Anderson RDHS nominee for Dr. Parry Award

Mackenzie Anderson was Ridgetown District High School’s male nominee for the coveted Dr. Jack Parry Award.

Two Chatham students - Hudson DeNure of Chatham-Kent Secondary School and Jack Grochmal of Ursuline College – were named the winners at the annual ceremony in the UCC Theatre last Thursday.

The Dr. Parry Award is presented annually to the top graduating female and male secondary school students based on their athletic ability and achievements, maintaining a high academic standard, and community involvement.

All 10 secondary schools in Chatham-Kent are invited to nominate one female and one male athlete.RDHS did not nominate a female student-athlete.

Anderson excelled in several sports during his time at RDHS. He was a member of the Royals’ basketball, volleyball, hockey, badminton, and golf teams.

Anderson earned recognition as one of only a few Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program participants and is completing his Level 1 in General Carpentry.

“Mackenzie is a very determined and driven student-athlete,” read Anderson’s nomination form submitted by the school. “His positive attitude, discipline and willingness to put in hard work make Mackenzie a natural leader among his peers.”

“He is a tireless worker who has given many hours of his time to support our student council and athletic events, as well as assisting many local service groups,” the nomination read. “Mackenzie has taken his leadership strengths to higher levels of hockey, serving as an alternate captain with the Dresden Jr. C Kings.”

DeNure played six sports in her four years at CKSS, was a member of three SWOSSAA championship teams, and competed in five OFSAA tournaments,

Grochmal was a multi-medalist at CKSS and played at OFSAA in three sports: volleyball, basketball, and soccer.

DeNure and Grochmal received $1,000 scholarships from the Parry family, while Anderson and the other 15 nominees received $200 from event sponsors Texsavvy, Dajcor and CKXS FM99.1.

The awards are presented in memory of Dr. Jack Parry, a Chatham anesthetist who excelled in sports and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in the Second World War.

Dr. Parry won a Grey Cup with the Toronto RCAF Hurricanes in 1942. He was a medal favourite in the 1948 Olympics before an injury the day before the Games prevented his participation.

The Dr. Parry Award has been presented annually since 1994.

Three RDHS students have been Dr. Parry recipients over the years – Krista Planting in 1997, Jim Grozelle in 1998 and Lauren Edwards in 2018.

Michael Bennett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News