Common sense suggests the bigger the school, the more athletes it can field and the better the sports teams.
Well, common sense was wrong Saturday at Porter Creek Secondary.
While the Whitehorse Elementary Wolves, coming from a student body of 480, took bronze in the boys’ and girls’ divisions at the Yukon Grade 7 Volleyball Championships, the golds went to schools a fraction the size.
The Hidden Valley Huskies, coming from a school of about 85, took the girls’ title, defeating the Christ the King Wolverines 25-15, 25-18.
Making the Huskies win all the more impressive was the makeup of the team, which was all Grade 6s with the exception of one Grade 7 player and even one Grade 5.
“They played together, they like being together and I didn’t have any problems,” said Huskies coach Heather Boardman.
“Only one of my Grade 6s had played before, and my Grade 7 had played before. Other than that, everyone was new this year.
“A lot of hard work and a lot of practice – we practice every recess, we practice every lunchtime.”
Serving out the first set for the Huskies, putting in three service winners, was Thea Carey. Teammate Line Jensen served out the match.
“Nothing was lacking, they tried their best and I’m totally happy with the way they performed,” said Wolverines coach Ron Billingsley. “From the start of the season they have improved so much, and that’s what we wanted them to do. I’m really pleased with the girls.”
Whitehorse Elementary took bronze with a 23-25, 26-24, 15-7 comeback win over the Selkirk Coyotes.
In the boys’ final, the Golden Horn Glaciers, coming from a school of 135, out performed the Selkirk Coyotes with a 25-20, 26-24 win.
“This is the first year playing volleyball for all of them, so they have just done fantastic,” said Glaciers coach Keith Clarke. “They got the concept of the game, how to pass, how to set and the thought of killing the ball.”
For the Glaciers, who were winless through the regular season, the victories were a long time coming.
“We didn’t win our first match until yesterday and it’s only because they really stuck to it,” said Clarke. “They learned to lose, so they really can enjoy the win.
“Some of the practices went long and they got a little bit grumpy, but they stuck to it.”
The Glaciers moved to match-point with three service winners from Tim Schirmer to go up 24-23. Then, after an ace from Coyotes Damian Homis, Glaciers’ River Gourangeau ended the game with a kill.
“I thought our team played really well,” said Coyotes coach Brian Macdonald. “They focused on hitting the ball three times instead of what you can call ping-pong ball.
“The idea at this level is that they learn the skills and use them and I was really impressed with how they played.”
In the battle for bronze, Whitehorse Elementary defeated the Takhini Timberwolves 23-25, 25-21, 15-6.
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