© Phil Matusiewicz
Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis, left, and Sport P.E.I. president Tracey Clements, right, present Jeff Ellsworth with the Lieutenant Governor's Award at the Sport P.E.I. awards Wednesday evening in Charlottetown. Ellsworth, of Brooklyn, also won the senior male athlete of the year and the Bill Halpenny awards.
Brooklyn native receives senior male, Lieutenant Governor's, Bill Halpenny awards
Jeff Ellsworth went 3-for-3 on the Sport P.E.I. awards stage Wednesday in Charlottetown, safely earning the senior male athlete of the year, the Lieutenant Governor's Award and the Bill Halpenny awards.
All were rewards for his combined exploits on the softball field as an outfielder with Team Canada and Hill United Chiefs.
Ellsworth, of Brooklyn, led Canada to the International Softball Federation championship in Saskatchewan and a gold medal at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
He said the squad had the right mojo in April and was buying what Team Canada coaches were selling.
"Everyone came into (training) camp in great shape and hungry to get Canada back on top. We couldn't wait to get on the field," Ellsworth said.
He also earned a third world title with the Chiefs and a silver medal at the Canadian championships with the East Hants Mastodons of Nova Scotia.
Ellsworth turns 40 before the next men's world softball championship in 2017 in Whitehorse, Yukon.
He's contemplating retirement before then, but Team Canada head coach John Stuart put him on Canada's 40-man athlete pool in case he stays in the field, which Ellsworth said was a great honour that the coaching staff would want him to "still be a part of it."
As to the awards, Ellsworth had no preference. All are meaningful, he said.
"They're all (good). It's a real big honour just to win one, but to win three... the boys on Team Canada will love it."
Other winners included hockey's Shannon MacAulay (senior female), squash's Emma Jinks (junior female), triathloner Martin Sobey (junior male), wrestling's Veronica Keefe (intercollegiate female) and baseball's JP Stevenson (intercollegiate male).
If Ellsworth is nearing the end of his playing career, then 15-year-old Emma Jinks' is heating up.
The squash player from Stratford won the junior female award for nabbing the under-15 national crown, finishing second in the under-17 division at a meet in Germany and helping the P.E.I. girls team place fifth at the Canada Winter Games.
"I was up against such great athletes (field hockey's Abby MacLellan, wrestling's Hannah Taylor) so it's really an honour. I'm really excited," said Jinks. "(It's) going on my wall. It's going to be in a very special place."
Jinks is part of the squash-playing Jinks family in Stratford. Her brother, Connor, was nominated for the junior male award while her father, Lester, is a regular winner in the masters division.
Emma began in the sport at eight years old, but said she didn't fathom her talent until she won the under-13 national title two years ago.
"I didn't understand the hugeness of what I'd just done."
For now, Jinks is back to training and prepping for what's to come, and so far things are looking good after a solid result at an under-19 tourney recently in Ontario.
"I finished second and beat out some of the top seeds," she said.
On the web at www.sportpei.pe.ca.
Sport P.E.I. award winners presented Wednesday in Charlottetown.
Intercollegiate female - Veronica Keefe (wrestling)
Intercollegiate male - JP Stevenson (baseball)
Junior female - Emma Jinks (squash)
Junior male - Martin Sobey (triathlon)
Senior female - Shannon MacAulay (hockey)
Senior male - Jeff Ellsworth (softball)
Inspiration Award - Scott Chandler (gymnastics)
President's Award - Jim Rand (gymnastics)
Premier's Award for sports organization of the year - Holland College athletics department
Bill Halpenny Award for international excellence - Jeff Ellsworth
Lieutenant Governor's Award - Jeff Ellsworth
Official - Kent Walker (baseball)
Coach - Judy Hale (biathlon)
Administrator - Mike James (ringette)
Masters athlete - Tom Nicholls (powerlifting)
Team - Charlottetown Islanders (baseball)