Sanders named area’s top male athlete

Filed under: Sports |

SprtsAwards_fredby Fred Groves

One of the world’s top athletes, Harrow’s Lionel Sanders, couldn’t attend the Windsor Essex Sports Personality of the Year Awards (WESPY) last Tuesday evening, but his message, via video, came through loud and clear.

At the Windsor Essex Sports Personality of the Year Awards, Sanders was named the Male Athlete of the Year.

It was not an easy feat to accomplish as he had to rise above a couple of great athletes, including powerlifter Kelly Branton, who works in Essex, and Windsor Clippers’ Captain Logan Holmes.

“It’s a real great honour to win this award. It motivates me to win,” Sanders said during the well-attended award’s night at the Caboto Club.

Sanders is a humble man who has worked very hard to be the best triathlete in the world. He could not be there in person because he is off at another grueling meet.

“Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way,” he said.

There were a couple of other notables from the Essex area who were up for awards. Kelsey Balkwill was nominated in the top female track and field category and Kingsville’s Corbin Watson, a goalie with Canada’s Sledge Hockey Team, won the Passport Athletes Award.

One of the most prestigious awards, the Male Legacy Award, went to Woodslee’s Leo Paul, ‘Punky’ Bracken.

Bracken has been involved in sports for decades. As he accepted his award, he said, “I want to congratulate everyone who was nominated. It’s all about the kids.”

He had a funny story to share with the audience Tuesday about being asked by a ball player if he had ever played baseball professionally.

“I was asked if I ever made it to the Show. I said ‘yes, with the Orioles, the Woodslee Orioles.’”

WESPY Awards have been presented to several Essex-area recipients, including former 73’s head coach

Gil Langlois, who last year won the Award for Courage and Determination.

Others who have won along the way include R.J. Hotts, David Binder, Sandy Repko, David Byrne, Kyle Williamson, Lydia Congdon, Corey Beaulieu, and Jason Hernandez.