Josh Janssen turned in an eye-popping statistical season with the Sardis Falcons football team and was a key player on the b-ball team as well, earning him the school’s Senior Male Athlete of the Year award. (Eric J. Welsh/ The Progress)

Melissa Palmer and Josh Janssen headline Sardis Falcon athletic awards

The secondary school announced several award winners in a series of videos

Sardis secondary school handed out its annual athletics awards last week, sort of.

There was no physical awards banquet because of COVID-19 and no trophies changing hands, but athletes from nine sports and 19 teams were recognized in a series of videos.

The highlights were the senior boys and girls athletes of the year.

The Senior Female Athlete of the Year award went to soccer star Melissa Palmer, described in her video as an outstanding student athlete, competitor and team leader.

Palmer was a three-year starter for the Sardis soccer squad and captained her crew in 2020.

She’ll be continuing her career as a new recruit with the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades.

The Senior Male Athlete of the Year award went to Josh Janssen, the number one quarterback with the Falcons football team and a key player on the senior boys basketball team.

READ MORE: UFV women’s soccer squad adds another Sardis grad

READ MORE: Sardis air attack humbles Okanagan-Mission Huskies

Adam Smith, who coached Janssen on both teams, said he was most impressed by the teenager’s leadership.

“You’re probably the hardest worker I’ve ever coached,” Smith said in a video. “To see you become a true servant-leader for your teammates and school has been nothing short of amazing.”

The Junior Female Athlete of the Year award was given to Sophia Klassen, a multi-sport star who excelled at soccer, cross-country and basketball.

“No matter what sport she plays, she makes the players around her better,” said award presenter and Sardis vice principal Paul Allenson in a video. “Her sportsmanship, work ethic and drive to improve exemplifies what makes a top athlete.”

The Junior Male Athlete of the Award was given to junior boys basketball standout Mateo Tuioti, who also played rugby with the senior boys squad.

“Probably one of the toughest and most competitive players I’ve ever coached,” said Sardis junior boys b-ball coach Kyle Graves in a video. “Mateo led our team in points. A lot of times he put our team on his back and carried us to victory. There’s no denying his work ethic when he’s on the court.”

For a full rundown of Sardis awards including team-by-team vids, check out


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