By Ottawa Sports Pages, for Louis-Riel Rebelles
A soccer player and a volleyball player were Louis-Riel high school’s valedictorians, but Marius Doucet and Marie-Pierre Gauvin made up just a small part of the giant group of athletes who were honoured for their academic achievements during the graduation ceremony for the local school that’s well-known for its Sports-Study program.
“Since I’ve been at Louis-Riel, I’ve noticed that the students who participate in our Sports-Study program are among our highest academic achievers,” signals principal Andréa Mathieu. “I think it’s the balance between sports and their studies that allows them to perform so well.
“The students understand that practice and training are the keys to success in sports, and they realize that doing their homework helps them succeed in class, so I really believe that our model supports our students’ all-around success.”
The two valedictorians head the list of more than a dozen student-athletes who will pursue their sports at the next level next season – Doucet with the Nipissing University Lakers and Gauvin with the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes.
Here are some reflections from the new Sports-Study grads:
Nipissing University Lakers
“I’m looking forward to starting university. It’s exciting, but at the same time, it’s sad because I’ve got friends who I won’t be seeing every day any more. It’s a new start.”
Doucet will be a math major while also working on his teachers’ education degree. The athletic scholarship recipient wants to become a math teacher.
“It’s the best of both worlds for me. I love math and I love helping others, and I love playing soccer. In university, I’ll have practices every day, and I’m used to balancing school and sports thanks to my experience at Louis-Riel. It helped me stay disciplined.”
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes
“You work hard in the Sports-Études program. I learned so much that’s going to help me next year. I learned all kinds of lessons and I developed lots of good habits. And I really developed my skills well with the school’s coaches. It was wonderful.”
Anne-Gabrielle Ngo Mbock Edjane
Carleton University Ravens
“André Desjardins is a very good coach. He helped me a lot on a personal level with my self-esteem. When I came into the program, I was pretty shy, in life and also on the court. André really helped me take my place on the court instead of hiding, to show who I really am. That really helped me socially too. We have such a positive team. They’re all great people who accept you as you are. It’s a really great vibe.”
Ngo Mbock Edjane will study neuroscience when she joins the Canadian university national champions.
“I’ve always been interested in how the human body works. It was natural for me with my involvement in sport.”
Nipissing University Lakers
“Technically, as a player, the program got me prepared, just every way possible. The routine and the discipline – it’s going to help me a lot. I should be good next year with everything Joé Fournier’s taught me. I’m excited to go to Nipissing and I was so relieved to hear that Marius is coming with me because it could be lonely there, but at least I’ve got my friend.”
Inspired by his hikes with his grandparents and his love for the outdoors, Akinlolu will study environmental biology and technology.
“Because of its location, with the forest and everything, it’s a program that’s really nice for me, and it’s something I’m passionate about.”
Durham College Lords
“What I loved most about the program was waking up in the morning and knowing that I’m going to play volleyball, doing what I love and being with people that I love.”
Queen’s University Gaels
“I’ll always remember my team and all the training we did together and all the fun we had on road trips. And all the teachers too – there were so many people there who supported us.”
(Read an Ottawa Sports Pages 2023 High School Best Series profile on Katrina Renon here.)
There are several other Rebelles grads who will continue their sports pursuits at the next level. Among them are:
- Daylen Moses will return to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League
- Olivier Charest will play soccer for the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus
- Justin Akili will join Manitoba FC’s League Two lineup in the United Soccer Leagues
- Gigi Goulet will continue her basketball career with the Waterloo University Warriors
- Aïcha Hassan-Omar will also play basketball for the McGill University Martless
- Emma Lafrenière will study in the dance performance program at Toronto Metropolitan University
“It’s just such a pleasure for us to see so many students continue into university sport,” underlines Mathieu. “They are student who will keep on living their passions, not just at Louis-Riel, but now in university. That’s precisely our school’s mission and we couldn’t be any more proud.”
Learn more about the Louis-Riel Sports-Study program here.