An athlete seldom captures the attention of this columnist the way Stephanie Grossi did during the second annual Female Sport School Challenge at the MTS Iceplex March 13-16.
A centre for the undefeated Shaftesbury High School Titans, the small and speedy Grossi seemed to have the innate ability to control the game at both ends of the rink every time she was on the ice. She was selected as her team’s game star in three of the Titans first four games.
Goalie Kristen Campbell earned the other award in Shaftesbury’s opening game, a 3-0 victory over defending champion Edge School for Athletes from Calgary.
In the final, when Shaftesbury dominated Pursuit of Excellence from Kelowna, Grossi had two goals and two assists in a 5-2 victory. Her right winger, game star Justine Fredette, scored a natural hat trick and added a helper while left winger Morgan Wabick had three assists. Kayla Mee was strong on the Titans defence throughout the tournament.
Grossi, who will attend Syracuse University next season, and centre Danielle Krzyszczyk of St. Mary’s Academy, who will play at Harvard, were the two Manitobans selected to the all-star team. POE forward Amy Potomak, goalie Marlène Boissonnault from New Brunswick’s Rothesay Netherwood School and blueliners Codie Cross of Edge and Marie Jo (MJ) Pelletier of Rothesay were the other all-stars. A Grade 11 student, Pelletier, who is 4’11" and weighs only 105 lbs, is considered one of the top prospects in the country.
St. Mary’s hosted the tournament and recruited more than 150 family members, friends and staff members as volunteers. Position had no bearing on the assignments and Sister Susan Wikeem, the Academy director, found herself security at one game.
Our informants said Sister Susan was a pretty decent athlete around Earl Grey School and Community Club before she chose a different career path. Theresa Brick, who was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, was also volunteering and watching her daughter, Kayla VanLaeken, on the St. Mary’s defence. Brick, who had success on the world stage as a weightlifter and a hammer and discus thrower, said she now enjoys the recreational side of sport playing ringette and soccer.
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David Fielder and Dwayne Sandall were inducted into the Manitoba Runners’ Association Hall of Fame in the athlete/builder category on March 31 at the Holiday Inn South.
Fielder has run in more than 100 marathons and 10 ultra-marathons and coached cross country and track and field. Known for his costumes on race day, he has competed as Superman, SpongeBob and an escaped convict.
Sandall has completed many ultra marathons and has coached since 2006. A founder of Trail Run Manitoba, he organized the first ultra marathon in the province, the 2009 Beaudry Lemming Loop.
John Murphy entered the HOF as a builder. He started the Run for Diabetes and served as race director from 2010 to 2012 when more than $125,000 was raised for the Canadian Diabetes Association. In 2011, Murphy was elected president of the MRA.
Memories of Sport appears every second week in the Canstar Community News weeklies. Kent Morgan can be contacted at 204-489-6641 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org