TRURO – Tears welled in Madison Munro’s eyes as she approached the stage.
Years of hard work and dedication, championship wins and heartbreaking losses, rainy practices and school records, had all come to an end. For her accomplishments and contributions, Munro was named Athlete of the Year.
“It’s really emotional hearing your coaches and teachers talk about you,” she said, with tears rushing to her eyes again. “And it’s emotional to talk about it.”
Hundreds of students packed the auditorium at Cobequid Educational Centre on Wednesday night to take in the annual awards night, celebrating the best athletes the school has to offer.
Coming out on top at the end of the evening were Munro and Richard MacNevin, male and female Athletes of the Year.
“I can’t even describe it honestly,” MacNevin said. “It feels great to be among the people who have won this award.”
MacNevin, a multisport athlete and standout in track and soccer, sat in his seat laughing while Jay Foster introduced the award. Foster recalled the first time he’d seen MacNevin, while scouting junior high soccer. Unaware Foster was watching, he broke out in dance on the field mid-game.
Foster stepped to the front of the stage, imitating the ridiculous moves, before telling the audience how he asked MacNevin about it the following year.
“Hey Richard, are you going to dance on the field this weekend?” he asked before they headed off to a tournament.
“Coach, for the next three years, I’ll do whatever you want me to.”
Hearing the words from Foster made the award extra special, he said.
“I’ve really grown close with all those teachers. We’ve spent so much time together, we’ve become like family.”
Family is something Munro knows a lot about. An exceptional athlete, Munro made friends on the hard court, the soccer turf and the long hours spent with track and field teammates.
Through it all, her best memory is a loss – when the varsity basketball team ended its season in the semifinal, one point short against Horton High.
“The way we all came together after that was amazing,” she said. “I know that there’s a bigger picture. These friendships are forever.”
Down the road in Brookfield, South Colchester Academy also displayed its best and brightest.
In a two-hour ceremony, over 70 awards were handed out in junior and senior categories, with Andrew Burgess and Madison Clarke taking home senior Athlete of the Year honours.
“It’s pretty special to have won this award in senior and junior high,” said Burgess, a soccer, curling and track athlete. “Over the last few years in this school, sports are what really made the memories.”
Clarke, a mainstay on the softball team since seventh grade, was near tears when she accepted the award from Kelly Spencer, her head coach.
“I almost cried when I heard what he said about me (during the introduction),” she said. “It’s sad that it’s over, but happy that we got these great awards before we leave.”
“The bonds we’ve made with teammates and with teachers are pretty special, and they’ll be hard to forget,” Burgess added.
Burgess will be heading to the University of New Brunswick next year, where he will curl for the school team. Clarke will be off to the University of Prince Edward Island, where she’ll play varsity hockey for the Panthers.
She’ll be taking six years of experiences at South Colchester with her, and the lessons that came with it.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is to accept failure,” she said. “I always try to be perfect in everything I do, but you have to realize you can’t always make the play.”
For a full list of award winners, see Friday's paper.