Three Zone 4 student/athletes were front and centre Thursday in Winnipeg as the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association presented basketball and hockey scholarships.
Bailey Grantham of Portage Collegiate Institute received both the Sami Jo Small Award sponsored by the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame & Museum which is worth $1,000 and the Alexander Josephson Memorial Scholarship worth $2,000.
“I thought I was just up for one so getting the second one was a very big surprise,” said Grantham. “I'm pleased that I have it and that all my hard work paid off.”
Grantham, who recorded 31 goals and 50 points in 22 regular season games with the PCI Saints, was named a Winnipeg Women's High School Hockey League All-Star this past season.
The Saints captain said playing high school hockey was a memorable experience.
“You can still have a social life. You can still work and play other sports. It really made a difference, four years of it. It made it so enjoyable.”
Grantham will attend the University of Manitoba this fall and plans to enrol in the Faculty of Science.
Rylan Metcalf of Carman Collegiate was the recipient of the Garett Lee Sidor Memorial Basketball Scholarship which was presented for the first time.
Sidor was a student/athlete at Windor Park Collegiate in Winnipeg. He passed away in May of 2007 just a couple of month after the Royals won the Provincial “AAA” High School Varsity Boys Basketball Championship. Friends and family have come together to put a $750 scholarship in his name to be awarded to a male basketball player each year.
Metcalf helped the Cougars win the Provincial “AA” Championship this past March and was named to the tournament All-Star team.
“It's a huge honour and it means a lot,” said Metcalf shortly after he received the scholarship. “It made me pretty proud of myself.”
Metcalf, who is weighing his post-secondary school options, added that he thoroughly enjoyed his high school basketball career.
“It was super fun and our team, we got better and better. We really played like a team from grade 9 to grade 12 and it showed. It was really fun.”
Finley Wheeler of Morden Collegiate took home the Winnipeg Jets Alumni & Friends Scholarship worth $1,000.
“It's quite a big honour,” said Wheeler. “I feel proud of myself. I'm very thankful for everybody that's helped me get to this point.”
The Morden Thunder were Zone 4 High School Hockey League champions for the third straight season and Wheeler played on all three teams.
“Three championships, obviously that's awesome but being around that group of guys, that's really what it's about, that comradeship. That's what this high school league offers. An opportunity for guys to play hockey together, to make friends for life, and I feel like that's a unique opportunity - one that I'll cherish forever.”
Wheeler will graduate from Morden Collegiate next month and his plans are to attend the University of British Columbia and pursue a degree in engineering.
“Things are coming to an end here,” said Wheeler. “And yet things are also just beginning so it's exciting for sure.”