Their elder siblings had left some big shoes to fill but the shoes ended up fitting just fine.
A family tradition theme saturated the annual Muskie athletic awards banquet last Thursday at the local Legion.
Tory Beaudry matched the accomplishment of older sister, Hailey, in 2014 by co-winning the female athlete of the year award along with Sydney White.
Aaron Bujold, meanwhile, mirrored the effort of his older brother, Connor, in 2015 by collecting the male athlete of the year trophy.
“After my sister got it, I wanted to show I could be as good as her,” admitted Beaudry, who led all Muskie athletes by receiving a total of four honours.
Besides athlete of the year, she also was named the girls’ curling MVP and captured the William George Reid Memorial Cup as the Grade 12 female who best combined academic and athletic achievement.
To top it off, Beaudry was the only Muskie this year to earn a Letterman Award for having played at least 10 sports in her high school career.
While she also performed well in cross-country running and track-and-field, it was on the curling ice where Beaudry felt she improved the most as she took over from Erin Tomalty as skip of this year’s girls’ rink, which won the NorWOSSA title and then took bronze at NWOSSAA.
“Curling is the longest season [I] have and the one I’m most dedicated to,” noted Beaudry, who plans to be back next year for a “victory lap” season that will include a guaranteed OFSAA berth as Fort Frances is hosting the provincial championship for both girls’ and boys’ curling.
“I do hope I can compete in all sports again,” she added. “It will just depend on my timetable.”
White, who had to leave the banquet early before receiving her award, was the MVP of the senior girls’ basketball team.
She also was a front-line force in helping the senior girls’ volleyball squad end the 15-year NorWOSSA title run of the Dryden Eagles and advance to OFSAA.
As well, White captured the Brent Ogden Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and perseverance.
For Bujold, he became the first Grade 11 student in recent memory to be selected the top male athlete after a stellar year that included four gold medals and two OFSAA appearances.
He earned the Horban Award as MVP for his work as starting setter with the senior boys’ volleyball team, and also was the starting point guard for the senior boys’ basketball squad that claimed the NorWOSSA title.
Bujold then put together a phenomenal campaign in the boys’ singles division to become the team’s senior badminton MVP.
Having been to OFSAA the past two years in senior boys’ singles despite actually being only in Grades 9 and 10, Bujold didn’t lose a single set in compiling a 15-0 record in NorWOSSA and NWOSSAA play before going on to finish in the top 20 at OFSAA.
He capped the year off by helping the Muskie boys’ soccer team win its seventh-straight NorWOSSA title.
“It feels good and it makes you proud of all the work you’ve done,” Bujold remarked.
“All of this doesn’t come easy,” he stressed. “Hard work pays off.”
Bujold admitted he was surprised to win the top male athlete award in his Grade 11 year, but plans to do everything possible to make sure he’s in the running for it again next year.
“I’m definitely not going to change anything,” he vowed. “I just want to keep pushing myself over the summer so I can have as much success next year, if not more.”
When it came to the rookie-of-the-year awards, the family tradition emerged again–though with a slight twist.
Grace Petsnick won the female honour while Sean Huziak took home the male award.
Huziak happens to be dating Petsnick’s older sister, Ellie, who had a fine season in her own right with the Muskie senior girls’ basketball squad and alongside her younger sibling on the junior girls’ volleyball team.
The two also competed together in track-and-field.
For Grace Petsnick, who was named co-MVP of the junior girls’ hoops team along with Adyson Wilson-Hands and won NorWOSSA gold in the Midget girls’ high jump to qualify for OFSAA, capturing the trophy wasn’t exactly on her radar at the start of her first year in high school.
“I didn’t even know it existed until Adyson brought it to my attention,” she laughed.
“What else are you going to do in Grade 9 [besides play sports]?”
Petsnick savoured her basketball season above the others.
“It’s the sport I enjoy playing most because it’s a team sport and I made a lot of good friends on there,” she noted.
“Next year, I want to try and be a better leader,” added Petsnick.
“I’m going to be at the top of the junior age category and I want to make sure I help the new rookies coming up.”
Huziak started the year on the Muskie boys’ football team as an outside linebacker and receiver, as well as being the punter.
He then shared the scoring lead for the Muskie junior boys’ basketball team, for which he was chosen co-MVP along with Mike Vanderaa.
But Huziak saved his best for last, capturing gold in the Midget boys’ discus and javelin events at NWOSSAA and then placing seventh in the discus event at OFSAA.
That was enough to get him recognized as co-MVP of the Muskie track-and-field team along with Sekina Scheibler, whose girlfriend, in another neat tie-in, happens to be Grace Petsnick.
“I knew about it. It’s been in the back of my mind,” Huziak said regarding the rookie accolade.
“But I like to go out there and have fun, and not worry too much about awards,” he noted.
Huziak wasn’t willing to specify one sport as standing out for him this past year.
“I love all the sports I played and sports in general,” he remarked.
“The numbers say I did the most in track-and-field,” Huziak added.
“But in football, I learned more positions and in basketball, I also did well.”
Huziak plans to keep his nose to the grindstone as he heads towards his sophomore high school season.
“I’m just going to work out, get in the weight room, and grind it out,” he said.