Crocus Plains High School’s athlete of the year awards were a fitting graduation gift for one recipient and a sign that the best may be yet to come for the other.
Grade 12 student Emma Donnelly and Grade 11 student Keaton Jameson have been recognized as the top Plainsmen for the 2013-14 school year.
Donnelly, 17, represented Crocus in volleyball, soccer and badminton in the past season and plans to go to Brandon University in the fall, with the midfielder hoping to play for BU’s new soccer team in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference.
"(Receiving the award is) a great way to end my high school," Donnelly said. "It’s just great to be recognized for all the hard work I put in this year and just a good (memory) going away from high school. It’s just awesome."
Jameson, 16, played baseball, volleyball, golf and badminton for the Plainsmen and also found the time to play Midget AAA hockey with the Southwest Cougars in the past season.
It’s a tricky task to balance those activities, particularly hockey and volleyball, which have overlapping seasons, but Jameson is thankful he had the opportunity to pursue both.
"Sometimes it’s kinda hard with hockey, because hockey’s usually my main focus for sports," said Jameson, who hopes to pursue post-secondary scholarships in hockey and academics.
"I know my volleyball coaches are usually really flexible with times and dates and stuff, so I’ve just got to be really flexible and be on top of things to know when my volleyball schedules are going to happen and communicate well with my coaches."
Jameson counts his appearance in the city high school badminton doubles final, where he and partner Jayden Sisson lost to fall just short of the provincial championship, as one of his highlights of the high school season.
Donnelly, a left side, was thrilled to be chosen as a Volleyball Manitoba graduating all-star honourable mention. Beyond that, though, she looks back at the overall experience she got of playing high school sports at Crocus.
"I feel really fortunate to be able to play all these different sports and to be able to succeed in academics as well as athletics," she said. "…And also to play for Crocus because we’re really supportive here."
» rhenders @brandonsun.com