Sports High School Sports

Trojans hand out football hardware

By Josh Aldrich, Camrose Canadian

Nick Ioanidis is going to leave a big hole on the Camrose Composite High School Trojans football team when he graduates this spring. 


The Grade 12 running back was one of the Central Alberta High School Football League’s best this season, and on Thursday he was named the Trojans MVP. 

“He was just one of those kids who went about and did his business,” said Trojans head coach Adam Belanger. “He knew the offence so well he would correct people and go through and made sure everybody knew where they were supposed to be and just do whatever needed to be done.” 

He accounted for five touchdowns and more than 600 yards rushing on a team where everyone they lined up across from knew he was getting the ball 75 per cent of the time. 

Still, Ioanidis, 17, refused to take credit for his success this year. The Trojans knew they were going to have a run-based offence this year and built accordingly, and their offensive line improved in leaps and bounds as the year went on. 

“I definitely can’t do anything without the team … which is kind of what’s cool about the game,” said Ioanidis. “I get the glory, but it was definitely the whole team that gets this MVP award.” 

There is potential for Ioanidis at the junior level, though no decisions have been made. He does not have the prototypical size of a star running back who checks in at over six-feet tall, but he was able to use all of his five-foot-eight 185-pound frame to his advantage. 

“His biggest advantage is his leg size,” said Belanger. “He’s a shorter running back, but if you talk to a bunch of linebackers, and coming from a linebacker background, it’s hard to tackle because you have to get so much lower. Nick with a lower centre of gravity and those powerful legs of his, he could break through a lot of tackles … He was dragging four, sometimes five or six guys just by keeping his legs churning.” 

Regardless of what his next step in football cleats is, his time as a Trojan will always remain prominent. 

“This is what I will remember when I think back at high school,” said Ioanidis. “All different kinds of people play football, and that’s the coolest thing, because you become brothers and people you meet you might not have talked to otherwise.” 

Other award winners included Brock Dalke who was awarded the Trojan Pride, return man Dorain Gibbs was named Special Teams Player of the Year, receiver Scott Gillroy was awarded the Greatest Contribution with Least Recognition Award, Jason Bennett was most improved, Kevin Kittler was Rookie of the Year, offensive lineman Trey Gerhardt and defensive lineman Jesse Doutre were the Outstanding Linemen, Teryll Sherman and Tynan McCarthy were the Outstanding Backs. 

The Trojans are also submitting four players for the Central Alberta High School Football League as all-stars for the year-end banquet in Ponoka on Dec. 7 — Ioanidis, Sherman, McCarthy and Gerhardt. 

Many of these award winners will be back next season, giving the Trojans a positive foundation to build off of in 2018. 

“A lot of these guys from their first game in Wetaskiwin to the last one at home against Rocky Mountain House for the second time, it’s just miles and miles of difference,” said Belanger. “There’s going to be lots of work in the off-season to get them up to speed and some of them may choose to go play with the Battle River Shock to get an extra season of development there.”  

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