Central Sport announced their 2023 sport award winners on Saturday with plenty of familiar faces within the athletics community in Red Deer.
In partnership with the City of Red Deer and the Red Deer Advocate, the winners of the awards were chosen by a committee to recognize local athletes, teams, volunteers, and coaches.
They were presented at Xplore Sports Day at Capstone – Canada 150 Square on Saturday in front of a large crowd.
Female Athlete of the Year
The Red Deer Advocate Female Athlete of the Year was presented to Red Deer Polytechnic Queens soccer star Sein Furuyama.
As a rookie Furuyama took the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference by storm and made an immediate impact.
The pinnacle came when Furuyama set a new ACAC scoring record in a single season notching 29 goals in just 12 games. The import student from Japan made scoring look easy at times scoring six goals in a single game on three separate occasions.
This led the Queens to their first ACAC provincial title in program history and a berth to the national tournament. Some of her other awards include the ACAC South Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year.
Male Athlete of the Year
Red Deer Polytechnic Kings’ volleyball player Maddux Greves was named the Red Deer Advocate Male Athlete of the Year.
Over his time on the court in 2022 Greves stood out from the pack with his impressive play. He was named the 2021-22 ACAC Men’s overall athlete of the year and led the Kings to an ACAC provincial title and bronze at the CCAA national tournament.
In early 2022 he set an ACAC record with 14 aces in a single game and later went on to be named an all-star at nationals. He was also named the ACAC Men’s Volleyball South Player of the Year for 2022-23 and a CCAA all-Canadian.
Team of the Year
The Central Sport Team of the Year was presented to the Red Deer Catalina Swim Club.
In 2022 the Swim Club had a season to remember.
In March they took home the Medium Sized Team Championship banner at the Swim Alberta Provincial Championship. They also won the U12 male aggregate point award.
In April they had nine qualifiers at the Western Canadian Championships. During that meet the have 13 individual and five relay top 10 finishes.
Later in the year in July, the Swim Club had further success during the summer provincials. Out of the 25 qualifying swimmers they captured 13 gold, seven silver, and six bronze medals.
Two swimmers made Team Alberta at the 2022 Canada Games where they had four top 10 placements and two bronze medals.
Minor Coach of the Year
The Kendall Dunkle Minor Coach of the Year was presented to Nick Schultz of the Red Deer Central Lions Speed Skating Club.
The head coach of 30 skaters was described as caring, devoted, and one to make an effort to create a fun environment.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Schultz changed his practice plans in order to keep the club operational and the kids learning while other sports were unable to.
“Nick is enthusiastic and genuine in his love of Speed Skating and his care for the skaters and their families. He has dedicated himself to creating an inclusive sporting environment that welcomes and celebrates skaters of all ages and abilities,” as said in a media release.
“He embodies leadership, good sportsmanship, and enthusiasm for speed skating and an active and healthy life. Nick does not simply ‘strive to provide equal opportunities for each athlete, regardless of their ability’ – he ensures that these opportunities are a basic part of every single practice for every single athlete.”
Volunteer of the Year
The Central Sport Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Lynne Entz for her work with the Red Deer Curling Club.
While on the board of directors at the Curling Club, Entz has volunteered her time to go to various Red Deer public and catholic schools to instruct students about curling and increase awareness around the sport. Entz cares deeply about the sport and has 20 years of curling experience.
She is involved in two curling leagues as well as organizing the junior programs at the Red Deer Curling Club.
She is also a hockey mom and has been the treasurer for her children’s hockey teams.