Monday , 20 September 2021
Bonnyville teachers from Ecole Des Beaux Lacs, Ecole Notre Dame High School, and Bonnyville Centralized High School saluted their graduating athletes at Walsh Field on Monday.

Lakeland schools pay tribute to graduating student athletes

Bonnyville teachers from École des Beaux-Lacs, École Notre Dame High School, and Bonnyville Centralized High School saluted their graduating athletes at Walsh Field on Monday.

Graduating high school students were given a tribute by Bonnyville teachers on Monday night at Walsh Field.

The Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association requested schools give some nod to recognize the efforts of student-athletes who wouldn’t be getting quite the same send-off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They have worked so hard all of their school years in their school sports, their club sports, and the extracurricular activities that they’ve been in and they got cut short on their season,” said Elizabeth-Ann Switzer, BCHS athletic director.

“So to give them a tribute, we’re here tonight with the lights on at Walsh Field to show our support, telling them that we missed them. All three schools united together about the fact that they didn’t get to finish their Grade 12 year and we hope the best in their future.

“If they have any form of athletics going on in their future, whatever they’re doing, they reach out they send us messages. We miss them. We wish we get to see them every day and we don’t right now. So hopefully we just give them the best in their future.”


Paul Bourgoin, teacher at École des Beaux-Lacs and NEASAA Athletic Director, provided a message to his students in French.

“En raison de l’annulation de toutes les compétitions sportives du secondaire, les enseignants de l’École des Beaux-Lacs voulaient souligner les accomplissements parascolaires de ses finissants 2020,” said Bourgoin.

“Avec la participation de BCHS et NDHS, les enseignants se sont déplacés à Walsh Field pour prendre une photo symbolisant les accomplissements sportifs des finissants de la région.

“Nous sommes tous très fiers d’eux et nous aurions certainement préféré un dénouement différent pour nos finissants, souligne M. Bourgoin de l’École des Beaux-Lacs. Les élèves de notre région nous représentent toujours de façon exceptionnelle et nous en sommes très reconnaissants comme enseignants.”

Travis Simon, ÉNDHS, said they miss having students around because it makes for a lonely time at Notre Dame.

“Sports are my life. And I know for a lot of students, it’s their life too. So it’s been really tough. We had a lot of students for example, basketball players, badminton, track athletes, handball players, and countless other sports that got cut short this year,” said Simon.

“Hopefully those athletes can go off to play some university sports if they make teams and we look forward to hearing their names in the future.”

St. Paul tribute

The lights at St. Paul Regional Field were also switched on Monday night to pay this tribute with a post on St. Paul Football’s Facebook page.

They said that spring school sports didn’t end the way anyone thought they would and while Grade 10 and 11s can have another chance to hone their skills on their school teams, Grade 12 students are moving forward in a different way.

“We wanted to let Grade 12 students in Alberta know that we see them and all of the hard work they’ve put in. Although the lights may have been turned off on Grade 12 students’ season, the skills they’ve developed as athletes and as leaders will continue to shine bright into their life journey. Our St. Paul Regional field was illuminated on May 4 in your honour as a tribute to the ending of your high school seasons of sports. We wish you the best in all of your new beginnings.”

Meanwhile in Cold Lake, Assumption School also posted a tribute to their student-athletes on Monday.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.