Beausoleil a shining example of coaching excellence
by Randy Pascal
On an evening in which Sudbury sporting excellence was celebrated, few encaptured all that is good about sport quite like Dale Beausoleil.
The long-time coach, most well-known for his work with the Cambrian Golden Shield Women's Volleyball program but equally as involved with the
young teams at Northeastern Public School where he teaches, edged out Trent Cull (Sudbury Wolves) and Peter Michelutti Jr (Sudbury
Nickel Capital Wolves) in being named winner of the Joe Drago Coach of the Year Award at the 2012 House of Kin Sports Celebrity Dinner.
Chatting with the media just moments after receiving the award for the first time in his illustrious coaching career, Beausoleil provided his "keys to
good coaching", covering a few areas that should be mandatory reading for anyone dealing with youth in sports.
"You have to care about your athletes, you have to make those athletes know that you're there for them," Beausoleil said. "There has to be that bond,
that trust, that they believe in you and you believe in them. And then, it's kind of neat to see where you can take them,"
In the case of the Shield, Beausoleil would help guide them to a 19-1 regular season mark, earning silver medals at the OCAA Provincial Championship.
While many grow frustrated with the lack of commitment, or energy, or focus, with the youth of today, Beausoleil is undeterred.
"There's so many kids that if you give them the opportunity, they're going to go that extra distance for you," he maintained. Yet Beausoleil was hardly
alone in earning accolades on this night.
OHL scoring leader Michael Sgarbossa was honoured as Professional Athlete of the Year, noting that while it's hard not to take notice of his
eye-popping stats, there really is far more to his game than that.
"I like to think that I work at it all, that you really have to practice your craft," stated the Sudbury Wolves' forward. "I like to think that I'm a
better defensive player than what I get credit for. Everyone sees the offense and the skill, but I take pride in playing well defensively, getting thrown
out in the last seconds to take a defensive draw."
With his NHL rights having been traded from the San Jose Sharks to the Colorado Avalanche last year, Sgarbossa prepares for the next step
in his hockey career, one which he hopes will keep him in the mile high state for many years to come.
"I have to be more consistent," he said. "Pro hockey is the same game every day. I have to get stronger, I have to mature a little bit and bring the
same game I did here in Sudbury to Colorado."
High School Female Athlete of the Year Samantha Cooper of Lockerby overcame the most serious injury of her basketball career in helping to
lead the Vikings to city titles in basketball, volleyball and soccer.
"It was hard to keep going, probably the worst injury I've ever had," said Cooper. "I was thinking "why me, why now?" Through it all, she persevered,
all while continuing her commitment to a training regimen that's as stringent as almost any athlete in the city.
"I am where I am today because of what I sacrifice and I don't regret any of it," she said. Male counterpart Brandon Shirk of Lasalle has become
the consumate high school athlete, enjoying the opportunity to partake in a variety of events, excelling, in particular, in track & field and basketball.
"Every year, you always see something you want to do," Shirk said. "But then you get to a certain point where you have to drop some sports. But it's
really the only time in life where you can do as many sports as you want, so I took advantage of that."
Coming off a seventh place finish in the final of the 400m race at the 2012 OFSAA Track & Field Championships in Brockville, Shirk now looks
forward to continuing his workouts at the University of Guelph come September.
Though Valley East native Jordan Carroll of the Sudbury Cubs ran away with the NOJHL scoring race this year, perhaps even more impressive
was the transition he made following three years of OHL action, a move that many a local junior has struggled with over the years.
"I came in with the same kind of attitude as I did in the OHL," said Carroll, named the 2012 winner of the Amateur Male Athlete of the Year. "Come in
every day and lay your heart out on the line and work as hard as you can."
A student at Laurentian University, Carroll is anxiously awaiting word on the possible re-instatement of the men's hockey program in the land of the
Voyageurs before deciding on his next step in hockey.
The Bill Roman Administration Award was a group affair, as organizers of the 2011 OFSAA Track & Field Championships in Sudbury were
selected. "Give a lot of the credit to Gilbert (Briscoe) (co-chair) and Shawn (Tilander) (co-chair)," said organizing committee Facilities
chair Denis Gauthier.
"They succeeded in bringing in key track people, but also other good organizers," he added. "It was a lot of fun. Sudbury has done some many OFSAA
championships in the past ten years. And teams just love coming here. It really exposes our city."
The remaining winners of the annual awards included:
Dr Fred W. Sheridan High School Team of the Year
Macdonald-Cartier Panthères girls soccer team (2011 OFSAA "A" champions)
Elite Athlete of the Year
Devon Kershaw (nordic skiing)
Amateur Import Athlete of the Year
Carling Zeeman (L.U. - rowing)
Manny Pasquale (L.U. - basketball)
Amateur Female Athlete of the Year
Cloe Lacasse (soccer)
Sheridan Family Team of the Year
Sudbury Nickel Capital Midget "AAA" Wolves
In addition to the various award winners, the evening also celebrated the induction of new members to the Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame, a group that
featured the following in 2012:
Alan Arkilander (Builder - curling)
Cummy Burton (Media)
Jim Piaskoski (Player - football)
John "Lefty" Barbeau (Player - baseball)
Jimmy Fox (Player - hockey)
Bill McDonagh (Player - hockey)
John Roberts (Administration - track & field)
Sudbury Hardrocks (Team - football)
Finally, Special Recognition Awards were presented to the Sudbury Skating Club (60 years), the Burgess Family (25 years of OHL ownership),
Berk Keaney Sr (59 years of community involvement) and the Sudbury Playground Hockey League (60 years).