(WINDSOR, ON) – Some said it wouldn’t get past the first year, but last night WESPY-class athletes, coaches, families, and supporters came together in Windsor to celebrate the 15th edition of the annual sporting awards originally conceived by Dominic Papa. The gala reception for the best of Windsor and Essex County was held at the Caboto Club with a record breaking crowd in attendance.
“I didn’t know it wouldn’t get past one, but we believed in it. We had a concept and over the years we’ve developed it and today we have over six hundred people here,” said Papa prior to last night’s ceremonies. “I think it’s gone in the right direction. I think we’re doing OK.”
The 2020 Class included Team of the Year Essex County Ravens varsity football team in the aftermath of their first Ontario Provincial Football League title in 2019. Additionally, Ravens coach Glen Mills picked up top honours in the coaching category.
It was fitting that the Ravens picked up the wins with the Detroit Lions great Herman Moore in the house as the night’s keynote speaker.
“What I’ve learned – how not to be complacent, humble yourself, to build character, to be honest, to go out and do what ever’s necessary – is put yourself first,” Moore told the audience. “But you can bring a team mentality to the table because you’ve got to be the best you in everything you do in life.”
Taking home the hardware for male and female athletes of the year were Pierce Johnson from Windsor Lancers Volleyball and St Anne’s High School’s multi-sport phenom Ashley Ditchfield. Both Johnson and Ditchfield walked away with the volleyball awards as well.
Julie Ann Milling, from the St Clair Saints volleyball team, was presented with the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Leadership Award while Tom Bain and Mark Williams were co-winners of the Ken Dryden Executive of the Year Award.
|Soccer||Mike Zivcic||Danica Paesano|
|Basketball||Akot Aken||Jana Kucera|
|Volleyball||Pierce Johnson||Ashley Ditchfield|
|Hockey||Jean – Luc Foudy||Kira Juodikis|
|Track & Field||Milan Loban||Karlie Moore and Krystalann Bechard|
|Swimming||Brendan Oswald||Madelyn Gatrall|
|Figure Skating||Alison Schumacher|
|Golf||Tyler Hurtubise||Jasmine Ly|
|Wrestling||Roger Li||Selena Renaud|
|Volunteer||Marty Kerrester||Mary Ewer|
|Courage||Windsor Wildcats’ Intermediate BB Hockey|
|Community Service||Jennifer Belair|
|Legacy||Ed Petryshyn||Pat Harrison|