Ko­diak women to name schol­ar­ship in hon­our of team­mate

Lethbridge Herald - - HERALD SPORTS - Dale Woodard LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

Be­fore they serve up their Al­berta Col­leges Ath­letic Con­fer­ence sea­son tonight, the Leth­bridge Kodiaks women’s vol­ley­ball team will hon­our the mem­ory of one of their own.

Prior to tonight’s game against the Medicine Hat Rat­tlers at 6 p.m. at the Val Mat­teotti Gym­na­sium, the Kodiaks will un­veil a ban­ner to hon­our Em­malee Cher­we­niuk, who was killed in a car ac­ci­dent in March fol­low­ing her rookie sea­son with the Kodiaks.

Cher­we­niuk’s fam­ily — which in­cludes cur­rent Ko­diak Sianna Cher­we­niuk — will be on hand as the Kodiaks will an­nounce the cre­ation of a new schol­ar­ship in her name, spon­sored by the Ko­diak Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion, which will go to one Kodiaks player each sea­son for at least the next three sea­sons.

“Go­ing into any sit­u­a­tion you don’t ex­pect to lose a mem­ber of your team or your fam­ily,” said Kodiaks head coach Anna Sch­wark. “So that’s been hard. But I think we’re all very ex­cited to hon­our her on Fri­day. It’s some­thing we’re look­ing for­ward to. I’m re­ally proud of th­ese girls. They showed strength and re­silience and bounced back so well. I’m re­ally proud of them and I think Em­malee would be re­ally proud of them, too. So I’m re­ally ex­cited for Fri­day as much as I am sad, just to have the op­por­tu­nity to hon­our her.”

The schol­ar­ship is a fit­ting touch to an ath­lete who suc­ceeded just as much in the class­room as she did on the vol­ley­ball court.

“Em­malee ex­celled on the court, but she was a great stu­dent as well,” said Sch­wark. “She made a lot of mean­ing­ful con­nec­tions with her in­struc­tors and her class­mates. So hav­ing some­thing to give back to stu­dent ath­let­ics is awe­some and an added bonus. Not only are we think­ing of her, we’re think­ing of peo­ple who em­u­late what she stood for as a stu­dent/ath­lete and it gives them a re­ward. So it’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to have that.”

As she be­gins her fourth sea­son with the Kodiaks, Sianna said her team­mates have ral­lied around her.

“We grew to­gether as a team, th­ese girls are my new sis­ters. I have 15 other sis­ters this year. So we’re just build­ing from that and the love we have for each other. It’s go­ing to be a great sea­son. Ev­ery­body is so close, it’s like a true fam­ily.”

The pregame cer­e­mony for Em­malee will take place at ap­prox­i­mately 5:50 p.m.

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