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Matthew Alexander honoured as School Sports male athlete of the year


School Sports Newfoundland and Labrador (SSNL) honoured the top student-athletes, coaches and administrators on Friday night at the Airport Inn in St. John's.

Eighteen-year-old Matthew Alexander from Stephenville High was named 2008 School Sports Newfoundland and Labradors Brother G.I. Moore Male Athlete of the Year in St. Johns on Friday night. Star Photo by Frank Gale

Stephenville - School Sports Newfoundland and Labrador (SSNL) honoured the top student-athletes, coaches and administrators on Friday night at the Airport Inn in St. John's.

The Brother G. I. Moore Male and Female Athletes of the Year, Coach of the Year, Coaching Service Award, Honor Award and Regional Recognition Awards were handed out.

The Brother G. I. Moore Student Athlete of the Year is given annually to a male and female student-athlete who have best exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship and excellence in their high school sports career. The recipients should combine athletic prowess with academic excellence in such a way as to produce those qualities which best portray the objectives of our educational system.

The winner of the Student Athlete Awards receives a $750 scholarship from Newfoundland Power.

Matthew Alexander from Stephenville High won the 2008 Brother G.I. Moore Male Athlete of the Year award.

Alexander has excelled at many SSNL sports including soccer, slo-pitch softball, cross-country running, basketball, track and field and badminton.

He has represented the province at both badminton and soccer at the national level. His main sport has been badminton - since he started playing at five years of age, he has had great success winning numerous gold medals at Atlantic Championships.

Through his years at Stephenville High, he has helped his teams win provincial gold and silver medals in a variety of sports, captained school teams and has been instrumental in Stephenville's 4A School of the Year Banners.

"I was kind of surprised," said Alexander on Thursday night. "My gym teacher nominated me, so I had to fill out applications and stuff a few weeks before. I knew the day everyone was voting and later on in the week I got a call and found out I won."

Picking through his long list of sports he participates in, Alexander named badminton and soccer as his favourites.

"My dad Mike is a badminton coach - he coached a the national level before - so he kind of got me in love with that," he said. "And I guess I always played soccer all the time anyway."

The 18-year-old will be attending Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. in the fall with a plan to study commerce.

Chances are, he'll continue on with his on-the-side sporting career as well, maybe even with a varsity squad.

"I might try out for the soccer team," he said. "I'm not sure yet."

Runners up were Ryan Cashin from Carbonear Collegiate and James Grant from Holy Name of Mary in Lawn.

The Female Student Athlete of the Year for 2007-08 was Victoria Ralph from Carbonear Collegiate, the Coach of the Year was Randy Ralph.

The SSNL Coaching Service Award is given to a coach who has enjoyed a long and successful career as a high school coach. The co-winners of the award were Bob Dyckson from Gander Collegiate and Bruce Andrews from Exploits Valley High in Grand Falls-Windsor.

The Honor Award is presented to a volunteer within SSNL who has shown a long service to SSNL in a variety of capacities, which this year went to Terry Burton from Gander.

The Regional Recognition Awards are reserved for each region to honour an individual who has made significant contributions to school sport within their region. Roland Peddle of Belanger Memorial in Doyles was the winner for the western region.

All awards were presented at the annual Awards Banquet Friday night at the Airport Inn in St. John's.

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