While it’s the athletes that get the majority of the limelight during a high school sports season, those behind the scenes play a major role in making sure things run smoothly.
The North Central District Athletic Association makes sure to honour the coaches, officials and volunteers in the area each year with their annual awards, with the 2019-20 winners being announced on Friday.
“We send out an e-mail to the principals and athletic directors around the district at the end of the school year to see if they would like to nominate someone from their schools in each of the four categories,” said NCDAA president Rylan Michalchuk, who is also the vice principal at Birch Hills Public School.
“We try to not have a repeat winner as well, especially for our coach of the year awards, as we want to try and recognize as many of our outstanding coaches in the district.”
This year’s male and female coach honours went to Rene Quintal of St. Mary and Adrienne Schenk of Carlton.
“I was lucky enough to have the chance to work with Adrienne for 11 years at Carlton,” Michalchuk said. “She has an incredible passion for the game of basketball and she does a fantastic job of building skills and quality relationships with all of her players.
“Rene has spent endless hours helping to build the senior boys’ volleyball program in Prince Albert into one of the top teams in the province. Plus, he’s also involved as a coach in curling and track and field, in addition to doing a lot of volunteering for our events in the district.”
Rory McIntosh of the Prince Albert Soccer Association was honoured with the officials award.
“Not only does Rory officiate games here, but he’s also involved with any local tournament we may host by assigning the officials for those matches,” Michalchuk said.
“He’s also an officials trainer for the Saskatchewan Soccer Association and he’s always accommodating and willing to work with anyone, especially at the high school level.”
The service award was given to Mark Williment of La Ronge, who is the superintendent of the Northern Lights School Division.
“Mark has been heavily involved in promoting football in the northern communities, not only in his role as a superintendent but as an official,” Michalchuk said.
“Football has really grown in that area over the last decade and Mark has played a huge part in that.”