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MHSAA names excellent student-athletes

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THERE were some very proud parents at Government House on Thursday afternoon. And some very happy teenagers.

The Manitoba High School Athletics Association (MHSAA) was given the difficult task of choosing four graduating students from a list of 27 impressive candidates to receive scholarships for being exceptional student-athletes.

The decisions were made and the scholarships handed out Thursday.

Alyssa Kidd of Glenlawn Collegiate and Matthew Kochan of St. Paul's High School were selected from Winnipeg, while Mikayla Gawiak from Hapnot Collegiate in Flin Flon and Kaylene Mangin of St. Claude School got the nod for rural schools.

"Sports has been one of the biggest influences in my life so far," said Kidd, who will be taking sciences at the University of Winnipeg this fall.

"I walked in to high school as a shy little girl and I'm walking out with my head high."

Kochan was captain of the St. Paul's Crusaders football club that won the ANAVETS Bowl and the 2011 Winnipeg High School Football League championship.

"High school sports makes your education so much more complete, because while you can learn so much in the classroom, there's so much more you can learn from participating in sports," said Kochan, who will be attending the University of Manitoba next year and playing with the Bisons football team.

Gawiak had the top academic average of the group with a whopping 99 per cent -- good enough for a $20,000 scholarship to the University of Saskatchewan.

"High school sports has showed me so much of what I can do and how to really exceed expectations. They've also given me great friendships and great leadership skills," she said.

Asked what happened to the other one per cent, Gawiak smiled.

"It was a test on a Monday morning after I got home from a tournament at 12 o'clock the night before but I'm OK with 99," she said.

For Mangin, who will be attending the University of Manitoba, the award was a reflection of how hard she's worked over the years.

"It doesn't come easy to me, I'm always studying," said Mangin, who sports a 95 per cent average. "Some people can look at a book and they're good to go. I study for hours and I put a lot of effort in to it."

Each winner receives a $1,000 scholarship courtesy of Manitoba's Credit Unions.

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

They do it all

Alyssa Kidd of Glenlawn Collegiate had a 98 percent average while representing her volleyball and basketball teams as co-captain. She was also school valedictorian.

Matthew Kochan captained the football team and was also a member of the varsity basketball team. He maintains a 95 per cent average.

Mikayla Gawiak finished with a 99 per cent average while competing in severl sports. Gawiak was also president of the athletic council.

Kaylene Mangin of St. Claude School maintained a 95 per cent average while participating in volleyball, badminton and track.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 22, 2012 C6

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