2018 WESPY Awards Winners Honoured At Biggest Most Diverse Ceremony Yet

The 13th Annual WESPY Awards (Windsor Essex County Sports Persons of the Year Awards) winners were honoured at the biggest most diverse ceremony yet at the Caboto Club on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Each year the awards ceremony pays tribute to the Windsor Essex sports community including athletes, coaches, teams, volunteers, and administrators from all disciplines. WESPY Awards winners fell into a wide range of categories including Athlete of The Year, Parasport Athlete of The Year, and Volunteer of The Year, to Leadership of The Year, Courage and Determination Award, and new this year, Gymnast of The Year Award.

To celebrate the addition of gymnastics, this year’s keynote speaker was Romanian-born Nadia Elena Comăneci, the first gymnast in history to score a perfect 10. Nadia pulled off the feat during competition while at the 1976 Olympic Summer Games in Montreal. Nadia gave an inspirational talk and was interviewed by WESPY Awards founder Domenic Papa in front of the huge crowd.

Nadia Comaneci with Dom Papa during 2018 WESPY Awards ceremony.

Nadia Comaneci speaks while being interviewed by Domenic Papa during the annual WESPY Awards ceremony at the Caboto Club on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

“Tonight all of you are part of history,” said Domenic Papa as he opened the ceremony. “This is our largest crowd ever to come and celebrate the great sports community we have. We’ve got about 30 different sports organizations represented. We’ve got the best of the best and as we say every year, win or lose, just to make it this far is an accomplishment in itself.”

When Nadia Comăneci took the stage she said, “I feel an amazing connection to Canada because this is where I scored a perfect ten.” Addressing the sports community she stated, “it’s (WESPY) a great way to celebrate all of you and to inspire a new generation of gymnasts. I understand for the first time this year you have an award for gymnastics.”

The first person to receive the gymnastics award was Rose City Gymnastics’, Lindsay Chia. “I feel so honoured, it’s really such a special thing to receive, especially receiving it from Nadia Comăneci, the first gymnast to receive a perfect ten, this means everything,” Lindsay told us. “I think it’s amazing what they (The WESPYs) are doing , just giving athletes a little bit of recognition.”

The 2018 WESPY Award Winners are:

Major Award Winners 13th Annual WESPY Awards

Athlete of the Year

Karlie Moore – Sandwich S.S. / Border City Athletics Club
Andrew Garant – Windsor Clippers Lacrosse (male co-winner)
Lionel Sanders – Triathlete / Ironman Competitor (male co-winner)

2018 WESPY Athletes of The Year (Andrew Garant, Karlie Moore, and Lionel Sanders).

2018 WESPY Atheltes of The Year Winners holding their awards at the Caboto Club on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. From left to right Andrew Garant (not present but award accepted by his father, Barry Garant, pictured here), Karlie Moore, and Lionel Sanders. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Ken Dryden Executive of the Year Award

John Savage – Memorial Cup Committee / Windsor Spitfires

John Savage 2018 WESPY Ken Dryden Executive of the Year Award winner.

John Savage of the Memorial Cup Committee / Windsor Spitfires, holding the 2018 WESPY Ken Dryden Executive of the Year Award at the Caboto Club on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

Mickey Renaud Captain’s Leadership Award

Amanda Simke – Windsor Lancers Softball

Amanda Simke holding her 2018 WESPY Award

Windsor Lancers softball pitcher, Amanda Simke, holding her 2018 WESPY Mickey Renaud Captain’s Leadership Award at the Caboto Club on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Team of the Year

Holy Names High School Football

Holy Names High School Football WESPY Team of the Year Award Winners.

The 2018 winners of the Team of the Year WESPY Award Holy Names High School football team representatives holding their award at the Caboto Club on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, Photo Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Knobby Knudsen Volunteer of the Year

Melanie Cardinal – Sandwich S.S.
Egidio Mosca – Caboto Club Soccer
Jim Morgan – Windsor Clippers

Knobby Knudsen Volunteer of the Year 2018 WESPY Award Winners, Jim Morgan, Melanie Cardinal, and Egidio Mosca

Knobby Knudsen Volunteer of the Year 2018 WESPY Award Winners, pictured from left to right, Jim Morgan, Melanie Cardinal, and Egidio Mosca at the Caboto Club on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

McTague Law Firm Award for Courage and Determination

Bob Daragon (1978 Montreal Expos baseball farm team, recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease)

Bob Daragon, holding his 2018 WESPY McTague Law Firm Award for Courage and Determination

1978 Montreal Expos prospect, Bob Daragon, holding his 2018 WESPY McTague Law Firm Award for Courage and Determination at the Caboto Club on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

John DeNapoli Sports Community Service Award

Rob McIntyre – Holy Names High School football team head coach

Rob McIntyre with John DeNapoli family during 2018 WESPY Awards.

John DeNapoli Sports Community Service 2018 WESPY Award presented to Rob McIntyre by the late John DeNapoli’s family (wife Sonia, and daughters Amanda, Allessandra and Alexia) at the Caboto Club on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Female Legacy Award

Marilyn Holland

2018 Female Legacy WESPY Award winner Marilyn Holland with WESPY sponsors.

2018 Female Legacy WESPY Award winner Marilyn Holland with WESPY sponsors at the Caboto Club on March 20, 2018. From left to right Jim Lucier (Lucier Glove & Safety Products), Brad Hearn (The Fort Fun Centre), Marilyn Holland, Charlie Hotham (Hotham Building Materials), Dan Reiner (Reiner’s Guaranteed Collision Centres). Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Unifor Local 444 & 2458 Male Legacy Award

Eddie Chittaro

Eddie Chittaro 2018 WESPY Legacy Award

2018 Unifor Local 444 & 2458 Male Legacy WESPY Award winner Eddie Chittaro holding his award at the Caboto Club on March 20, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Coach of the Year

Rocky Thompson – Windsor Spitfires (not in attendance for the event)

Individual Awards 13th Annual WESPY Awards

Dennis Fairall Track & Field Award

Karlie Moore – Sandwich S.S. / Border City Athletics Club
Corey Bellemore – Windsor Lancers

Ed Jovanovski Hockey Award

Krystin Lawrence – Windsor Lancers
Michael DiPietro – Windsor Spitfires

Baseball & Softball Award

Lauryn Debono – Windsor Wildcats (softball)
Kyle Breitner – St. Clair College / Tecumseh Thunder Sr.s (baseball)

Soccer Award

Melanie Jubenville – St. Clair College
Jamar Kelly – Windsor TFC

Tim Hommel Volleyball Award

Caylee Parker – Riverside S.S. / Genesis Volleyball Club
John Moate – Windsor Lancers

Swimming Award

Maddie McDonald – Windsor Aquatic Club / Walkerville S.S.
Ethan Fazekas – Windsor Aquatic Club

Parasport Athletes Award

Matthew Debly – Wheelchair Rugby Canada

Wrestling Award

Brooke Fletcher – Tecumseh Vista Academy / Windsor Wrestling Club
Alex Dufour – L’Essor High School / L’Essor Wrestling Club

Golf Award

Jasmine Ly – Kingsville Golf & Country Club / Holy Names High School
James Hill – Beach Grove Golf & Country Club

Basketball Award

Emily Prevost – Windsor Lancers
Maurice Jones – Windsor Express

Gino Fracas Football Award

Brandon Reaume – Windsor AKO Fratmen

John Ferguson Circle of Seven Horseman Award

Lindsey Kerr

Gymnastics Award

Lindsay Chia – Rose City Gymnastics

Lindsay Chia interviewed by WE-TV during WESPY Awards ceremony.

First ever WESPY Gymnast of the Year Award Winner, Lindsay Chia, being interviewed by Aaron Sanders of WE-TV. (Windsor Essex television) during the WESPY Awards at the Caboto Club on Monday, March 20, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Ed Jovanovski Hockey WESPY Award winners Krystin Lawrence and Michael DiPietro

Ed Jovanovski Hockey WESPY Award winners Krystin Lawrence (left) and Michael DiPietro (right) during the awards ceremony at the Caboto Club on March 20, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Domenic Papa with Nadia Comaneci at the 2018 WESPY Awards.

Dom Papa on stage with Nadia Comaneci during the 2018 WESPY Awards at the Caboto Club on March 20, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

WESPY Awards 2018 Organizers

2018 WESPY Awards organizers in a group picture on stage at the Caboto Club on March 20, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

For our complete 2018 WESPY Awards photo gallery please visit the Eyes On Windsor Facebook Page where we have posted 71 photos.

For more information about the WESPY Awards please visit: http://thewespys.ca

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