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TDSB 2018-2019

Welcome to the home of TDSB sports.  Please click on any of our sport pages to get updates scores, schedules and information

 

TDSSAA Student Athletes of the Year

Patrick Carstens, Maplewood High School 

Patrick Cartens_maplewood AofY2019

     Sports are fun and I like winning. But, I am always looking for  ways to work harder and also help people. It’s a nice thing to do. ”   -- Patrick Carstens, 2019 Athlete of the Year at Maplewood High School

 

 By David Grossman

 
When you first meet Patrick Carstens, a young man who is different in so many ways, one thing becomes crystal clear.

It’s his curiosity.

A 17-year old student, Carstens attends Maplewood High School, which is often referred to as a specialized educational facility catering to students with special needs.

Celebrating achievement and inspiring change, for the past four years, Maplewood has been Carstens home away from home, learning, nurturing and trying to take huge steps forward.

But this year has been something special for Carstens, who is autistic and has cognitive learning disabilities. Exuberant and one who can be quite vocal about his success, Carstens has had the public eye and a fair bit of fame and notoriety.

In 2019, he competed at the International Youth Games, the Special Olympics showcase that brought some 2,000 athletes, from around the world, to Toronto. Carstens was selected to light the torch at the Opening Ceremonies.

He wasn’t finished. After some intense track and field competition, Carstens followed through by taking home three medals: two gold and one silver.

Grab a few minutes with him, and he’ll articulate about his success.

Tack on completing his four-year program at Maplewood and graduation, even though Carstens has chosen to stick around for some post-graduate experiential learning. It will also prepare him for life experiences after school and employment in the work force.

A multi-sport athlete, and having competed in everything from track to basketball, floor hockey to soccer, Carstens got the nod as Maplewood’s Athlete of the Year. It was his third time, in the past four years, that the special citation has his name.

The elite junior award, won in grade 9, was his first trip to the winner’s podium. Twice, in the past three years, Carstens was the cream of the crop at Maplewood for senior honors.

“I was very happy when I won (the award) again,” he said. “Sports are fun and I like winning. But, I am always looking for ways to work harder and also help people. It’s a nice thing to do.”

Considered the most reliable player on the school basketball team, and he has never missed a practice, Carstens was also one of the top scorers for Maplewood in the Toronto District School Board’s city-wide tournament for students with special needs. 

Having had his share of rough outings, Carstens is also brutally honest.

When asked about how he copes with losing a game, he took some time to contemplate his response. Avoiding any gobbledygook, he said it was his job to shake it off, and provide support for his buddies – especially those taking defeat with a bit more pain.

“What becomes clear to me is his leadership skills,” said Duncan LeBlanc, Principal at Maplewood and also Carsten’s basketball coach. “It’s not always about the best skills, but teamwork. For him, involvement in sports is great, but his sportsmanship is right at the top.

“The thing about (Carstens), when he gets hooked on something and becomes very interested, he really does well. The effort and time he puts in, is just phenomenal.”

Carstens is also a big fan of visual arts, from designs in cartooning to helping design and finish school wall portraits. Overcoming obstacles has been his challenge and one he has met with triumph and good fortune.

As for what lies ahead, Carstens has an answer for that, too. His empathy and compassion for others has him connecting with the community and wanting to work with young people with disabilities.

 

Megan Edwards - Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute

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Megan Edwards - Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute

“…there was a chill of excitement and a feeling of being special among so many other great athletes.”

----Megan Edwards 2019 Athlete of the Year at Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute

 

By David Grossman
 

 

Give Megan Edwards a basketball and then sit back and watch her.

 

She’s quite energetic, a scorer and her passing, shooting and defensive games are all very sound and intense. In a game, it’s full throttle ferocity, regardless of the opposing team.

For Edwards, her intuition for the game of hoops is something special. When people who know the sport watch her in competition, Edwards has all the pieces to not only dominate a game, but to also take it to the next level.

 At 18 years of age, the 5-foot-11 forward had exceeded expectations as a standout high school player while also displaying strength on the court and dignity off of it.

Graduating with academic honors this year from Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate, Edwards  had little difficulty exhibiting her prodigious glitzy play, game-after-game, adding a winning personality, and had recruiting university coaches hoping for the best.

As good as she was in basketball, it wasn’t the only sport that had Edwards combining raw talent with enthusiasm and assuming all that comes with sudden fame. In fact, some believe she is a better soccer player with phenomenal performances under pressure.

For Edwards, sharing the awards stage included selection of Most Valuable Player in basketball, then soccer and also Ultimate Frisbee – all in her final year at Mowat. Topping it off, school coaches unanimously selected her as the overall school female Athlete of the Year.

When the announcement of the prestigious award was made at the school celebration, there stood Edwards, shaken, speechless and soaking in what had just happened – sudden fame.

“It was surreal and it means so much to me,” she said. “There was a time when I heard people say that I had won my share of awards. Then, to get picked as the top female athlete – there was a chill of excitement and a feeling of being special among so many other great athletes.

Edwards, presented with a glass trophy recognizing her dominant athletic talent, said, as a youngster, she would hope a day would come when her hard work, effort and determination would result in recognition.

“I never thought something like this would happen – it has been the most exciting year of my life,” said Edwards, who has come a long way since those elementary years at Blaisdale Montessori and Rouge Valley Public.

“I have learned not to focus on one sport, when you can be contributing and great at others. Never give up pursuing dreams.”

While Edwards’ name didn’t have the miraculous buzzer-beater or had her name trend on social media, she was also superb as the keeper on the Mowat soccer team and instrumental in the club winning a Toronto District School Board East Division title.

 A role model for young girls, with character and charisma, and hoping to empower them to get involved in sports, Edwards is trying to live up to the high expectations that she has created for herself.

Ready to move on, Edwards is taking her talent to the University of Toronto after accepting a basketball scholarship. Articulate in many ways, she is aware that every play on the hardwood will be analyzed and dissected. She plans to study kinesiology and is interested in a career in physiotherapy or teaching.

Jeremy Crane, head of Physical and Education at Mowat, had huge accolades for Edwards referring to her as “an unbelievable athlete”.

“Sometimes, it can be very tough picking a school-wide award winner,” said Crane. “Edwards was a slam dunk. All the coaches agreed. She was always playing a sport, contributing, well-liked and when our numbers were down for volleyball, having never played the sport, she filled in and we advanced to the Ontario playoffs.”

In addition to sport and academics, Edwards takes great pride being in the spotlight as a fashion model doing runway shows.

Edwards has had some memorable times in her life. As a seven-year old, she found a wallet at a gas station and turned it in. There was also the time she had to cope with a concussion. It was back in grade 8, and spending time in the hospital, after getting kicked in the face playing soccer in the Unionville Ontario Player Development league.

 

 

Ju Eun Lee - Martingrove C.I.

Ju Eun Lee Martingrove athlete of the yearI have seen what sports can do for a student. It brings the school together. If there were no sports, there’d be no fun...”                          --------Ju Eun Lee

 By David Grossman

Sometimes the moment can get too big, a bit nerve-wracking, intimidating in a certain way and even quite overwhelming.

But then, there is also a quiet confidence that shows up and the conversations that follow, as in the case with Martingrove Collegiate student athlete Ju Eun Lee, clearly depicts a genuine politeness along with a passion to always reach for the top.

Lee gives no evidence that she is the kind of person who will shy away from a challenge. It has been part of her modus operandi. Those characteristic traits now switch from being one of the oldest students graduating from Martingrove, to the youngest group about to continue studies at McMaster University in Hamilton.

It’s only natural for Lee, every now and then, to think of her amazing journey.

As a five year old, she immigrated, with her family, from South Korea to Canada.Toronto would be her new home, and education started at Humberwood Downs Junior Middle Academy before moving on to Martingrove. Academics and athletics always topped her list of priorities – but she always found room for other things.

Leaving Martingrove with an astonishing achievement in the classroom, a 96.8 per cent average, Lee was also on the awards podium for sports. In her final year, she was the recipient of the school senior female Athlete of the Year award. No big surprise to many, as Lee was the choice of coaches, back in grade 10, for the junior title.

“When I came to Canada, my parents saw no value in me competing in sports,” she recalled. “But coaches saw potential, encouraged me to try and my parents saw that I was having fun and still doing well in my grades.

“I have seen what sports can do for a student. It brings the school together. If there were no sports, there’d be no fun, no opportunities to build teamwork, friends, take on challenges - and it would almost be like a prison.”

A multi-sport competitor, Lee had an idea that she would be nominated for the top female athletic award. But, always respectful of others, she was prepared if someone else had won.

Soccer, badminton and ultimate Frisbee were her sport preferences this past year and she also took on a leadership role as team captain for two of them. When not on the field or in the gym, Lee played the flute in the school band, volunteered to coach young girls in community soccer and helped out on special occasions at a local senior citizens home.

“I leave Martingrove with some great memories – and that includes when they called my name as the top female athlete in my final year,” she said. “It was something very special and whenever I look at the plaque they gave me, it will bring back wonderful times.”

“She’ll be a standout no mater what she does going forward,” praised Andrew Youssef, Martingrove’s Curriculum Leader for Health and Physical Education/Athletics. “Her ability is something special and her skills, in sport, are crystal clear when she steps on the field or in the gym.”

As for Lee’s proudest moment at Martingrove, her answer may come as a surprise. No winning goal or league championship, but something even more special to her.

“Back in grade 10, there was no girls soccer team as the school just couldn’t get a commitment from students and I knew, going forward, that something had to be done,” she said.

“In grade 11, I was involved in rebuilding a team and it was made up of players with very little experience. In the end, we beat our arch rival (Richview collegiate), to win the Regional title. That was something special and proved to all of us that when we focus on teamwork and success, good things can often happen.”

 

Cole Ketrzynski - York Mills C.I.

AofYYMCI_2019

" It’s a wonderful feeling and looking back, it’s quite an honor

 By David Grossman

Some would say that it is still early in his athletic career, but 17-year old Cole Ketrrzynski has already hit the spotlight several times with some celebrated moments – and many he’ll cherish for the rest of his life.

Ketrrzynski doesn’t need his size to get noticed.

He’s 6-foot-7, but on the volleyball court, he’s much taller - a masterpiece at all elements of the game. Not one for glitz and glamour, his dominance, on numerous occasions, has been anything short of spectacular.

Ketrrzynski doesn’t have an agent just yet, not even a deal with a sporting goods outlet, but he has just about everything he can handle right now. He’s off to the West Coast on an athletic scholarship to UCLA. Some know it as the University of California in Los Angeles.

A key member of the two-time Canadian National 18-and-under championship squad, a Metro (Toronto) high school gold medalist, numerous Most Valuable Player awards and, well, the list of trophies and medals goes on and on.

 The latest prize of distinction, for the talented power hitter, came during the year-end salute to athletes at York Mills Collegiate.

It was his high school graduating year and, sitting anxiously at a banquet hall table, knowing the presentation of the top male athlete award was up for grabs. Ketrzynski, who was also the top scorer on the school basketball team that lost in the playoffs, figured he had a chance among a slew of talented competitors.

Volleyball coach and physical education teacher Steven Kung was called to make the announcement – something he had done several times in past.

“I was hopeful and anxious and when I heard some things that sounded like he was referring to me – it hit me,” said Ketrzynski, who was presented with an award made of glass. “He called my name. It’s a wonderful feeling and looking back, it’s quite an honor.”

Earlier in the evening, Ketrzynski accepted the volleyball team MVP award.

While great volleyball genes can run in the family, worth noting is that Ketrzynski’s father competed in volleyball for Canada at the 1984 Olympics. His older brother, also a volleyball player, had won the same York Mills top male athlete award a year earlier.

“In my mind, (Cole) is Team Canada material all the way and was a monster stud for us in volleyball that put our school on the map,” said Kung. “He’s respectful and responsible along with being calm and composed. (Ketrzynski) is the kind of leader you would want on your team. Just top notch in everything.”

In his three years at York Mills, Ketrzynski leaves having played on three consecutive Toronto District School Board championship teams. He’s also won three North Region titles and two provincial high school medals.

With so much creativity in his play, a luminous talent, he may have been the soul and spirit of the team and something that started when he was at the learning stages back in grade school at Owen Public School followed by Windfields Junior High. It was in grade 6, at the age of 11, that volleyball became his sport specialty.

His success, over the years, hasn’t come without a price – a concussion in grade 11, when a volleyball hit him in the head. Ketrzynski also sustained a torn shoulder muscle that kept him away from the game for several months.

Just after returning from a gold medal team win for Ontario at the Canada Games, he re-injured the shoulder – likely rushing back to play too quickly. After appearing in a remarkable 11 sets in one day, and competing in some of the top high school teams in Ontario, he was instrumental in York Mills winning that Waterloo-based event.

“There was a time when I got a bit worried,” said Ketrzynski. “That was when I went to see the doctor and he hinted that my volleyball career was in jeopardy. It was time to focus on getting the shoulder stronger and not pushing things to quickly.”

Having expanded the parameters of athletic fame at York Mills, Ketrzynski now turns his focus on studying physics, earning a Degree in Engineering and playing pro volleyball in Europe.

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David Grossman is a multi award-winning communicator and storyteller with a distinguished career in Broadcasting, Journalism and Public Relations in Sport and Government Relations


For a full list of all TDSB Secondary Athletes of the Year 2018-19   - Click Here


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