Clearly, when Carlee Harrison and Gradyn Bowd surveyed the list of available activities when they enrolled at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School a few years ago, they didn’t instruct themselves to ‘pick a sport, any sport.’
The duo didn’t settle on just one or even two sports — they virtually ran the gamut.
Harrison, who was named Lindsay Thurber female athlete of the year Wednesday evening, played volleyball, basketball and badminton, and competed in cross-country skiing and track and field.
“I really love the team sports. There’s a sense of family with a team that is just so amazing. An athlete can’t ask for anything more,” said Harrison, who was also named most valuable player with the Raiders senior girls basketball team and was the recipient of the Raider award with the volleyball squad.
Harrison will attend Grande Prairie Regional College later this year, where she will study kinesiology and suit up with the Wolves women’s basketball team. She’ll miss Red Deer and her Lindsay Thurber ‘family’.
“I’ll always remember the people here, the friends I made and the coaches I had. They just all made such an impact on my life,” she said.
“It’s a great honour to be up on the wall here with all of the other people who have been recognized as athletes of the year, and it’s just a real good end to my years in the athletics program at Lindsay Thurber.”
Bowd, Thurber’s 2010 male athlete of the year, was even busier than Harrison during his high school years, participating in cross country running, badminton, tennis and track and field, and competing with the Raiders senior boys volleyball, basketball, handball and rugby teams.
“Ever since I was little I’ve always liked to try different sports. Might as well . . . it’s fun and keeps you fit,” said Bowd, who this year shared basketball MVP honours with Ryan Clark, was the school’s badminton male MVP, picked up the Raider Award for handball and is a solid favourite to be named MVP of the rugby squad.
Speaking of the rugby Raiders, they’ll be in Lethbridge this weekend for the provincial championship tournament. The Thurber crew, who open against Namao Stugeon Comprehensive at 1 p.m. Friday, is a medal favourite and the players, Bowd included, won’t be satisfied with anything less than gold.
“Yeah, the provincials. Winning there is my main goal now. To bring home the gold would be huge,” said Bowd. “Rugby is definitely one of my favourite sports. I like the physical contact . . . everything about the sport just draws me to it.”
Bowd hopes to take his fondness for the sport to another level next fall. After suiting up with the Red Deer Titans men’s team this summer, he plans on heading to Newfoundland to play rugby in the fall.
“My coach with the Raiders, Dean Plant, knows a national team coach there (Newfoundland) and I’ll e-mail him and see if I can make a deal to play in the provincial league,” said Bowd.
“From there, I’ll see where life takes me. I might go to school the following year and hopefully I’ll be playing rugby the whole time.”
Asked what he’ll miss about Lindsay Thurber, Bowd replied: “Everything . . . I love it here. There’s just such a great atmosphere with all of the coaches and players. There’s nothing negative about the school. You always feel welcome here.”
Rounding out the list of major award winners Thursday were Grade 9 female and male athletes of the year Sefrah Daviduck and Cole Visser, and Curtis McKee Memorial Award recipient Charlie Jacobson.