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Craig Leger and a first for CEC


When footballs outstanding running back and track star Craig Leger was recently named this years Male Athlete Of The Year at Cobequid Educational Centre it proved exciting in more ways then one.

Had a second generation athlete ever followed a first generation athlete to the elite CEC sports wall of fame, as athlete of the year, we wondered?

Contacting former CEC teacher and long-time coach Bob Piers, the schools sports historian was only too glad to assist. In looking back, we learned the following:

Sisters Maureen and Marlene MacDonald, Tammy and Sonya Crowell and brothers Neil and Brian Kinsman and Jason and Matt Williams were sister and brother combinations who had been honoured as athlete of the year but never had a son or daughter followed a parent in this respect.

During a visit to the home of Brian and Lynn Leger and family in Salmon River earlier this week, humble and appreciative would be a way of describing both Craig Leger and his mother Lynn during a brief interview and a photo shoot.

It was 1980 (27 years ago) that all-around participant Lynn Morrisey (Leger) was named the Female Athlete Of The Year at CEC. When asked what she recalled about the occasion, the younger sister of hockeys Steve Morrisey, commented: It was quite a long time ago but in looking back it was a real honour. I remember that I was quite surprised when the announcement was made. I thought the award was going to another girl at the school who was a good friend of mine. I was both surprised and pleased.

I then asked, what about the night recently when your son Craig was named male athlete of the year at CEC.

She quietly shared: I had butterflies for Craig when Mr. Williams (Jason) was up there talking about him and reviewing his sports accomplishments. It was before the announcement was made during the awards night. I wanted to cry for him, and when they did announce his name and that he was this years male athlete of the year, I think I had a few tears in my eyes.

Craig, a Grade 12 student, age 18, standing five foot, eight inches and weighing 180 pounds, may best be described as an athlete with tremendous credentials.

In track and field he has had great success in sprinting and hurdles and presently holds four school records at CEC while holding two provincial records in the hurdles. Craig competed nationally in track on two occasions.

In football, fourth year CEC physical education teacher Jason Williams, a former school male athlete of the year himself, described Legers play and make up with these words: In three years with CEC, Craig accumulated over 50 touchdowns ... per touch of the football his average yardage per game was over 20 yards. He is very, very humble and his desire to play the game stands out and his desire to get better is admirable.

Craig is one of the three best backs to ever come out of the Nova Scotia High School Football League. To find a running back so explosive and quick, he has no fear of contact, he can do it all in terms of football ability.

While enjoying talking track and football with Craig recently, he commented.

Mr. Williams has been a big help to me, he has been my track coach since Grade 8, I really look up to him. Steve Fulton and Anthony Purdy were big influences to me and got me into football. They were my coaches for four years with the Truro Bluebombers and then when I went to CEC they attended our games and continued to offer me encouragement.

It was back in January that Craig attended the under 19 Team Canada camp for world junior football tournament play. Although he did not make the national team it proved a great experience for the young running back. Besides being the first player from Atlantic Canada picked to attend, he was rated in the top 100 for 19-year-old players in Canada.

With plans to attend St. Marys University in Halifax this fall and to continue his climb in football, the 2007 CEC athlete of the year and recipient of the schools most valuable offence award, shared: I will be working on a program immediately provided by St. Marys and Im a little nervous as I look forward to going down a couple times this summer to train with the St. Marys football team.

The future is bright for the fine young man from Salmon River and you can bet that one of his biggest fans will be another former CEC athlete of the year his mother Lynn.

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