CORNWALL, Ontario – Local hockey player Jesse Winchester was named the top sports personality of 2019, winning the Jacques Richard trophy at the 55th annual Benson Lions Club Sports Awards dinner on Wednesday, May 8.
“I love this city (Cornwall). It’ s always supported me everywhere I’ve been. I come home because I love it here,” said Winchester.
Winchester, who was recently named top coach of the last two years with the Central Canada Hockey League, played his last NHL season in 2013-14. Winchester has played overseas, for the Cornwall Colts, Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers and in the NCAA Division. He has led the Brockville Braves to three top finishes over recent seasons.
Other top award winners of the evening included Isha Waheed, who picked up the Joe Assaly Award for top junior athlete alongside a Boxing award, and Braden Levac who scooped up the $1,000 RBC bursary with four additional awards spanning various sports.
Guest speaker of the evening was local two-time Olympian Michael Taylor, who finished 20th and 16th in the men’s k-1 events in lone canoe/kayak slalom at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics. Taylor has also won five national titles and placed successfully at global events throughout his career. During his speech, he encouraged athletes to strive and persevere towards their goals.
“The 55th Benson Cornwall Lions Club Sports Awards Dinner (celebrated) local youth, coaches and volunteers from dozens of sports,” read a Lions Club press release.
The following is a list of all winners from the evening:
CUCBA awards: Riley Andre (top male athlete), Jessica Barkley (top female athlete), Isabelle Beckstead (personality of the year).
Baseball: Michael Edwards (Black Sox award), Nathaniel Faubert (Si Miller award).
BMX: Carter Jackson (top rookie), Cohen Shail (most inspirational), Sam Drouin (top local rider).
Boxing: Isha Waheed.
Curling: Matthew Dupuis, Terry Lichty, Jonathan King and Charles Wert (members of the year), Bob Davis (top curler), Nicholas Guindon (youth curler).
Figure Skating: Mackenzie Mitschke (female), Anthony MacDonald (male), Carolyne Ravary (top volunteer).
Flag Football: Brandon Barr.
Football: Noah Cardinal (junior Wildcat), Xavier Uhr (junior Wildcat), Jeremy Latour (senior Wildcat), Alex Labonte (top coach), Natalie Cardinal (top volunteer).
Gymnastics: Victoria Simard.
High School Badminton: Braeden Levac (male), Amber Flannigan (female).
High School Basketball: Kaelin Larin (male), Caroline Kupczyk (female).
High School Cross Country: Cody Van Loon (male), Caroline Kupczyk (female).
High School Curling: Nicholas Guindon.
High School Football: Jordan Millward.
High School Golf: Braeden Levac.
High School Hockey: Nolan Shane (male), Sara-Michele Tremblay (female).
High School Rugby: Kelly Brissard.
High School Soccer: Braeden Levac (male), Alexandra Aubin (female).
High School Tennis: Braeden Levac.
High School Track and Field: Nicholas Chaput (male, Dave Dorman award), Elaina Read (female).
High School Volleyball: Brandon Lauzon (male), Olivia Haley (female).
Girls Hockey: Zoe Trahan (Sue Hickley award, $250), Kaylee Martin (Brian Tardiff Education Bursary, $500), Kristie Tate (Dick Mulligan award).
Boys Hockey: Malcolm Cooper (top player), Tom Cooper (top volunteer), Dr. Steven Deneka (top sponsor).
Hockey: Konnor MacCormick.
Multi Sports: Dale Witty.
Running: Caroline Samson Belair (female), Mark Williams (male).
Soccer: Hannah Flanagan (female), Brady Seguin (male), Lynn Caparelli (top volunteer).
Softball Girls: Alyssa Seguin (top player), Marc Besner (top coach/volunteer).
Triathlon: Sandra Marton Contant (female), Christian Belair (male).
Viking Volleyball: Emma Pinard.
Weightlifting: Brooke Lalonde.
Jacques Richard Memorial Trophy: Jesse Winchester.
Joe Assaly Award (top junior athlete): Isha Waheed.
RBC Bursary ($1,000): Braeden Levac.
Bill Bray Bursary ($500): Cloee L’Italien.
Ian Brodie Bursary ($250): Caroline Kupczyk.
Benson Friends of the Round Table award: Mike Pollard.
Joe St. Denis trophy: Madison Ruffo.