The Emo-Devlin-Barwick Minor Hockey Association celebrated the end of another successful season at its annual awards banquet last Friday (April 4) at the Emo-La Vallee Community Centre.
It was a special evening for the association as the executive created a new award—the “Tony Bliss Appreciation Award” for the most improved player in the Novice division.
Bliss was on hand at the banquet to present the awards, to celebrate his birthday, and to receive a special thank-you from the EDBMHA.
The first recipients of this prestigious award were Sydney Beck of the Emo Rockets (Novice girls) and Brett Allan of the Little Loggers (Novice boys).
Following an excellent pot-luck meal, Bliss was called to the stage, where emcee Shane McDonald thanked him for his many years of dedicated service to hockey and presented him with an engraved plaque.
Then the girls’ novice team brought out a cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to Bliss.
Another special celebration for the evening was a DVD tribute to the Novice girls’ team compiled by Mary Croswell.
The coaches and EDBMHA executive complimented the team on its successful year, and expressed hope that this was just the beginning of a great future for girls’ hockey in Emo.
Other awards handed out Friday included the Doug Wilson Memorial award for sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, which was presented to Devin Meyers (Bantam division) by Mike Redford, and the Robert Steele Memorial award to the most versatile player, which was presented to Colin Kaemingh (Midget division) by Bob Steele.
During the evening, several draws were made for items donated by Luke Judson of the Belleville Bulls and Jordan Davis of the Fort William North Stars.
Brett Mann won the autographed Judson stick while the autographed framed pictures of Judson were won by Dawson Azevedo and Kaden Nelson.
The Davis autographed stick was won by Devin Meyers.
The award winners for “most improved,” “most dedicated,” and “most sportsmanlike” on each of the teams were as follows:
•Novice Girls (Rockets)—Caitlin Anderson, Taylor Croswell, and Alexa Veldheisen
•Novice (Little Loggers)—Sawyer Gauthier, Cole Allan, and Carter Robinson
•Atom Hawks—Jeff Smith, Isaiah Nicolai, and Chandler Medicine
•Atom Canucks—Jessica Steele, Parker Orchard, and Brandon Pelepetz
•PeeWee Cobras—Paige McNally, Brody Strachan, and Aaron McDowell
•PeeWee Thunderbolts—Hunter Adams, Maxwell Williams, and Spencer Shortreed
•Bantam—Michael Hamm, Brandon McGinnis, and Ian Friesen
•Midget—Michael McDonald, James Saunders, and Jonny French
Each team member also received an Esso medal and a certificate of achievement, which were presented by their coaches and Arnold Kaemingh of Kaemingh Esso.
Shane McDonald concluded the evening’s festivities by thanking Debbie Zimmerman and Marg Irvine for working in the kitchen, organizing the food, and for cleaning up while the presentations were taking place.
He also thanked the executive, the parents, the coaches, and everyone else who made the 2008/09 season such a great success.