by Carol Baldwin
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Friday, December 8th, the Horizon School Division released the names of the recipients of the 2023 Horizon Central Athletic Association Recognition Awards.
These individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the athletic programs at the schools where they work. This year’s recipients of Recognition Awards include two coaches from the local readership area, Lisa Schwark and Luke Strueby.
Lisa Schwark from Three Lakes School, Middle Lake has been involved in coaching for over 20 years, first in Cudworth and most recently in Middle Lake. During her time in these schools, she coached just about every activity that was offered to the students. Even when her children were small and she had no childcare available, she would be conducting practice while her own children played on the stage in the gymnasium. She was and is, always there for the students and pushes them to be their best.
Lisa’s biggest passion is curling. She coached many teams in Cudworth and continued with her passion as she transitioned to Three Lakes School in Middle Lake. Long road trips to seek out weekend bonspiels were never considered a chore, and the sleepovers were always memorable.
Lisa Schwark is a fabulous coach. Since coming to Three Lakes School, Lisa has coached nonstop. Her cross-country running team recently captured a Provincial team medal. She also coaches all of the badminton within the school and is a major contributor at the district track meet each season.
Luke Strueby has been in Wakaw for eight years and has served as Wakaw School’s athletic director, main physical education teacher, official, and high school coach. He has put in many hours with senior girls’ volleyball, badminton, and track & field. Luke is always willing to start new programs, step in and cover for other coaches, or pick up other duties to make sure that the students have an opportunity to play. Luke is also an active official for sports like football and basketball which ensures that those sports can run in Wakaw.
Wakaw School’s coaches have regularly been recognized by their peers for their dedication to coaching. Without coaches, school sports would not be available, and it is only fitting that those who give of their time, spending sometimes countless hours helping young athletes develop, be recognized and applauded. School sports are the introduction to what can not only become a lifelong passion but can also become a career. Two former Wakaw Warriors football players went on to sign contracts with teams in the Canadian Junior Football League, Lorrin Leblanc and Lucas Sosnowski. Sosnowski signed with the Saskatoon Hilltops who were undefeated in 2023 and won their 23rd CJFL championship title. Coaching is what takes inner skill and trains it into disciplined talent.
In addition to Luke’s Recognition Award this year, past recipients include Carter Haryett in 2022, Darryl Dickson in 2019, and Corey Biccum in 2018. Congratulations to this year’s recipients, and to all the coaches thank you for the dedication you show and the time you give. Here’s a virtual round of applause for all.