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Colton Prete honoured for dedication to rugby

Colton Prete received the Steven J. Tolley Memorial Award for dedication to rugby on June 5 at F.P. Walshe school's Blue and White Night.

An F.P. Walshe Flyers rugby player was honoured last week for his passion for the sport.
Colton Prete, a Grade 12 student, received the annual Steven J. Tolley Memorial Award on June 5 at the 25th annual Blue and White Night.
“The spirit of Steven Tolley’s love and passion for rugby is very well represented by this year’s recipient,” F.P. Walshe school athletic director and Flyers head coach Craig Patton said.
The award is given to an F.P. Walshe school student who has spent at least two years playing senior rugby for the Flyers boys team.
Steven Tolley died May 12, 2004 of cancer at the age of 25.
“Rugby was Steven’s true passion,” said Patton, who coached Tolley as a member of the Flyers and then welcomed his former player as an assistant coach. “He developed a love for the game and the spirit in which it is played.”
Patton told the audience Tolley was dedicated to rugby.
“Steven was the type of player who gave his all, whether it was in practices or games and tried his best whenever he stepped on the field,” Patton said.
Patton recalled Tolley’s drive and determination, noting he was a coachable player who was well liked and respected by coaches and teammates.
Patton also noted that Tolley took to coaching with a passion and enjoyed working with the younger players.
“I’m sure that he’d still be coaching if he was here, but I know that he is coaching up there,” Patton said.
“Colton’s passion and love of the game of rugby most characterizes Steven’s love and passion for the game,” Patton said.
Prete in 2012 was a Southern Alberta High School Rugby League all-star at scrum-half and at Blue and White Night shared the Flyers’ MVP award with Nathan Orr.
Rugby Alberta have invited Prete to try out for a provincial team that will travel to Japan this summer for a sevens tournament.
“He really has taken on this passion all on his own, and he’s developed his passion and skills,” Patton said of Prete, who took up the game in Grade 8 after moving to Fort Macleod. “He claims to many that know him, that both volleyball and basketball are really just a warm-up to the rugby season. He goes everywhere with a rugby ball in hand and has met several people in his travels who have gravitated to Colton and the rugby ball he carries.”
Like Tolley, Prete enjoys working with younger teammates and sharing his knowledge and passion for the game.
“Younger teammates love to work with Colton because he is so easy to get along with and he comes to every practice ready and willing to work his hardest and set the standard of play,” Patton said.
Patton said Prete never let Grade 12 commitments or nagging injuries interfere with his preparations for games, showing teammates the importance of practice and game conditioning.
“He is never one to complain and sucks it up all the time,” Patton said.

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