OLDS — École Olds High School (ÉOHS) has named its senior athletes of the year and this year, there’s a tie for one of them.
Tristan Hanna and Cody Gelinas were named co-Senior Athletes of the Year. Gracie Hodgson was named Senior Female Athlete of the Year.
Gelinas said he felt “very honoured from all the athletes in the school that us two go it. I guess we’re both pretty equal, that’s why we tied.”
“It feels nice to be appreciated,” Hanna added.
Due to COVID pandemic restrictions, ÉOHS athletes didn’t get in many games this year – not even many practices in some cases.
"We didn’t get (in) too many sports. I’m pretty sure they based this off of the last few years of us being athletes,” Gelinas said.
"It’s been pretty crazy,” he said. “All over the place.”
This fall, Hanna plans to go to university and study biology.
“I’m going to do some sports still, like baseball, I think,” he said.
Gelinas plans to take a year off “but I’ll still try to pursue some basketball.”
Hodgson is honoured to be named Senior Female Athlete of the Year.
"I have lots of family that have had it before, so I’m glad to be a part of it,” she said, noting some of her cousins have received the award.
She too found it to be a frustrating year, but not only as a result of COVID. She sprained her wrist mountain biking last summer. That injury required surgery and of course, time to heal from that.
This fall, Hodgson will be far from home. She received a scholarship to play softball at a junior college in Nebraska.
She plays third base, outfield and catcher.
Her plan is to obtain a bachelor of arts, then study psychology.
ÉOHS athletic director Jeff Clattenburg agreed it’s been a tough year for high school sports.
“The last year-and-a-half has been tricky from an athletic standpoint,” he said. “We’re trying to offer the students as much as we could for them, but it was obviously very limiting.”
Clattenburg was asked what the school plans to do if there’s a fourth wave of COVID during the next school year.
“It’s hard to predict. I spent the past year and a half planning what-if scenarios out and it’s exhausting, to be honest with you. So (I’m) just trying to plan right now for a regular – as regular as we can get – athletic year next year,” he said.
“I’ve just got my mindset on ‘things are going to be regular.’ And if they’re not, we know how we can come back and do whatever we can for the students because we’ve done it for the last year-and-a-half.
“The template’s there. It’s not great, but it’s certainly more than nothing, which is good at this stage.”
In addition to the athletes named above, several other ÉOHS grads plan to play various sports in post-secondary institutions next year.
Abby Lowe will be playing volleyball at Red Deer Polytechnic University (formerly known as Red Deer College) and Nova VanSoest will be taking up that sport at Ambrose University.
Rayna Cruickshanks will be playing softball in Texas. Kallie Clouston plans to play hockey at the University of Alberta.