Brittany Boschman and Clark Whelpton will head west this fall to continue their athletic careers — one in another province and one on another continent.
Boschman and Whelpton capped their high school sports careers by being named the Vincent Massey Vikings’ female and male athletes of the year on Tuesday and are anxious to make the jump to the next level next season.
After wrapping up her successful high school career with the Vikings, Boschman has committed to playing women’s basketball for the Briercrest College Clippers in Caronport, Sask., a team that competes in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
Meanwhile, Whelpton will head much further west to Australia to play semi-pro baseball with the Toowoomba Rangers of the Greater Brisbane Baseball League. After helping lead the Vikings to the Prairie West league championship and the provincial high school title in his senior season, Whelpton can’t wait to continue his baseball career Down Under.
"I am looking forward to this year for travelling and getting to experience something new," said Whelpton, an 18-year-old pitcher and third baseman who will travel to Australia in September as the southern hemisphere heads into its spring and summer seasons. "It’s a year to travel and to experience life and baseball in a different country. And the weather won’t be too bad, either."
Whelpton was a key member of the Vikings’ baseball, volleyball and hockey teams — serving as captain of the hockey squad — and also played badminton this season to earn the nod as Massey’s male athlete of the year.
"It was definitely memorable stuff that will stay with me for the rest of my life and I am really glad and honoured to accept this award and be a part of all those great teams and support Vincent Massey like I did," said Whelpton. "I’m just glad the year turned out the way it did and it’s a real surreal moment for me to accept this award. There have been a lot of great athletes that have gone through this school and I am just happy to be on this trophy."
Whelpton is currently playing in the Manitoba Senior Baseball League with the Brandon Marlins, a team that has brought in a couple of Australian imports this season. Whelpton has chatted with them as well as Marlins teammate Dustin Asham — another Massey graduate who played baseball in Australia this past season — to get a feel for what to expect this fall.
For Whelpton, capping his high school career with a provincial baseball title was the highlight of his senior season.
"That was something we have been working towards ever since I was in Grade 9, it was always a goal for us," Whelpton said. "This year we came out with a new mindset and had a real good squad and we pulled out the victory."
Meanwhile, Boschman said she was honoured to be recognized as Massey’s female athlete of the year and is anxious to continue her athletics and academics at the college level this fall.
"I love sports so much and I just wanted to continue it in my (college) career and my future endeavours," she said. "I am going to become an elementary educator, so I am going to spend three years at Briercrest and then two years at Minot State."
The 17-year-old Boschman was a starter on the Vikings’ basketball and rugby teams and also competed in javelin, shot put and discus at both the city and provincial high school track and field championships.
"It was just a great year and I had a lot of great people to support me and great coaches like Jerry Hemmings and coach (Brett) Nohr," she said. "It was a great experience."