The Haliburton Highlands Secondary School athletic banquet was a crowning night for Natalya Gimon after a winning school sporting career.
Gimon was named 2019 female athlete of the year at the 41st annual event June 12. The school celebrated her and dozens of other athletes at the awards ceremony.
Her volleyball coach and father Dan Gimon embraced her after talking about her leading the team to COSSA silver.
“It has been an amazing four years,” the younger Gimon, who also competed in soccer and badminton, said. “Sport is such a big part of our lives and it makes high school for me. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I didn’t have sports.”
The male athlete of the year is Aidan Coles, who competed in football and capped off a decorated high school wrestling career with a fifth-place finish at provincials.
Coles said he felt honoured to have his wrestling coach Paul Klose praise him and his career.
He credited his teammates for helping him succeed.
“Ultimately, it comes down to the people you’re practicing and playing with. Nothing accomplished this year, or any year, would have been possible without my teammates,” Coles said.
Teacher and coach Janice Scheffee reflected positively about the year. She highlighted the school’s 21 sports teams, who collectively won five Kawartha titles, two COSSA championships, in boys curling and junior girls soccer, three individual COSSA gold medals in wrestling and two fifth place finishes at provincials, including Coles and boys curling.
“Way to go, Haliburton,” Scheffee said. “We may be a small school but we sure are mighty.”
Both Coles and Gimon have plans to continue their sporting in university, Coles in football and Gimon in volleyball.
Gimon said she is unsure of the legacy she has left at HHSS. But she said was glad to help other athletes in her time at school.
“I hope other people see opportunities in what I’ve done, like going for club volleyball,” Gimon said. “I really hope others reach out for that opportunity.”
Minor Athletic Award: Emma Casey, Tyson Clements, Nicole Cox, Desi Davies, Jacob Dobson, Nik Dollo, Owen Gilbert, Brian Kim, Alex Little, Caden Little, Isaac Little, Maya Meraw, Chloe Samson, Nigel Smith and Owen Smith.
Major Athletic Award: Aidan Coles, Coleman Heaven, Freya Moran, Carson Sisson and Shawn Walker.
Award of Excellence: Natalya Gimon, Arden Harrop, Liam Little and Dakota MacDonald.