YSAA 2034 Senior Volleyball Championships

December 4, 2023 by  
Filed under Provincial and Territorial News

YSAA 2023 Senior Volleyball Championships
GirlsSt Francis of Assisi Catholic Secondary SchoolF H Collins Secondary School 
BoysSt Francis of Assisi Catholic Secondary SchoolF H Collins Secondary SchoolSt Francis of Assisi Catholic Secondary School

St. Francis takes top two spots in senior volleyball champs

The final high school volleyball tournament of the year took place in Riverdale Nov. 16-18. St. Francis dominated the tournament and ended up winning it over their rival F.H. Collins in the final.

By Diego Brisebois-Bourget on December 1, 2023

The final high school volleyball tournament of the year took place in Riverdale Nov. 16-18. St. Francis dominated the tournament and ended up winning it over their rival F.H. Collins in the final. In fact, St. Francis had two of the top three teams as their second team (Team 2) handled their business and finished in third place above Mercier in the consolation game.

The Star spoke to St. Francis coach Dwayne Stoker about the tournament victories.

“We ended up with both our senior teams with gold and our second boys’ team with a bronze, so it worked out well. It was a busy weekend and our final conclusion to a great season.”

When asked about how he felt about the victory, he replied, “I wasn’t too sure of the outcomes because we had some people that were sick and people that were away. Some other teams were affected as well with the hockey tournament that was there. So we weren’t sure how we were going to do without some of those bodies there.

“And then for our girls, they had won in Dawson and then they lost in the Super Volley. They’ve basically been going head to head with F.H. Collins the whole year. So they played great in taking two of the three big tournaments.

“And for the boys, we took we took three big tournaments. They call it the Triple Crown, so we ended up with that.”

The third leg of the Triple Crown is the Dawson Invitational Volleyball tourney.

Stoker said his players felt really good the win.

“Especially my Team Two. They weren’t expected to do too much and they did quite well.

“We ended up playing against each other. So my team played my other team in the semi-finals, so only one team can move on to the final. The other team went to consolation and they won there.”

Stoker was asked what he credits to the victory.

“Everybody kind of playing together,” he responded.

St. Francis played F.H. in the earlier rounds. Stoker said with some people playing new positions because of other players being away, St. Francis didn’t play great and F.H. Collins did – not a great combination for his team.

“They beat us in the original round robin. And that’s actually why we had to play against our own team in the semi-final. So because we lost to F.H, it was set up that way. But the boys, they were confident and wanted to rebound and knew that they didn’t play very well and had to play better. And they did. They saw the girls win and that was pretty inspiring and they wanted to do the same,” recalled Stoker.

After all the games were wrapped up, all-stars awards were handed out and tournament MVPs were also named. Both MVPs came from St. Francis. On the girls side, it was Kya Larkin. Ethan Stoker was the boy’s MVP.

When asked about highlights of the tournament, Stoker said, “There’s a few who had some great blocks at the end of the game. Same thing with the girls.”

Against Mercier, Stoker got hit in the face with the ball.

“That was pretty tough on Mercier. It was tough on our boys too. They didn’t like that at all. But I mean, that’s the game, but for Mercier that kind of hurt them because I think he ended up getting concussed out of that a little bit and kind of shooken up. It was a moment where everybody seemed just kind of scared.”

On a better note, Stoker said it was good to have Inuvik and Watson Lake in the tournament.

“They had a lot of fun. It was very inspiring for them, and our kids were cheering both sides, so that was kind of cool, too.”

Stoker explained how it was a tough process to get to where they were, but it all paid off as the season ended with a triple crown victory for St. Francis.

“They started with a mission.”

A total of 32 kids tried out for the team. Team One and Team Two ended up with 11 players each.

“We practiced together and we talked together.”

Their goal was to win the Triple Crown.

“It’s really tough,” said Stoker. “You’re on the top of the chain, everybody wants you, so it’s really hard to stay up there, stay focused and stuff like that. They definitely had their shaky moments, but it all worked out.”

When asked about the girls journey to the championship, Stoker said they “Just never give up believing in themselves.”

“They were able to push through in Dawson and then they’re pretty focused for having their sights on the Super Volley and it just wasn’t in the cards. (They) didn’t play very well and some players were away or whatever. It’s just how it goes. And so they suddenly regrouped and really, really wanted to take that championship, and they did.

“My wife was coaching the girls. And I kind of help out with all the teams when I can. I try to help out everybody from our school. So yeah, I was on the side there, cheering them on too and giving little hints here and there, helping out where we can. Everybody’s in the same boat.”

Stoker added, “I think it was a successful season for for pretty much all the schools. It looked like the numbers were up. It’s getting harder because we don’t have as many coaches across the board for all the schools.

“I had 140 kids playing and that’s just about half the school. So everybody seems to have fun and we’re learning and you know, you have your injuries and disappointments but you also have your small victories and then ultimately the bigger victories so, I think everybody had a lot of fun, very proud of them, proud of everybody. (It was a) fun year, and bring on basketball.”

Comments are closed.