TRURO - The impact of the Truro Bearcats' Fred Page Cup winning season was still being felt Thursday in Colchester County.
The Hubtown's junior A hockey team was recognized for its outstanding 2012-13 campaign as it was named the Outstanding Club Team 16 to 20 years during the 30th annual Truro Sport Heritage Society Awards Dinner at Best Western Glengarry.
"It feels great, especially for the guys who played here last year and couldn't make it tonight," Bearcats captain Phillip Fife said. "Obviously it means a lot."
About 350 people attended the event, which featured a meal and dessert before CBC news and sports reporter Bruce Rainnie took to the mike to tell stories about his recent adventures in Sochi, where he was covering the Olympic Winter Games.
The Bearcats were given the nod over the CC Riders under-14 girls Tier 2A soccer squad.
The Bearcats made their first ever appearance at the RBC Cup national championship in May after clinching their first Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian title on home ice in a thrilling 3-2 double-overtime final over the rival Summerside Western Capitals. Fife notched the winner in that game.
The Bearcats showed they were a force to be reckoned with right out of the gate, rolling through their first 18 regular-season games without a regulation loss. They went on to finish the Maritime Junior Hockey League schedule second overall with 38 wins in 52 games and battled through the Kent Cup playoffs to the final, eventually losing to Summerside just a week before the Fred Page Cup tournament opened at newly minted RECC.
Bearcats coach and general manager Shawn Evans said it was a special season.
"That's something you never know if it's going to happen again," he said. "We had been to the Fred Page before and had no success. That was a special week in a new facility with a great group of players. It's going to be tough to duplicate it."
The evening was also special for both Karlee Burgess and Peter Millman, who were repeat winners of the female athlete 15 and under and male athlete 16 to 20 awards.
Burgess, edged out Erin McCavour and Julia Schmitt for the award.
"Erin McCavour and Julia Schmitt are amazing athletes as well and I'm just really honoured right now," said Burgess, a 15-year-old Hilden resident. "I knew I was going up against some really good athletes and I was happy just to get nominated."
Burgess, who throws second stones for the Mary Fay junior curling rink based out of Chester Curling Club, helped her team win a provincial under-21 title in December. The foursome also claimed the provincial and Atlantic under-18 crowns, storming through Atlantics with a 6-0 record.
As a member of the CC Riders under-16 soccer team, Burgess led the Highland Soccer League in scoring with 16 goals in nine games and was provincial champion in the 400m in track and field. She also won the same event at the Atlantic Legion meet.
"Last year I really wanted to make the legion team and I feel I put a lot of time into track and getting ready for going to legions," Burgess said. "And in curling we were just building and we got a lot of opportunities to get help with our physical and mental fitness."
For Millman, it was his third consecutive nomination for the award. The 20-year-old Truro native and Olympic development program member, finished fifth and seventh respectively in the shot put and hammer events at the Pan American Track and Field Championships in Medellin, Colombia, in July.
A member of the Lethbridge Pronghorns, under the tutelage of Olympic throwing coach Larry Steinke, Millman was named the Can-West conference rookie of the year and Lethbridge's track and field male athlete of the year.
Mike Schmitt took home the coach of the year award after guiding the Truro Pye Chevrolet Bearcats peewee AAA hockey team to a provincial championship. The team posted a 41-19-8 record and also recorded wins in two tournaments and claimed silver in another.
But Schmitt was quick to deflect the credit to his players.
"It's just a reflection of what the team did last year," he said. "Every time I brought something new to the team they accepted it and they just got better and better as the season went on. They were the most excellent group of kids I've ever coached."
Following are winners from Thursday's 30th annual Truro Sport Heritage Society Awards Dinner at the Best Western Glengarry:
Male 15 and under - Gregory McCarthy
Female 15 and under - Karlee Burgess
Club Team 15 and under - CC Riders Tier 2A boys soccer
Junior High Team - South Colchester Wolves boys soccer
Male 16 to 20 - Peter Millman
Female 16 to 20 - Madison Clarke
Club Team 16 to 20 years - Truro Bearcats junior A hockey team
High School Team - South Colchester Wolves girls slo-pitch
Male 21 to 50 years - Jake MacKenzie
Female 21 to 50 years - Anastasia Callaghan
Team 21 and over - Colleen Pinkney curling
Senior Female Athlete 50 and over - Jane Richards
Coach of the year - Mike Schmitt
Volunteer of the year - Raj Makkar
Truro Daily News - APEX Invitational Golf Association
Tim Hortons - GoTruro.ca
Johnson Saunders - Cobequid Lawn Bowls Club
Special Olympian - Makayla Hadley
Truro Sport Heritage Chair Award - Jake Borden