Good morning! Welcome to the final Athletic Awards ceremony for our 2020-2021 school year. It’s been a year like no other, and we’re so grateful to be here this morning and celebrate all of these amazing student-athletes.
Today is a big day for Canterbury. We are proud to announce that our girls’ Varsity softball team will be departing after a pep rally this morning for the state softball tournament at Legends Way Ballpark in Clermont, FL. The Crusaders take on Westminster Academy at 7:00 p.m. tonight. With a victory, the Crusaders play for the championship on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. We are proud of their effort, commitment, and dedication to the program and wish the Varsity softball team the best of luck this week. Bring home the Championship, ladies!
We have a fan bus traveling to the game for both nights, and thank all of those fans in advance for their support. Please remember that sportsmanship is key, and continue to maintain the sportsmanship expectations that we have at Canterbury.
We are thrilled to celebrate all of these student-athletes who have overcome adversity all year long throughout the pandemic, maintained hard work, and dedication to their teams. You will hear of many stories in which student-athletes have gone above and beyond the call of duty to stand out for their teams. At the conclusion of this program, we will honor our Female and Male Athlete-of-the-Year.
Student-athletes will receive certificates of participation, Varsity letters, pins for first year of service, and a service bar for continued commitment to their sport.
MS Track Team
Michael Connors -- Coaches Award -- “Michael Connors is an amazing runner. He works hard day in and day out and was at every practice. He was up for any event I suggested, including several new events this year. He started throwing the discus and doing the hurdles this year and even earned points for the team. He is an all-around big asset to the team and I look for great things for him next year in 8th grade.”
Tesscani Moore -- Most Valuable Player -- “Tess was our only girl, but if you looked at our girl team points you would never know that. She placed in the top three for entire teams multiple times by herself. She beat teams of 20 and 30 girls individually. She tried new events this year and placed in all of them. I am so proud of her dedication. She set goals and accomplished them.”
The Middle School softball team showed tremendous Improvement this season. If you had the opportunity to attend a game, you noticed that we outmatched our opponents in fundamental softball. The ladies showed hustle, more than doubling the stolen bases of our opponents. Another great accomplishment was our pitch selection and ability to make solid contact at the plate, not to mention the superior sliding and diving by all players.
Ella Cash -- Impact Player Award -- “Our final recipient has earned the Impact Player Award. This player stepped up out of her comfort zone and pitched in very tough situations the entire season. With no formal instruction, she worked each practice to get better. Although pitching was not what she wanted to do, she took the mound for her team and did a remarkable job. Many games were won because of her ability to get the batters swinging.”
Gisselle De Meyer -- Outstanding Offensive Player -- “This season's outstanding offensive player led the team in batting average, triples, doubles, singles, RBIs and stolen bases.”
Chloe Nuss -- Most Improved Player -- “The most improved player made the greatest amount of progress with throwing, catching, fielding, and hitting. Moving her way up the line up throughout the season. She committed to the toughest position on the field. Working in the bullpen for our pitchers and on the field during BP. This most improved player has a bright future in softball, especially if she continues to improve at an accelerated rate.”
Mackenzie Tucker -- Outstanding Defensive Player -- “This season's outstanding defensive player was solid in the field every game. As a first year player, I was so impressed with her ability to throw and catch with precision. She learned one of the most challenging positions in the field and was able to cover the steal and make more than just routine plays.”
Sammy Beltran -- 1st year Varsity
Mackenzie Bergstrom -- 4th year Varsity
Maya Bickford -- 1st year Varsity
Kaili Cannon -- 1st year Varsity
Payton Cushman -- 1st year Varsity
Gisselle De Meyer -- 1st year Varsity
Irianis Garcia -- 3rd year Varsity
Tayten Moore -- 2nd year Varsity
Alayah Pedersen -- 1st year Varsity
Chloe Powers -- 1st year Varsity
Katie Schaffner -- 1st year Varsity
Mackenzie Tucker -- 1st year Varsity
Morgen Talley -- 2nd year Varsity
Sarah Young -- 5th year Varsity
The tennis team showed excellent progress throughout the season. Ella Harris was the team’s number one player, and she was undefeated during the regular season. Ana Berenguer was back for her senior year. Newcomers Lily Berget, Mia Beltran, Iza Rogers, and Veronica Sarkis all contributed key victories. Cristian Brunetti returned at number one singles, and Max Dobbs showed continuous improvement as did MS students Dylan McLaughlin and Vihaan Dave who showed promise for the future.
Lachelle Allen -- certificate of participation
Mia Beltran -- 1st year Varsity
Ana Berenguer -- 4th year Varsity
Lily Berget -- 1st year Varsity
Cristian Brunetti -- 3rd year Varsity
Vihaan Dave -- 1st year Varsity
Max Dobbs -- 3rd year Varsity
Ella Harris -- 3rd year Varsity
Kiersten Jacobs -- certificate of participation
Jamie Manning -- 1st year Varsity
Daniel Martin -- 3rd year Varsity /Crusader Award -- “This award goes to our number two player. Daniel has been with us for a few years now and has continually progressed in his game and has always shown a willingness to learn and compete. He played through an injury for several weeks this season, as he didn’t want to let his teammates down. He's been a wonderful teammate, and very coachable, and we wish him all the best.”
Dylan McLaughlin -- 1st year Varsity
Katherine Morillo -- certificate of participation
Iza Rogers -- 1st year Varsity
Veronica Sarkis -- 1st year Varsity
Amara Sayles -- 3rd year Varsity/Crusader Award -- “This young lady was the captain and our number two player and part of a very successful doubles team. She was always ready to go at practice, and encouraged her teammates as well as those on the boys team. A leader to all of the Crusader tennis players at each and every match, we are looking forward to her senior year.”
With only three returning players from an already shortened season last year, the Crusaders had to work to learn fundamentals, develop pitchers, and learn the rules of the game. So proud of the effort of the boys each and every day to accomplish this alongside their coaches.
Xander Brooks -- Leadership Award -- “At the beginning of the year, we asked these two young men to be our on-the-field leaders, and both took on the responsibility in exemplary ways. Every day they organized the team and led them through warm-ups, getting the team ready to practice physically and mentally. More important than what they said, was that they also led by example. Both were always at practice and games ready and excited to give 100% each day they ran on the field.”
Callen Burnett -- Coaches Award -- “This young man came to every practice and game ready to participate to help the team improve. Even after suffering a season-ending injury, Callen still came to practice every day and continued to help in any way he could. Even though he was not obligated to do so, he still volunteered to run with the team, chase down balls, run the bases, and, at one game, helped the announcer with the names of our players. Callen was always helpful and cheered on his teammates all season long.”
Tylor Woodward -- Leadership Award -- “At the beginning of the year, we asked these two young men to be our on-the-field leaders, and both took on the responsibility in exemplary ways. Every day they organized the team and led them through warm-ups, getting the team ready to practice physically and mentally. More important than what they said, was that they also led by example. Both were always at practice and games ready and excited to give 100% each day they ran on the field.”
The Varsity baseball team showed great strides throughout the season. The Crusaders were able to get some key wins, including a season ending victory on Senior Night over Indian Rocks Christian. The team looks to build on this momentum and continue to grow the program with hard work in the offseason.
Joseph Garcia -- service bar
Mason Hawk -- 1st year Varsity
Brennan Kelly -- 1st year Varsity
Jackson Kelly -- service bar
Alejandro Lugo -- 1st year Varsity
Alfredo Lugo -- 1st year Varsity
Tytan Moore -- 1st year Varsity
Dominic Smith -- service bar
Austin Stuck -- 1st year Varsity
Curtis Williams -- service bar/Leadership Award -- “This young man has played baseball for seven years at Canterbury. His senior year was his breakout season. Though he led the team both offensively and defensively, it was his leading by example that was most important. He put the 3 Areas of Respect first in his actions: Respect Yourself, Respect Others, and Respect the Game. His commitment to the team, and his character is a great example of the Canterbury way. He displayed a positive attitude and always gave his best effort. Offensively, he finished with a batting average of .400, (12) RBI’s, (14) Runs, OBP .551, SLG .486, and defensively, as a pitcher he had two wins and a total of (25) strikeouts for the season and an ERA of 5.16. Curtis, thank you for your leadership!”
Athlete Of The Year
This year’s female and male athlete of the year saw 8 different nominations and very close races for both the female and male awards.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
The female athlete of the year is a multi-sport athlete, this year competing in four different sports, lettering in all four of them. She was a starter on the Varsity volleyball team that was district champs in 2020 and was one of the team leaders in blocks and service aces, all while juggling a full time golf commitment. She placed 9th overall as an individual in Districts for girls Varsity golf. According to her golf coach, Tayten is a committed student athlete and always gives it her best. Oftentimes, you would see her lugging her golf clubs across 62nd Avenue in an attempt to get a few holes in or at least hit the driving range after volleyball practice. Finally, I told her I was driving her to golf practice. But she didn’t complain about having to do this, she just wanted to get better and accepted this as part of her path to do so. She earned the Crusader Award for the girls golf team this past fall.
On the soccer field, she was the backbone of the defense and a key player on the team. Known for her speed and aggressive play, the coaches knew that her versatility was a key for them. She was able to transition and play any position on the field, even goalie. Her field presence is going to be counted on for years to come. For her efforts, and tenacious play, she earned the Best Defensive Player Award.
A starter on the softball team, Tayten is once again known as a versatile player. She catches, plays 3rd base, and is also an amazing outfielder. She is batting .333, with 4 home runs, 28 runs batted in, and a team leading 17 stolen bases. She was nominated as the Pinellas County Player of the Week earlier this year. Her command behind the plate is something her pitchers look for and appreciate as they approach each game. She is looking to add to her resume this week as she aims to win her first state title as a Crusader as only a ninth grader. For all of these accomplishments, effort, commitment, and dedication, I am proud today to present to you the Female Athlete of the Year, Tayten Moore.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
A steady scorer, Percy averaged 21.3 points per game this season, ninth-best among Class 2A players. He scored 30 or more points four times, including a career-high 52 against Bell Creek Academy. Those performances helped Percy finish his high school career with 1,346 points. He was named the 2020-21 Pinellas Private School Player of the Year and 1st Team All-Conference for the second straight year.
PTP III, congratulations! Many people see the steady scorer you are, but not many get a chance to see the sacrifice you made and the toll you put on your body to be able to compete in practice and in games. While people will remember you for lights out shooting, your teammates and I will remember the game against Cambridge Christian and St Pete Catholic when your body gave up on you and had you laying out on the locker room floor in pain but yet you managed to play 32 minutes both nights. We will remember the second half of the season where you played through a groin injury that wouldn’t heal because you refused to miss practice to allow it to heal. Throughout this time of injury, you remained first in sprints each and every practice. The tough grit you displayed every day in practice and games is the toughness I hope your teammates and now friends, family, and teachers will remember you by. Thank you for displaying the Blue Collar mindset. You deserve this award. I couldn’t be prouder of you.
Male Athlete of the Year: Percy Pedersen III