Blazers Teammates, Valleyview Scholars Honoured

Posted On Friday May 15, 2020

A group of Valleyview Secondary students who play for the Kamloops Blazers have been recognized for their outstanding academic achievements, including goalie Dylan Garand.

The Western Hockey League has named the Kamloops Blazers as the scholastic team of the year, and Garand has been named the WHL scholastic player of the year. The eight players completed 33 core courses with an average of 90.8 per cent and 49 overall courses with an average of 93.6 per cent. In January, three of them graduated early.

Garand, who was born and raised in Victoria, said he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t playing hockey. For the last two years he’s been attending VVS and playing for the Blazers, and he has maintained a 96 per cent average.

“I was just super happy for the opportunity to come to Kamloops to play, and for the chance to go to Valleyview,” said Garand. “I think they were the best teachers I’ve had in my life, they were so supportive with helping me stay on top of my school work when I had to miss classes.”

“We are so proud of how well all these players did with their studies,” said Barb Hamblett, Principal, Valleyview Secondary. “To have this team recognized this way on top of what they’ve managed to achieve on the ice this year means they have become top academic athletes. That’s pretty impressive.”

Hamblett points to their exacting schedules, including being up early for practice, then attending classes, and often having to leave partway through the day to travel for games, spending hours on the road.

“This is a hard-working group, they the defending BC division champions, they probably missed about 35 per cent of their class time and for them to receive these premier awards is really exciting” said Victor Bifano, Academic Advisor for the Kamloops Blazers. “It’s critical to acknowledge the collective effort it took to support these players from across the community, including at Valleyview Secondary, the teachers and their counsellor, Ariane Gavelin.”

“The Blazers continue to be leaders in the classroom among WHL member Clubs, guaranteeing that student athletes meet and exceed their academic potential consistent with the WHL Education Standards and Policies,” said the WHL website. “The academic standing of the Blazer players at Valleyview Secondary School continues to be a source of pride for the Blazers organization, community and the school. In the past 17 years, the Blazers have maintained a 100 percent high-school graduation rate.”

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