SportsRecreation athletic banquet celebrates student athletes

paigemcgowanApril 17, 201912 min

Paige McGowan, Sports Reporter

The annual campus recreation athletic banquet celebrated Tuesday the extramural staff and athletes along with their successes this year.

Humber’s recreation program is the biggest in the province with 10 travelling teams and 174 athletes in the program

The banquet still had a good turnout despite it being exam season.

“This year’s banquet was great,” said campus Recreation Coordinator Jennifer O’Reilly. “It was well attended, great awards were given, just seeing all the athletes in their last official event was awesome.”

Athletes and staff kicked off the night with mocktails, games and a selfie booth before heading into the banquet room.

Lexis Lancaster plays a game of basketball toss before entering the banquet room. (Paige McGowan)

Games of basketball toss, bowling and ring toss were set up for entertainment, and raffle tickets were given to the winners of each game.

Prizes were given to raffle winners and to athletes receiving an award for their hard efforts this year. 

More than 100 awards and certificates being handed out for various reasons to athletes who were among 27 team teams.

Top line for the extramural mens hockey team. Chase Dowdle (left), Bill Lochhead (middle) and Mitch Harknett (right). (Paige McGowan)

“The athletic banquet is always a great excuse to get together with not only my team, but all the other extramural teams as well,” said Bill Lochhead, four year veteran and assistant captain on the Humber Hawks hockey team.

“We get to reflect on a great season and it shows what being a Humber Hawk really is all about, and that’s family,” Lochhead said.

Three awards such as Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year and Most Dedicated player were given out to individual members of each team.

The women’s Junior Varsity basketball team takes a team photo after winning the Team of the Year award. (Courtesy Humber Athletics)

The women’s hockey team was awarded with the Fair Play Team of the Year award, and the women’s basketball team won with the Team of the Year award because of its team unity and successful results.

“The women’s basketball team performed very well and I look forward to seeing majority of them again next year,” said recreation coordinator and Coaching Excellence award winner Dylan Walters. He was coach of the women’s basketball team and dodgeball team.

Women’s basketball most valuable player award was given to Lexis Lancaster in her final year playing on the team. 

“It’s my last year at Humber extramural basketball and I’ve had the best time ever,” Lancaster said. “I’m really grateful for all my teammates and also really sad that this is the last year I’m playing basketball with all these really great girls.”

A table full of awards and prizes set up to hand out to deserving staff and athletes. (Paige McGowan)

Lancaster has been involved in Humber recreation for four years, and has also been a big part of the Hawks media team.

A compilation video showcasing highlights and bloopers from this year’s group of athletes was played during the ceremony.

“It was a great banquet, one of my favourites, the food was great, the atmosphere was great, the video was phenomenal and I can’t wait for 2020’s banquet,” Walters said.

Everyone attending the banquet was provided with a buffet style four-course meal.

Dylan Walters receiving his Coaching Excellence award from Jennifer O’Reilly. (Paige McGowan)

“It’s a different kind of Hawk family, it’s fun and hopefully they come back next year,” O’Reilly said. 

After 40 greatly appreciated years, the original campus recreation coordinator, Jim Bialek, is retiring from the athletic program. 

“He is the heart and soul of Humber Athletics,” O’Reilly said. 

The extramural cricket team poses smiles for a photo during dinner time at the athletic banquet. (Paige McGowan)

Whether it’s extramural or varsity sports, Humber athletics is number one in the province, and continues to maintain their outstanding reputation, thanks to Bialek’s hard work over the years.

“It’s been a celebration of successes, a celebration of family, a celebration of the future and it’s a really celebration of memories made,” Bialek said.

“Bialek is the best, he’s a legend,” said Ceejay Bennett, captain of the mens basketball team.

Participating in school activities goes further than just having fun, Humber prides itself of offering more than just a fun and competitive experience. 

The Humber Hawks mascot makes an appearance to the campus recreation athletic banquet. (Paige McGowan)

“It’s been absolutely amazing, I love all my teammates, I feel like I am a part of the school now,” said women’s basketball guard Zoe Rolph. “I think it’s actually improved my grades, I’ve been able to focus more, I feel like I’m being active, and overall just a great experience.”

“When I came to Humber I didn’t know that there was an extramural program and I was really happy to find out that it was a thing, because I have made the best of friends and the best memories,” Lancaster said.