BERWICK, N.S. – The Valley High School Hockey League held its end-of-the-season boys’ teams banquet where players and teams received awards and the successes of the high school hockey season were celebrated.
“I thought everything ran really smoothly. I think it’s great that we had two teams take provincial titles and all teams competed well and had fun,” said league president Peter Morse about the season. “Between the executive and coaches and managers and volunteers we have a great league and it takes a lot of effort on everyone’s behalf to run smoothly.”
The banquet was held at the Kings Mutual Century Centre on April 5 where the Berwick Lions Club prepared the sit-down meal.
There are 12 boys team in the Valley league. Two of these teams won NSSAF provincial championships this year: Central Kings (Division 2) and Barrington (Division 3).
Horton was this year’s league champion.
These three teams: Horton (D1), Central Kings (D2) and Barrington (D3) were also the league’s division champions at the end of regular season league play.
The banquet included the awarding of the league’s major awards.
The Player of the Year Award is about more than just hockey, it was noted. It recognizes a player’s commitment to their team, their school, their community and to volunteerism. Five players were nominated for the award: Aidan D’Arcy (PEB), Bryce Oliver (WK), Jacob Symonds (Barrington), Patrick Allen (NKEC) and Brock Emin (Yarmouth).
Chosen Player of the Year was Grade 12 student Brock Emin of the Yarmouth Vikings. A short bio was read at the banquet. Over two consecutive years Emin was involved with Me to We, with trips to Nicaragua and Tanzania to help build schools. He fundraised $10,500 for these initiatives. He’s been selected by organizations to attend youth leadership camps; he was a youth coordinator and coach with the Yarmouth Clippers Soccer Club and also was part of the planning committee for a U13 soccer provincials championship in Yarmouth. He is a multi-faceted athlete who has competed in hockey, soccer, competitive swimming and softball and he has given back to the sport of hockey by volunteering as a mentor with minor hockey and is a Level 3 referee. Next year Emin will attend Acadia University and with plans to become an educator.
The league’s points leader award was presented to Zachary Forsythe of the Central Kings Gators who had 76 points during the 2017-2018 league season that included 45 goals and 31 assists in 19 games played.
The top defenseman award was presented to Rhylan Morse of the West Kings Wolverines.
The top goalie award went to Zachary Mason of the NKEC Titans. It was noted by league vice-president Mike Reynolds that two goalies – Mason and Nathan Comeau of Clare – had received nominations from several teams for this award.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was shared by Mark Tye, head coach of the Avon View Avalanche and Scott Russell, the league’s chief referee.
The Coach of the Year Award was presented to Julien Boudreau of the Par-en-Bas Sharks. The Sharks had a successful season winning D3 regionals and making it to the semi-final of D3 NSSAF provincials, which were hosted by the Sharks. Boudreau also volunteers with the league as one of its webmasters.
The award for least penalized team went to the Barrington Barons. It was noted at the banquet that the league’s two least penalized teams – Barrington and Central Kings – were both provincial champions.
All teams in the league were invited to select two players for team awards. Those awards were:
• Avon View: Liam Parker (coach’s award), Jacob Caldwell (coach’s award)
• Barrington: Jacob Symonds (MVP), Brett Smith (MVP)
• Central Kings: Zachary Forsythe (MVP), Alex VanRoessel (coach’s award)
• Clare: Nathan Comeau (MVP), Lyndon Vacon (MVP)
• Digby: Noah Titus (MVP), Braden Trimper (MVP)
• Horton: Dean Vial (MVP), Blake Deacon (MVP)
• Middleton: Nick Hazelwood (MVP), Luke Sawler (coach’s award)
• NKEC: Zachary Mason (coach’s award), Harrison Boutilier (coach’s award)
• Par-en-Bas: Aidan D’Arcy (coach’s award), Josh Boudreau (coach’s award)
• Park View: Jack Campbell (MVP), Connor Conklin (coach’s award)
• West Kings: Bryce Oliver (MVP), Cameron Jackman (coach’s award)
• Yarmouth: Brock Emin (MVP), Zach LeBlanc (coach’s award)
(NOTE: Photos of award recipients accompany this article. Some award recipients, however, were able to be at the banquet.)