The Sam Baker Character Award
– North Toronto Collegiate Institute
No award was presented in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic.
No award was presented in 2020 as all sports at NTCI were cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.
This terrific athlete was presented his award at the May 2019 NTCI athletic banquet.
Speech by Mr. Hood on May 28, 2019 when giving the award to Spencer Keith, the inaugural winner of the Sam Baker Character Award.
The Sam Baker Character Award honours the memory of Sam Baker, who died tragically shortly after graduating from NTCI in 2018. Sam was a passionate rugby player who loved the game, and the brotherhood that rugby provided. He was a dedicated athlete who led by example, always came to practice ready to learn, and was a selfless player who put the goals of the team ahead of his own. The winner of the award will also receive a honourarium of $250 from the Baker Family.
Please welcome to the stage the winner of the 2019 Sam Baker Character Award, Spencer Keith.
Spencer is a very deserving recipient of this award for more than a few reasons.
First off Spencer has always understood that winning starts at practice and how you prepare is key to your success. This is a trait that Spencer modelled for his teammates by always giving 100 percent and consistently encouraging his teammates to do the same.
Spencer also cares about his teammates and wants to see them achieve at their highest potential. Sometimes this was not the easiest trait to deal with as he would challenge players, in practice and in games, to not leave anything on the field. He is a vocal leader who is not afraid to give “constructive” criticism when needed. Sometimes his words were constructive, other times they were encouraging, the message however was always the same. Do your best, the team needs you.
Most admirably however Spencer, like Sam, is selfless and does not pursue individual accomplishments at the expense of team goals. He is a versatile player who has played many positions in both football and rugby, and has always accepted his roles openly and with a positive attitude.
Congratulations Spencer on winning the inaugural Sam Baker Character Award, it has been a pleasure coaching you the last 4 years. I am sure the traits you have demonstrated on the field will take you wherever you want to go in life.