Dibblee and Schmidt are Red Hawk Athletes of the Year 2010-11

Dibblee, Schmidt are Hal High Athletes of the Year

By Terrance Gavan

Tough to argue with success. Harder still to ignore the work ethic, commitment and outstanding academic results displayed over many years of dedicated work on the hardwood and soft turf at Hal High.

So the coaching staff at Hal High performed due diligence in choosing Hal High athletes of the year on Tuesday (June 14) at the Northern Lights Pavilion.

They went with the KISS paradigm. They kept it simple stupid, choosing two talented, self-effacing, extremely worthy and charismatic recipients.

This year’s Red Hawk athletes of the year Jenna Dibblee and Jesse Schmidt are not only great athletes. They’re also superb students.

And not inconsequential in the selection is what these two bring in terms of the broader strokes. The intangibles. They lead by example; they set the bar; and they perform when asked. They are also – and this attribute can never be overstressed – team players.

Both Dibblee and Schmidt pay it forward on the field and in the gym. They are West Guilford friendly. As in they “git’ ‘er done.” And they do it well. With joy and typical preciseness. They both possess a “joi de vivre” that’s at once infectious and inspirational.

They’re personable, popular and technically skilled in many sports. They were selected from a very long list of potential candidates. Hard to sift clues from such a superb slate. of Red Hawk athletes. Every year I guess at the winners, and most years I’m wrong. Oh, the winners are always on my long list. But every year Hal High churns excellence.

And every year the coaching staff and selection committee get it right.

This is a small school that plays with a short bench; big reach, and hear. And asks its athletes to perform at high levels while serving diligently in their respective classrooms.

So kudos to the selection board.

Senior girls soccer coach Amy Klose presented the Female Athlete of the Year award to Dibblee, and connected the dots on her career with deft precision in her succinct presentation.

Klose coached Dibblee on the soccer pitch this year and mentioned the smile. Not so much the smile, but what it conveyed to her teammates. Calm, teamwork and confidence.

Klose mentioned how many opposing coaches commented on Dibblee’s skills on the basketball court. This year’s senior team enlisted a bunch of young women who had never played before. Some of them had never touched a basketball. They came because they were told that if they didn’t step up there would be no senior team.

Dibblee, who is as skilled a post-up banger as I’ve seen at Hal High in 5 years, knew her role. She entered the fray with that smile and a tremendous team centric attitude. That team started slow but meshed by season’s end.

Dibblee was double teamed all year and she distributed the ball. Gleefully. Her confidence in her fledgling teammates spread. She did it on the pitch too and Klose said that Dibblee led, again, by example. And, luckily – because mom and dad, Sharon and Tom Dibblee are, you know, hmm, like, teachers – she also excelled in the classroom.

Robin Gervais, senior men’s soccer coach presented the award to his stellar striker Schmidt. “Quiet and introspective he led by example,” said Gervais. “On the soccer field he is very skilled and has a strong desire to compete and improve.”

Of course Schmidt and partner Drew Paul also won Kawartha and COSSA gold medals in doubles badminton, advancing to OFSAA on the basis of an undefeated season.

Gervais went back to the Greek for some Aristotelian perspective that plopped a poignant pop on a night of excited introspection.

Aristotle who, like a lot of Greek rappers – see Snoop, 2-Pac, Eminem and Fittycent – annoyingly eschews the surname, once said: “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation; we are what we repeatedly do; Excellence then is not an art but a habit.”

Nice one Mr. Gervais.

The Northern Lights Pavilion last Tuesday rose in unison for the chosen two.

Excellence rewarded by perhaps the most stringent of arbiters in this winnowing process.

Excellence rewarded by their peers.

Extra innings: Josh Wright won the coveted Intramural Award And this years Impact Award goes to “Ron-the-Bus-Driver” Hisey. These athletes spend a lot of time on the road. Ron gets them there safe. And he gets them there happy!

We were on tight deadline this week so we will follow up with the other awards winners in next week’s Voice. Check on line at countyvoice.org for all the results.

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Reach out to gav@countyvoice.ca and twitter.com/terrancegavan.