Top 20 spots close for a great group of athletes

Outstanding athlete and academic student Amanda McLean is No. 21 on the News Leader Pictorial
Outstanding athlete and academic student Amanda McLean is No. 21 on the News Leader Pictorial's Youth Athletes of the Year list for 2012.
— image credit: Don Bodger/file

Part three of the News Leader Pictorial’s Top 112 Youth Athletes of the Year for 2012 brings us closer to the top.

Athletes placing in positions No. 21 through 50 are featured. Several might have normally made the top 20 in an ordinary year, but it’s been an extraordinary one in so many sports.

21. Amanda McLean — Captain of the Brentwood College senior girls’ field hockey team and the senior tennis team, she’s also the No. 1-ranked academic student for the graduating class of 2013 and captain of the debate team.

22. Andrew Larson — Tremendous work rate and natural athleticism by the Grade 12 Cowichan Secondary student anchors the Cowichan midfield in soccer and backcourt in basketball. He also received the opportunity to join the UVic Prep team with Eli Pasquale for tournaments throughout the United States. The baseball part of his resume included a trip to the provincials in Prince George where he was an MVP for his outstanding pitching.

23. Natalia Garriock — Grade 11 Cowichan Secondary School student is Duncan Swim Team’s top senior female and Alison Shepard sprint award winner. She’s the current holder of eight DST individual records, with a stake in two relay marks, while qualifying for Western senior national and Canadian Age Group meets.

24. Paul Henderson — Skip of the provincial winning boys’ high school curling team in Grade 11 looking for a repeat in his senior year. Skips a Frances Kelsey team entered in the Victoria High School League.

25. Noah Dobson — Grade 12 Cowichan Secondary student captained the T-Birds’ senior boys’ soccer and rugby teams, member of B.C. Under 18 rugby 15s and sevens. An intimidating and fierce competitor in both sports.

26. Rachael & Olivia Bakker — The twins have long been cornerstones of the Duncan Christian School girls’ volleyball and basketball teams. Both were key in DCS’s first-ever island basketball championship and inaugural trip to the provincials.

27. Chelsey Cleemoff — Field Hockey B.C.’s U15 female player of the year had a phenomenal 2012. Her achievement list is very long, but included: second place with the Valley Vixens in the ladies’ senior indoor league, member of the Cowichan Crusaders team that won the gold medal in the Cal Cup, U15 Team B.C. Blue team member that entered the national championships as U16 and won the gold medal and much, much more.

28. Claire Seeliger — Along with Stefanie Langkammer, represented the valley among the elite players chosen for the junior national U17 field hockey team during the Canada-U.S.A. Challenge. Played for the B.C. White squad that earned the bronze medal in the U18 nationals at Calgary and a big part of field hockey revival at Frances Kelsey Secondary School.

29. Doug Groenendijk — An exceptional all-around athlete who earned the island boys’ A basketball championship’s MVP award for leading Duncan Christian School to its first appearance in the provincials. He captained his Nanaimo Volleyball Club team in the spring and is always looking for ways to improve his volleyball and basketball skills.

30. Nicole Crowley — Captain of the Cowichan Crusaders field hockey team that won gold at the Cal Cup tournament and the Shawnigan Lake School provincial AA runner-up team. Basketball, rugby and netball are included in her athletic endeavours. She only recently picked up rugby and was a key player for the Shawnigan girls’ team that came second in the Island tournament and Tier 2 provincials.

31. Colby Peleshaty — A speedster on the track who trains hard to reduce his times by every millisecond possible. Made a great showing with the CVAC Jaguars in the track events during the Legion national championships at Prince Edward Island.

32. Ryan Taylor — Another valley product benefiting from the Claremont Secondary field lacrosse program while doing double duty in box lacrosse. A great two-way player for the Victoria Shamrocks Intermediate A box lacrosse team.

33. Laura Kissack — Grade 11 student at Frances Kelsey Secondary is a rising star in the pool, the top intermediate female for the Duncan Swim Team. She currently holds two DST individual records and is part of two relay records while becoming a Canadian Age Group qualifier.

34. Jolene Bull — Slowed by an injury that kept her out of the top 20, but still a bonafide pitching standout who’s capturing plenty of attention from colleges about her plans after graduation. Back with the Victoria ’95 Devils, as the Duncan Red Hots are no longer fielding a team. Working hard in the off-season at the Pacific Institute of Sports Excellence with the physiotherapists to reach the top of her game in 2013.

35. Jeremy Horgan — Switches to an unorthodox submarine pitching style at the urging of a new coaching staff and gets the job done effectively at Notre Dame Prep in Arizona in short-term relief duty on the mound.

36. Hannah Lauridsen — Grade 12 student at Cowichan Secondary School placed second at the island championships and fifth at the B.C. high school provincial championships for wrestling. She also made her presence felt on the rugby field as a member of the Cow High girls’ team.

37. Taylor Quaife — Long-time goaltender hooks up with the high-profile Burnaby Mountain Selects field lacrosse program and receives a great opportunity to play in prestigious tournaments in the United States.

38. Adam Marchetti — Hard-hitting lineman in on numerous tackles during a successful shutdown season for the defence of the Cowichan Midget Bulldogs’ football team in the Vancouver Mainland Football League.

39. Micaylla Broadway — The home-schooled Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club member had a stellar competitive year in provincial Level gymnastics that qualified her for the B.C. Winter Games where she won the all-around gold, with first on beam, bars and vault and fourth on the floor. She went on to attend the Western Canadian meet, helping Team B.C. to the bronze medal.

40. Casey Crowley — Playing for the Island Wildcats women’s field hockey team just one component of a busy and productive year for the Shawnigan Lake School student.

41. Allie White — Newcomer to the valley from Victoria fits right in and provides Cowichan rugby and basketball teams with additional strength. She has aspirations in rugby and moved to Duncan to pursue her dream of playing university and rep rugby.

42. Kendra Stoner — As a Grade 12 volleyball player at Brentwood College, she’s one of the top individually-recognized players on the island for her personal achievements and awards. She gives back to sports by coaching, scorekeeping and refereeing.

43. Gavin Hollebakken — Grade 12 Cowichan Secondary School student’s golf game reached a higher level this summer. He soared to 25th place out of 156 players in the B.C. junior boys’ championships at Roberts Creek and then 65th in the Canadian junior at Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

44. Graham Winship — Grade 12 Cowichan Secondary School student played for the Victoria Shamrocks Intermediate A lacrosse team and was seventh in team scoring as a rookie. On the ice, he’s a rep hockey veteran and provides the scoring punch for the Cowichan Valley Midget Tier 1 Capitals.

45. Corey Cardinal — Racing ace is a big wheel on the motocross circuit. He learned to ride at an early age and is far advanced for a Grade 11 student. After being in awe of the big boys for many years, he’s now one of them in the pro class of the motocross nationals.

46. Adrienne Saari — Plays with passion and toughness, according to coach Brad Skene. She willed herself onto the B.C. U18 team and has grown tremendously as a player in a short time. T-Bird, Cowichan Rugby Club, Island 15 and Island Summer Games sevens also all on her resume.

47. Shalev Sharabi — Point guard who helped guide the Brentwood College senior boys’ basketball squad to a third-place finish at the provincials in Grade 10 and fourth in Grade 11. Now in Grade 12, he’s hoping to be a big part of pushing his team to the top. Maintains a 93 %+ academic average.

48. Bennett King-Nyberg — A very strong setter for the Duncan Christian School senior boys’ volleyball team, earning all-star status at the DCS Invitational. Made a valuable contribution to the senior boys’ basketball team’s success last spring.

49. Jamie Jensen — Grade 12 Frances Kelsey Secondary student plays Junior B hockey at Kerry Park and also possesses solid offensive skills witnessed with the Victoria Shamrocks Intermediate A lacrosse squad.

50. Drayson Price — Started the year with a trip to Texas with Team Canada’s U15 football squad. The experience carried the Shawnigan Lake resident into the regular football season with the Cowichan Midget Bulldogs where he made the switch from a predominantly offensive role to a defensive specialist who made opponents pay for coming into his territory.

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