ELMSDALE -- Kenan Wilkie shook his head and took on a slight shade of red when Westisle Composite High School’s female athlete of the year, Mariah Wedge declared everyone knew Wilkie had the male athlete of the year award in the bag.
Now a three-time MVP on Westisle’s men’s basketball team, Wilkie plans to continue on in his chosen sport as a member of the UPEI basketball Panthers. The son of Wayne and Darcie Wilkie of Union, he has already picked his jersey number. It’s 10, the same number he has on the P.E.I. provincial basketball team.
Wedge, the 18 year-old daughter of Randy and Carol Wedge of St. Louis, downplayed her selection as female athlete of the year, suggesting it was random, but her powerlifting coach, George Kinch begs to differ with her suggestion.
“I have seen no other student, past or present, with the drive and determination to put forth the effort needed to become the greatest in their sport and to not accept ‘that’s good enough,’” he told students and parents. Wedge’s inner fortitude to break through barriers, assessed Kinch, allows her the natural ability to be a true leader.
Wedge is currently the holder of four records in P.E.I. School Athletic Association powerlifting and was a team captain for the sport. She was chosen women’s powerlifting MVP and MVP forward in rugby. She also competed this year in track and triathlon.
Next year Wedge plans to enroll in the nursing program at UPEI and will try out for the Panthers’ rugby team.
“With her demonstrated abilities to achieve at the elite level in both the classroom and the athletic arena I sincerely believe that Mariah Wedge is the epitome of what every coach strives to develop - an outstanding student-athlete,” Kinch concluded.
Wedge called it an honour to follow in the footsteps of past female athlete of the year at Westisle. She was also one of 13 athletes to receive academic achievement awards.
Men’s basketball coach Walter Davison said Wilkie set a school record in winning the MVP award for basketball three years in a row. He said Wilkie set the bar high in his first year at Westisle and has continually improved. He told of seeing Wilkie in the gym or weightroom every morning during the school year. “He’s never content with the level he’s at; he’s looking to get better,” Davison said of Wilkie, whom he described as a coach’s dream. “He does the things that make him better.”
Wilkie’s father is a custodian at the high school, so, while father goes about his morning duties, the son heads to the gym or weight room.
“He’s got a ‘refuse to lose’ attitude,” said Davison. “He plays hard. It doesn't matter what he plays.”
Besides basketball, Wilkie competed in badminton, soccer and track and field. He added a soccer MVP to his trophy haul.
Westisle won provincial championships this year in men’s and women’s powerlifting, men’s volleyball and women’s softball.
Sam Byrne and Krystal Woodside were named Westisle’s top academic athletes.
Megan Handrahan received the Heart of the Wolverine Award and Maria Muise and Andrew Gough received the school’s award for sportsmanship.
Hillary Jones and Ryan Sutherland were presented with the Allan Clark Courage and Determination award.
Most Improved - Andrew Gough and Brandy Hiltz; Most Valuable - Kent Doucette; Roger O'Halloran memorial award - Jack Perry.
Women's “AAA” Volleyball
Rookie of the Year - Emma Ellsworth; Most Improved - Maria Muise; Most Valuable - Breanne Lewis.
Women's “A” Volleyball
Most Improved - Bailey McNeill; Most Valuable - Lexi Getson.
Most Improved - T.J. Shea; Most Valuable - Tyson Gavin.
Women's MVP - Hailey Shea; Men's MVP - Ryan Sutherland.
Rookie of the Year - Alex McNaught; Most Valuable - Carson Jeffery and Kenan Wilkie.
Rookie of the Year - Julia O'Halloran and Nonie Lyon; Most Improved - Sami Jo Sentner; Most Valuable - Maggee Fraser.
Most Improved - Jake Shea; Defensive Player - Kent Doucette; most valuable - Kenan Wilkie.
Rookie of the Year - Vanessa Rennie and Nonie Lyon; Best Offensive Player - Maggee Fraser; Most Improved - Lexi Getson; Best Defensive Player - Breanne Lewis; Most Valuable - Maggee Fraser and Breanne Lewis.
Men's Most Improved - Calvin McRae; Women's Most Improved - Sami Jo Sentner and Kaylan Ellsworth; Women's Most Valuable - Hailey Matthews; Juvenile Men's MVP - Cody Ellsworth; Juvenile Women's MVP - Haley Wood.
Track and Field
Senior Women's MVP - Fallon Gaudet and Kylee Wallace; Senior men's MVP - Jack Perry; Midget Women’s MVP - Sarah Woodside; Midget Men’s MVP - Cody Ellsworth.
Top Batter - Colton Chaisson; Most Valuable - Kristen Clements; Golden Glove - Alex Gallant.
Most Improved - Heidi Rennie; Most dedicated - Clara Jane Wood; Rookie of the Year - Sarah Woodside; Most Valuable - Katie Rayner
Most Improved - Shalene Gaudet; Most Dedicated - Lindsay Getson and Clancey Gilks; Most Valuable Forward - Mariah Wedge; Most Valuable Back - Darbi Oliver.
Rookie of the Year - Daniel MacWilliam; Most Improved - Luke Stetson; Most Valuable Forward - Ryan Sutherland; Most Valuable Back - Richard Breen.
Most Valuable Woman - Mariah Wedge; Most Valuable Man - Carter Culleton; Rookie of the Year - Luke Hierlihy and Parker Butler; Most Improved - Rebecca King and Randon Blanchard.