychology, and she has been invited to try out for the field hockey team as well.

“Every single memory with the [Cowichan] field hockey team is a special memory,” she said. “I hope to find a similar experience if I play for the Vikes. It’s been unforgettable.”

Charles’s basketball teammate, Andy Derocher, was named Sportsperson of the Year for his contributions to Cowichan athletics on and off the court.

“It means a lot just to be nominated,” he said. “Receiving the award is a real honour.”

In addition to playing basketball, Derocher refereed and helped coach the Grade 8 boys team, and maintained a lofty GPA. He will head to UVic for engineering. While his competitive basketball career is likely over, he will never forget playing for the T-Birds.

“My best memories are of the basketball team,” Derocher said.

The Junior Athletes of the Year were Emma Dewit and Brandon Reymerink.

Dewit was MVP of the junior girls basketball team, Offensive Player of the Year for the senior girls soccer team, and Most Valuable Athlete for junior girls track and field, while Reymerink was MVP of the junior boys basketball team and also competed in track and field.

As with Goodman, Dewit would like to one day win the senior Athlete of the Year award.

“It’s definitely a goal,” she said.