Teams from Hay River made their presence known at the recent ninth-annual Lawrie Hobart Memorial Volleyball Tournament in Fort Smith.
Teams from Diamond Jenness Secondary School (DJSS), Princess Alexandra (PA) School and Ecole Boreale were at the Oct. 14 to 16 tournament.
Diamond Jenness had 10 teams entered.
Three teams finished with silver medals – the Grade 8 Boys, the Grade 8 Girls and the 19-and-Under Girls.
“The 19-and-Under Girls team’s result was excellent as it was out of 10 teams and they defeated Sir John in the semi-finals which is quite a big high school compared to DJSS,” said phys-ed teacher Kelly Webster. “We also had the 15-and-Under Girls and 19-and-Under Boys, who made it to the bronze medal matches.”
Webster said the Grade 8 Boys lost by just two points in the gold medal game.
Bryn Hill earned tournament MVP for the 19-and-Under Girls division and Lexi Capulso was named the most sportsmanlike player in the Grade 8 Girls division.
“It was an excellent weekend of volleyball,” said Webster, adding that Diamond Jenness is looking forward to competing at the Spike It! tournament in Yellowknife from Nov. 4 to 6.
Princess Alexandra School was represented by four teams at the Fort Smith tournament – a Grade 6 Girls’ team and a Grade 7 Girls’ team, along with a Grade 6 Boys’ team and a Grade 7 Boys’ team.
Both Grade 7 teams returned home with silver medals, said Pat Morris, a teacher and coach of the Boys’ team. “We made it to the finals, which was great for the kids.”
Both Grade 6 teams lost close games in the bronze-medal matches, and finished in fourth place.
“We were very happy,” Morris said of the teams’ performances. “Most of all we were happy with the progress, especially watching the Grade 6s improve throughout the tournament was pretty remarkable to see.”
Twelve-year-old Javen Graham played on the Grade 7 Boys’ team.
“It was pretty fun,” he said.
Javen said he liked playing with his friends and other players from different places.
Plus, he enjoyed winning a silver medal.
“It was pretty cool,” he said.
Two teams from Ecole Boreale – the Boys’ Grade 7 and 8 team and the Girls’ Grade 7 to 9 team – competed at the tournament.
The Boys’ Grade 7 and 8 team won a bronze medal.
“The challenge is really good because it’s good volleyball calibre,” said teacher Dominik Poirier-Langford, who coached the teams with Frederique Boucher. “They have a lot of really good teams there.”
Allie Buhler, a member of Ecole Boreale’s Girls’ team, was pleased with the tournament.
“We did not win a medal,” she said. “I don’t even know what place we got but we did pretty good. We won three games out of five. It was really good for our team.”
It was her fourth time at the Lawrie Hobart Memorial Volleyball Tournament.
“I just like the whole atmosphere of the tournament,” she said. “It’s really fun just to play against everybody from around the territories.”
Buhler said the team is getting ready for the Spike It! tournament in Yellowknife.
“It just helps us improve what we need and then when we go to Yellowknife that way we can do the best we can,” said the 15-year-old.
In all, the Fort Smith tournament featured 49 teams – almost 500 athletes ranging in age from 11 to 18 years, along with coaches – from Fort Smith, Yellowknife, Behchoko, Hay River, Fort Resolution and, for this first time, Tulita.