Bernath Knight of the Year


By Josh Howald

Derrick Bernath is 2014 Knight of the Year.

Marley Martyn, left, and Derrick Bernath were honoured last week at the KDSS Awards Assembly as Sportsperson of the Year and Knight of the Year, respectively. (Josh Howald photo)


Bernath was honoured with the award on Wednesday morning at the Kincardine District Secondary School awards assembly.

Being "knighted" was the logical next step for Bernath, a fifth-year student who is off to Lambton College in September to study Power Engineering. In the past, he has been named KDSS junior athlete of the year and senior athlete of the year.

"Honestly, it means a lot to me," said Bernath on Wednesday afternoon. "It's a big award and I really wasn't expecting it. By the end of these last five years here, I think I've grown into the person I am now. I guess people realized the role I played on our teams, and the work I put in. It is nice to be recognized."

The award shouldn't come as a total shock to Bernath, an athlete who led Kincardine's senior teams in a variety of sports this season. He starred in basketball, volleyball, soccer and track and field. The kid can jump, an ability that certainly helped him play the roles he did. He was also a member of the Carruthers Nicol Insurance Kincardine Junior C Bulldogs last season.

This year, Bernath won a Bluewater Athletic Association title in long jump. In other years, he has advanced to the OFSAA provincial track and field championships. This year he helped KDSS to a BAA soccer title and a CWOSSA silver medal in volleyball.

He counts his trips to OFSAA track and field as the highlights of his athletic career at KDSS, and over the past year, the CWOSSA silver medal in volleyball.

Bernath was quick to praise both his coaches and teachers for their assistance over the past five years.

"My teachers have been so great, helping us get caught up for missing so much class for games," he said.

Bernath was an honour student, showing well-rounded school involvement to meet the criteria for Knight of the Year. He said playing sports gave him something to look forward to every week at KDSS.

"I'd also like to thank my parents and brothers for all of the hours driving me places and pushing me to become a better student, athlete and person," said Bernath.

Bernath hasn't yet decided if he will suit up for the Junior C Bulldogs next season and commute, or perhaps try out for the college soccer and volleyball teams.

Marley Martyn, meanwhile, will return to KDSS for another year, which will please KDSS coaches.

Martyn was named KDSS' Sportsperson of the Year at the same assembly last week.

Martyn was a standout for the KDSS basketball, volleyball, soccer, track and field and figure skating teams in the past year.

Martyn captained the KDSS girls basketball team to a first ever OFSAA appearance this school year, leading the Knights to a perfect regular season record, a CWOSSA A championship and a berth in the provincial finals, held near Cornwall. Martyn said the OFSAA berth was the highlight of her four years at KDSS thus far.

In addition to the CWOSSA basketball title, Martyn helped the Knights to a CWOSSA silver medal in volleyball, a BAA championship in soccer and a surprise CWOSSA silver medal in soccer.

"Sports are an easy way to form new friendships," she said Wednesday afternoon. "I've met a lot of great people over the last four years. Sometimes it's hard to stay positive all the time as a leader. The award is special to me, it shows that hard work can pay off."

Martyn is also an honour student, and will have some hard work in front of her again next year at the school. She will be the only returning player to the basketball team. It could be a tough season after losing most of the roster to graduation. But the volleyball team will be competitive, led by Martyn.

"I should say thanks to all our coaches," said Martyn. "Without them, we wouldn't be able to play at all."

KDSS also doled out its other major athletic awards on Wednesday. Senior Male Athlete of theYear was Craig Luinstra, while soccer star Andrea Plagos was named Senior Female Athlete of the Year. Jacob Lange won Junior Male Athlete of the Year and multi-sport athlete Bethany Wilken - who saw some action with the senior girls basketball team as a Grade 9 - was named KDSS Junior Female Athlete of the Year.