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Tasan Perry receives Tolley rugby award

Tasan Perry received the Steven J. Tolley Memorial Award during Blue and White Night at F.P. Walshe school.

A player who helped put the “United” in a Fort Macleod rugby program is this year’s recipient of the Steven J. Tolley Memorial Award.
Tasan Perry from Willow Creek Composite was honoured June 12 during Blue and White Night at F.P. Walshe school in Fort Macleod.
“It takes a lot of heart and guts to play rugby,” Southwest United coach Craig Patton said. “It’s a physical game, there’s not a lot of protective gear and it takes a special person to be able to do that.”
The team based at F.P. Walshe embraces players from other communities, including Claresholm, Pincher Creek, Cardston and Coalhurst.
The award celebrates the memory of Steven Tolley, a former F.P. Walshe player and coach.
Steven Tolley played five seasons with the F.P. Walshe team and graduated in 1996.
Tolley also played rugby for Alberta and the Lethbridge club, in addition to serving as an assistant coach with the Flyers and the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Rams.
“The sport of rugby was Steven’s true passion,” Patton said. “He developed a love for the game and the spirit in which it was played.”
Patton said when Tolley died of cancer in 2004, he left a legacy of excellence and dedication to rugby.
Tolley tried his best whenever he stepped on the field, Patton said, whether it was for practices or games.
The recipient of the award is someone who mirrors Tolley’s dedication.
“Steven was a team player and was well liked and respected by his coaches and teammates,” Patton said.
Patton said Tasan, who was a league all-star this season, emulated Tolley’s passion for the game, his drive and determination.
Patton said Tasan was an obvious choice for the Tolley award, and admitted that as a coach he was tough on Tasan, but with good reason.
“I love him and care for him, and I want him to do the best that he can,” Patton said, who wanted to bring out Tasan’s full potential.
“For Tasan, his skills and his dedication to come down from Claresholm to Macleod, he showed an awful lot,” Patton said. “To play for me, for three years, that shows an awful lot as well.”

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