Portage Collegiate recognized their student-athletes yesterday evening at Stride Place.

It was the return of their athletic banquet, where a plethora of awards are handed out for the student's athletic accomplishments throughout the year. Co-Male Athlete of the Year award winner Jalen Brown says it was incredible to be able to have an event like this in his senior year.

"It's awesome! Being able to walk up on stage and have people there to support me and cheer for me was amazing," Brown explains. "Not even for just myself but for everybody. To be able to see my peers get up on that stage and celebrate their achievements as well was great."

Every athlete in attendance was recognized in one way or another as the school implemented the bronze, silver, gold, and platinum level athletic achievements. Each individual who took part in a sport this year was honoured, and their medal was dependent on the number of sports played. The platinum athletes also had above an 80 percent academic average.

Senior Female Athlete of the Year Karly Vince says athletics was so important for her high school experience, even though it often came with a lot of challenges.

"It was a lot of hard work actually. In Grade 9, I had a really rough start with sports, I didn't enjoy them that much, but in Grade 10 it got a little better and then in Grade 11, we obviously didn't have sports because of COVID," Vince continues. "Grade 12 was probably my best year, I had all of my friends beside me, and it was just the best year overall."

Vince was named the Winnipeg Women's High School Hockey League Free Press Division MVP this season, leading the league in goals. She says this was never something she would've imagined she'd accomplish back when she was in tenth grade. Vince outlines the most important lessons she learned from athletics in her four-year journey at PCI.

"Leadership and communication. Without sports, I don't think I would've really learned that. I would have just been a shy girl or something, but sports really made me come out of my shell," says Vince. 

Brown, and a few of his teammates on the basketball team, made a presentation to their coach Darin Arnold before receiving their awards, to show their gratitude for the time and effort he put in for four years with that specific group. Brown points out Arnold was huge a factor in his development and says sports, in general, was the most important thing for him in high school.

"It was my everything you could say. It got me through school and helped me with school honestly. Having the support of teammates and coaches to help me through the years and with my grades was everything," Brown notes.

See below for more of Portage Collegiate's Athletic Award winners: 

Arlan Asham Award - Kristjan Harley
Gage Foster Memorial Scholarship - Jalen Brown
Spirit of Sport Award - Mason Panko, Olivia Krynski, and Kaylee Perry
Men's Golf MVP - Carson Inman
Women's Golf MVP - Brooke Henderson
Men's Cross Country MVP - Caleb Bueckert
Women's Cross Country MVP - Kristin Peterson
Men's Curling MVP - Colton Olafson
Women's Curling MVP - Violet MacLellan
Jerome Cook Award - Kylyn Shindle and Jalen Brown
Women's JV Volleyball MVP - Lowen Hunter
Men's JV Volleyball MVP - Michael Syrota
Women's Varsity Volleyball MVP - Brooklyn Buhler
Men's Varsity Volleyball MVP - Jalen Brown
Women's JV Basketball MVP - Madison Klyne
Women's Varsity Basketball MVP - Hayden McLeod
Men's Varsity Basketball MVPs - Jalen Brown and Teagan Wollbaum
Women's Soccer MVP - Jaelyn Duncan
Men's Soccer MVP - Trace Gemmell
Women's Fastpitch MVP - Ashley Tooth
Men's Baseball MVP - Carson Dubois
Lacrosse MVP - JJ Oke
Women's Track & Field MVP - Kristin Peterson
Men's Track & Field MVP - Aaron Ruchkall
Team of the Year - Trojans Hockey
Volunteers of the Year - Mrs. Mills and Ms. Besana
Junior Male Athlete of the Year - Maddox Shindle
Junior Female Athlete of the Year - Abby Reichert
Senior Male Athlete of the Year - Jalen Brown and Trace Gemmell
Senior Female Athlete of the Year - Karly Vince