In addition to cooler temperatures and falling leaves, the changing of seasons also means another year of high school sport in Canada is on tap for students, coaches and spectators from coast to coast. To wrap up the month of September, we share some of the fall’s opening events including volleyball in British Columbia, early season football rivalries in Alberta, and the conclusion of successful golf championships in Manitoba and Ontario.
UBC Invitational Kicks off BC Senior Girls’ Volleyball Season
The Kelowna Owls moved into No. 1 spot in the early season BC senior girls Quad A volleyball rankings after their first-place finish at the UBC Mizuno Invitational on September 24th. The Owls defeated Victoria’s Triple A No. 1-ranked Lambrick Park 2-0 (25-23, 25-15) in the championship final.
The gold-medal match was the first time the Kelowna Secondary School squad used a set lineup in the 48 team tournament, highlighting their depth and balance while also improving upon their No. 3 rank going in to the season’s first competition. Grade 12 captain and tournament all-star Kaitlynn Given led by example, posting the most kills and registering the best passing percentage. Also playing key roles in the final were power hitters Hillary Schell and Kaitlyn Valgardson, as well as libero Megan Witela.
En route to their gold medal, the Owls defeated No. 7 (4A) ranked Robert McMath of Richmond in two decisive semifinal sets. Also among the KSS victims on the weekend were the provincially No. 5 (4A) ranked Earl Marriott Mariners of Surrey.
The tournament bronze medal game saw Richmond’s McMath Wildcats and defending B.C. Quad A champion Handsworth Royals of North Vancouver finish third and fourth respectively.
Young Golfers Shine at Burlington Golf and Country Club
The sixth annual Burlington High School Golf Tournament was played at the Burlington Golf and Country Club on September 26th where some very talented boys’ and girls’ teams from the nine high schools in the city of Burlington competed in one of the highlight events of their season. Although rain made conditions less than ideal, the young golfers still managed to put up some very impressive scores.
Leading the way was grade 9 student Joey Hetherman from Corpus Christi Secondary School. When Joey arrived at Corpus Christi this fall, he was just hoping to make the school golf team. Little did he know that just three weeks later he would be making history with his eight over par, 79 final round score at the local tournament. His victory inked him a spot in the tournament record books as the first Grade 9 student to win the annual event. Hetherman had four victories this past summer, including a national bantam match-play title. The 14 year old is a member at Willow Valley Golf Club under coach Mike Pollard and has future aspirations of being a golf coach.
The overall low score of the tournament was turned in by grade 10 student Madison Easterbrook of Aldershot, who took the girls’ division with a 78. Easterbrook, at only 15 years of age, is one of the newest members of Ontario’s Under 17 Provincial Team and hopes one day her skills on the golf course will grant her a scholarship across the border. The tournament’s team title went to Corpus Christi’s foursome of Christian Jeffery, Hetherman, Matthew Matecki and Brad Holmes whose total store of 246 gave them a two-stroke victory over Notre Dame.
The high school golf season in Ontario concludes with the annual OFSAA boys’ golf championship takes place Oct. 12-13 at Trillium Wood in Corbyville on the boy’s side and the provincial girls’ competition gets underway Oct. 13 at Loch March in Kanata.
Neepawa Golf and Country Club Hosts MHSAA Golf Championships
Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association provincial golf championships were held at the Neepawa Golf and Country Club on September 24th and marked the end of the 2011 season. Jenna Roadley of Sturgeon Heights shot an impressive even par round of 72 and Travis Fredborg of Lord Selkirk finished with a two-over 74 to claim the overall women’s and men’s low scores at the event.
St. Mary’s Academy’s team of Nicole McGlennen, Jaclyn Albrechtson, Adrianna Pawlowsky and Hanna Diamond shot a combined score of 277 to win the girls team title while the team from Nellie McClung was second with 282 and Boissevain third with 351.
The boys’ team competition was close as Lord Selkirk took the title with a combined score of 234. Joining Fredborg on the team were Noel Ngo, Brenden Setter and Ryan Moneo. St. Paul’s finished just behind in second place with a total of 238 and the team from Stonewall Collegiate Institute came in third with a score of 240.
Full results from the day are listed below can be found here
Calgary High School Football League Opens With Familiar Rivals
The schedule makers behind the scenes at the Calgary High School Football League proved they wanted to start the 2011 season off with a bang as they pitted the city’s two most prominent archrivals and pre-season powerhouses against each other in the first week of competition.
The much anticipated September 16th game between the St. Francis Browns and the Notre Dame Pride started out neck and neck after the teams battled to an 8-8 halftime score, resulting in both sides increasing the pressure in the second half.
Early in the third quarter the Browns grabbed an 11-8 lead thanks to a well-struck 15-yard field goal. The Pride punched back on the ensuing kick-off when running back Landon Bayda miraculously found his way to the end zone for a quick touchdown.
The Pride extended the lead in the fourth quarter when quarterback Brett Hunchak scored on a one-yard plunge into the end zone. Both coaches admitted to a little early season rust, but that didn’t stop either team from putting on an exciting show for the fans that packed into the Hellard Field stands at Shouldice Park for the first Friday night game of the season.
In the end, the Pride came away with a narrow 22-17 win to gain the early upper hand in the standings. More importantly though, the game set a positive tone for a season that promises to be one of the more competitive campaigns in years.
Based on Friday night’s games, the Pride and the Browns will no doubt be competing for the number one seed when the regular season comes to an end, but don’t forget about the Henry Wise Wood Warriors or the Bishop O’Byrne Bobcats. The Warriors got off to an impressive start by defeating the Western Canada Redmen 51-10, also on Friday night. The Bobcats enjoyed a bye in the opening week, but based on their recent success and proven development system, they will again be a team that will be battling for the top spot towards the end of the season.