Drew Bannister, a former Soo Greyhounds defenceman and coach, was honoured on Tuesday night as Sault Ste. Marie’s H.P. Broughton award winner as the city’s sportsperson of the year.
As coach of the Greyhounds during the 2017-18 Ontario Hockey League season, Bannister led the team to one of the best regular seasons in club history.
In his third season with the team as coach, Bannister helped the team to a 55-7-3-3 record, good for 116 points and top spot in the OHL standings.
With a victory over the London Knights on the final day of the regular season, the team set a new franchise record for wins (55).
The team led the OHL in goals with 317 and gave up 186, lowest in the league.
The team went unbeaten in regulation time in 29 consecutive games. The team also went on a run of 23 consecutive wins from Oct. 28 to Dec. 30. The team also won 27-straight games at home, which is the second-longest streak in OHL history to the Greyhounds undefeated season at home in 1984-85.
In the playoffs, Bannister led the team to the OHL final for the first time in 25 years.
For his work, Bannister was honoured following the season as the OHL’s coach of the year and was named the Canadian Hockey League coach of the year in May 2018.
In three seasons as coach of the Greyhounds, Bannister had a record of 136-15-13-5 and following the 2017-18 season, he was hired to coach the American Hockey League’s San Antonio Rampage.
Other nominees for the award included Mitchell Stadnyk, a standout football player with the University of Western Ontario, and the Sault College Cougars men’s hockey team.
The Russ Ramsay High School Sports Hall of Fame also welcomed two new members as Steve Baum and Shawn MacDonald were both inducted.
Korah Colts athlete Jordan Robinson-Wright was named the Walter Lowe winner as the city’s top male high school athlete while Liam Morassut of Superior Heights earned the B’Nai B’Rith award as the student best combining academics and athletics.
Korah won the Ross Winslade award as the high school accumulating the most combined points for all boys and girls sports.
The awards ceremony also saw the top male high school athletes honoured in each individual sport.
The award winners included:
- Badminton - Ryan Talvitie (Korah)
- Basketball – (shared) Bishop Whitmell (White Pines) and Matt Kment (Korah)
- Cross Country running - Mark Keenan (Superior Heights)
- Curling - Josh Hales (Superior Heights)
- Football - Jacob Jurich (Korah)
- Hockey - Dale Armstrong (St. Mary's)
- Soccer – (shared) Luke May (Korah) and Aiden Sicoli (St. Mary's)
- Track and Field - Liam Morassut (Superior Heights)
- Wrestling - Rob Guzzo (St. Mary's)