Since graduating St. Mary St. Cecilia elementary school and moving on to St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Cornwall, South Dundas’ 14-year-old Camrin Connors is determined to pursue her own kind of greatness. Camrin is a front row student, celebrating her graduation of elementary school this past spring with a number of awards, among them the Top Female Athlete and the prestigious Peter van Moorsel Catholic Trustee Award on which is engraved “… to the student who has displayed our gospel values through his or her helpful actions, positive attitude and generosity … … this student is respected by and relates well with adults, peers and the entire school population …”.
Growing up with three very athletic brothers who she more than holds her own among, Camrin signed up for hockey as an eight-year-old. That lasted four years, until she discovered football. And she’s been playing with the Cornwall Wildcats organization since, one of a very small handful of female players in the organization.
Earlier this fall Camrin gathered up her courage. This brand spanking new, 5’ 7” - 135 pound first year grade nine student went to the St. Joe’s football coach, Sheldon McDougal, and announced she wanted to try out for the St. Joe’s Panthers Junior Football team. A first for the school. And she became the first girl, and a defensive linebacker at that, not only to try out but to make the team. Playing defensive football for St. Joseph’s Panthers, as a regular. No riding the bench for this gal from South Dundas who also spends her off-school hours modelling at photo and make-up sessions.
Sheldon McDougal called Camrin’s parents, John and Kristy, announcing that the team, so pleased with their talented new find, was including a senior student on bus trips to away games so their daughter was not left-alone to dress and prepare for games.
Kristy, who not only loves a good laugh but appears most comfortable when she’s around her kids, was laughing when she said “We were told they had never had a girl around the team before.” The wheels were turning in a humorous manner of course imagining, the boys fumbling around in an effort to please, as boys do.
“I am so proud of our girl,” Mama Connors told us, “She did this on her own, she never asks for more than the chance to be a team player, and she’s accomplished what she set out to do. What more can we expect?”
“When I went out to try-out,” says Camrin, “All the guys were okay with it. I’m used to playing on boys teams and everyone makes jokes, but after I hit a few of my teammates in practice, we’re pretty equal on the jokes back and forth.” In talking to Camrin Connors one comes away very clear on what is most important. And that is that she is a member of a team where everyone is included equally. First!
Camrin’s Grade Eight home-room teacher at St. Mary St. Cecilia last season, Leanne McCooeye, who too mentors and coaches and is very honestly no slouch in supporting young people, was ecstatic at the news of Camrin Connors making the football team.
“I love it!”, announced McCooeye, “To be the first girl to accomplish that is an awesome statement!”
We salute Camrin Connors on her accomplishments and her athletic endeavors. She makes us very proud that she is making her entire student body, her school and all of her community proud. And she no doubt has made at least one more young lady wonder, and dream, and develop that awesome drive that compels young people to succeed and pursue their own happiness. Good on you Camrin!!!
Note: Our thanks to the unbelievably talented Erica Nelson-Quibell of LaaDeeDaa Studios in Morrisburg . . .