Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

High schools' best

Year's top two athletes honoured

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The top two athletes in Manitoba high school sports were honoured Wednesday as the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association handed awards to the male and female athletes of the year.

The winners were Bryce Watson of Glenboro School and Sisler High School's Kerri Kuzbyt.

Watson and Kuzbyt were chosen for the awards from a pool of more than 30,000 athletes who participate in high school sports in Manitoba. Each winner was given a trophy and a ring, supplied by Jostens, to recognize their athletic achievements.

"It's just such an honour that someone from my size of town could win an award over anyone else in the province," said the 6-3 Watson, moments after he heard his name called. "Just to be recognized is a humbling experience."

Watson, 18, was a graduating all-star in volleyball and basketball while also participating in golf, cross-country running, hockey, badminton, baseball and track and field.

How did he do it?

"I hate to say it, but a lot of sports, not a lot of school work," joked Watson, who plans to study athletic therapy next fall at the University of Manitoba.

As captain of his basketball team, Watson said one of his greatest moments of the year was when he scored 54 points in a game.

He also led the school's hockey team with 111 points and was a major factor in the school's silver medal at the provincial championships.

Kuzbyt, 18, of Sisler High School, was ranked the No. 1 female basketball player by league coaches, was the recipient of the Carl Ridd Award for top player in the province, a member of the All-Manitoba team and a graduating all-star.

"It's just so special to win, so special," said Kuzbyt, who will play point guard with the Winnipeg Wesmen basketball team next year on a full scholarship.

"I just like playing sports. I'm just glad I got recognized at it."

Kuzbyt also competed in cross-country running, volleyball, soccer and track and field.

Asked what was the best part of high school sports, she mentioned the friends she made during those years.

Athletes had to first be nominated for the award and stand out in two short lists before a small committee made the final decision.

"This is a big award," said Morris Glimcher, executive director of the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association.

"To be the best overall is something that these kids are going to remember for the rest of their lives and it's very, very special.

"To be selected, it's the cream of the crop and the perfect way to cap off the end of a school year."

jeff.hamilton@freepress.mb.ca twitter: @jeffkhamilton

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2012 C6

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