The Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie was able to honour our local athletes in person for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic at last night’s 65th annual Rotary Sports Awards.
“After enduring a virtual sports awards event in 2020 and nothing for 2021 because there were no sports allowed to be enjoyed, the Rotary Sports Awards dinner event last night was successful in honouring and recognizing local high school athletes,” shared Rotary Sports Awards Committee Rotarian, Robert Carricato. “Not all athletes could be winners of the awards, but saluting each and every one of them on being the best that they can be in their respective sports is an achievement in itself and worthy of honouring.”
This year’s award winners were:
- Top Athlete – Badminton: Dylan Garson (Korah) & Darshan Kasundra (Korah)
- Top Athlete – Basketball: Ethan Williams (Superior Heights)
- Top Athlete – Cross Country Running: Dylan Garson (Korah)
- Top Athlete – Curling: Justin McKay (White Pines)
- Top Athlete – Football: Michael Nicoletta (Korah)
- Top Athlete – Hockey: Daniel Bumbacco (St. Mary’s)
- Top Athlete – Soccer: Daniel Bumbacco (St. Mary’s) & Dylan Garson (Korah)
- Top Athlete – Track & Field: Daniel Bumbacco (Korah)
- Walter Lowe Memorial Trophy, top high school athlete (tie): Michael Nicoletta (Korah) & Daniel Bumbacco (St. Mary’s)
- B’Nai B’Rith Award, student who best combines academics and athletics: Nick Talvitie (Korah)
- Ross Winslade Award, secondary school accumulating the most points within the city for all boys’ and girls’ sports: Korah Collegiate & Vocational School
- Russ Ramsay High School Sports Hall of Fame inductee: Ray Basawa
The Rotary Sports Awards dinner dates back to 1956, when it was originally called the Sports Celebrities Dinner, an event established by the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie as a fundraiser for their work with children with physical disabilities. That same year, the H. P. Broughton Award was initiated to recognize Sault Ste. Marie’s Sportsperson of the Year.
This year, the club was proud to bestow the H. P. Broughton Award to the Rory Kerins of the Soo Greyhounds. Rory Kerins was not able to attend the dinner as he was playing with the Stockton Heat in the AHL Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Wolves, but sent along a pre-recorded acceptance speech in case he was the successful nominee.
“When I got drafted in 2018, I had no idea where the Sault was,” Kerin’s prerecording chuckled from the screen above the awards table at yesterday’s dinner. “I got drafted here and had no idea where it was, had no idea what it was about. When I got here in August of 2018, I quickly fell in love with the community and the city, and how everyone treats each other, and just how close-knitted the community is, throughout the sports world and just in general.”
“I quickly realized what a privilege I had. I quickly realized how special it was to play for the Soo Greyhounds and to represent the Sault,” shared Kerin. “Playing for the Sault and putting that Greyhounds logo on is bigger than just playing in the OHL for a team. Putting that Greyhound logo on is a stamp of the city. When you walk around the Sault you see everyone wears the Greyhound logo, whether it be kids playing minor hockey or a guy walking down the street with a Soo Greyhounds hat on. It was a privilege to play here and I never took it for granted. It truly leaves me speechless with my experience here. The Sault will always be my home and it is the best place to play in my opinion.”
Shaw Spotlight will be broadcasting last night’s event and the Tenaris Female Athletic Awards event from 6 PM to 10 PM on June 14, 16, 21, and 23.