If you are seeking a positive, exuberant person who makes things happen, Port Moody Secondary teachers have a prime example — Gabby.
A leader in athletics and an influential, energetic force in the classroom, Gabby Sakowicz has made things happen in this the first half of her final high school year.
From the volleyball court to the field hockey pitch — and eager to resurrect the girls’ baskeball program next on her check list — Sakowicz is a student who her teachers praise eagerly and unprompted.
“She’s one of those people who is always positive, she always sees the positive side,” said Port Moody teacher Alex Devlin, who teaches leadership and PE. “Gabby’s a primary leader in our class and she does it her own way — does it be example, by encouraging others.”
This week she anchored Port Moody’s amazing field hockey run with a 2-1 victory over Dr. Charles Best for the senior girls District crown on Tuesday.
In net, Sakowicz made numerous big stops that put the Blues in a position to win, said coach Brian Evans.
“The key for us was Gabby,” said Evans. “She was in the zone.”
As a senior, the 17-year-old multisport athlete wanted to pack as many experiences into her final year as possible. In volleyball, Sakowicz has applied her knowledge and encouragement to lead the Blues to a playoff spot in the tough AAAA-girls circuit.
“Last year we didn’t win a single game and we were pretty down,” recalls Sakowicz. “We’ve won a couple of times this year with a very young team.”
The squad’s coach, Selwyn Tam said the team’s success and direction is pretty much a result of Sakowicz, who was a Team B.C. player and a Coquitlam Ducks product.
“Gabby’s a pretty awesome kid, she’s the on-floor leader and pretty much the coach too,” said Tam. “We’ve only got eight players and while she’s a libero, she stepped up and moved to setter and has carried the team.”
The shift to setter gave her a different role, but Sakowicz said it wasn’t a burden.
“Libero is always passing, while at setter you’re getting the ball almost every second touch,” she said. “At libero, I always want to go for the ball, but as setter you do a lot of waiting, waiting for your teammates to get you the ball.”
As to donning the mask and pads in hockey, the eager volunteer said she loves any position that’s under fire.
“What I like most is the other team thinks it’s going to score and they take their shot — and you save the day.
“It’s hard to explain I suppose; I just love being the last person and having my team’s back.”
Lewis, a retired teacher who doesn’t see the players in their student roles, said it didn’t take long to realize that his netminder was authentic in her passion and her focus.
“This is just her second year in the sport but she is such a natural athlete that it seems to have come easy for her. I give her pointers here and there, but my coaching of her was just to hand her a DVD of goaltending tips and see how she learned it.
“And she learned it. She’s the real deal.”
And while the accolades and rave reviews are abundant for her sporting achievements, Sakowicz’s positive influence transcends that arena, says Tam.
“She’s a natural leader and leads the biggest club (the Blue Force) in school — kids just follow her. On senior night we had some Grade 10s step up and do a presentation on her... She’s here to make a difference, and she does.”
A metro soccer player in Port Moody, Sakowicz said what she enjoys the most is contributing to her team.
“It has to be a team thing for me, I love being one of the girls,” she said. “There’s something special about being a Port Moody Blues.”
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