Superstar athlete crowned

TRIUMPHANT KISS: Liam Hodge of Runnymede Collegiate Institute celebrates the crowning achievement of being named the Town Crier’s overall Athlete of the Year.

Runnymede’s Liam Hodge wins overall Athlete of the Year

A twinge of anxiety was running through Liam Hodge’s body when he didn’t hear his name called at the Town Crier’s 25th annual Athlete of the Year awards.

The Runnymede Raven was intently listening as attendees from 66 area high schools received plaques, wondering when he would be asked down from his perch at EDO Japanese Fine Dining June 15.

“When I was sitting there, I thought they forgot to call my name and then they called me for the overall athlete of the year,” he said. “It was a bit nerve-wracking.”

But ask Hodge if he suffers from butterflies on the field or in the classroom, and the shy 17-year-old will give you a wry grin.

“I don’t usually get that nervous when I’m playing sports.”

That’s apparent as he grabbed two javelin golds and two discus silvers at the regional and TDSSAA track and field meets.

Not one to dabble in just those summer games, he also takes to the pool and led his boys volleyball team to OFSAA.

His repeated provincial competition appearances earned him the Colin Hood award.

Still, Hodge credits his busy childhood with his excellence in sports.

“I’ve played since as far as I could remember,” he said. “I would just play outside when I was a kid. I’d go to the park and play baseball, soccer, whatever.

“I just joined all the school teams I could because I liked it so much.”

That dedication to sports wasn’t just reserved to playing them either; he helped coach the junior girls volleyball team this year.

But his biggest score this season was his 96-percent average in the classroom. Not one to shy away from contributing to school life, Hodge was also the student council president in grade 11.

What’s next? Engineering at Queen’s. But he’s hesitant on which route to take.

“I’m not sure yet, probably mechanical,” he said.

There’s only one problem though.

“They don’t have javelin or discus for track and field in university because it’s an indoor track,” Hodge said. “I might try something new if I can.”

That something new, it turns out, is picking up the oars.

“A lot of people don’t have experience at rowing until they get to university so I might try that out if they let me,” he said.

Even though he’ll have a lot on his schedule between academics, pursuing new sports and meeting new people, Hodge said he’ll miss his teachers and friends at Runnymede.

“Nobody’s coming to Queen’s with me,” he said, jokingly sucking back tears.

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