This year’s St. Augustine School Turkey Burner volleyball tournament brought the boys and girls teams to the court.
A total of 18 volleyball teams —10 girls and eight boys teams — converged on Ponoka over the weekend to compete at the tournament. It was so busy that some games were held at the Ponoka Secondary Campus gym, explained organizer and girls coach Darren Josephison.
“It’s probably the biggest tournament, other than the Warriors high school one, that we’ve had in Ponoka,” said Josephison.
For the girls team the pressure is higher because it’s their big home tournament. With families in tow cheering the team on, Josephison says the athletes want a strong showcase.
He prefers seeing a tough challenge at the tournament and league games to give the team some valuable experience.
From an economic perspective, Josephison is proud of the number of teams that come to Ponoka. They take advantage of the town’s services and use the hotels and restaurants. He said there’s always a long list of teams that want to take in the Turkey Burner.
He praised PSC for allowing the gym to be used for the tournament. “If either one of us were to host provincials, we’d just share,” explained Josephison.
Boys coach Justin Florean said his hope for the tournament is to see some consistency on the bench but to also change things up a bit as far as positional rotation.
“To see who can play and to give people floor time who haven’t been given floor time,” explained Florean. “And also just to build that experience overall.”
The season is going relatively well with a 1-1 record for the boys.
“When we play consistent we do quite well,” he added.
Florean feels there’s a little less pressure in the tournament, which allows for some flexibility on the court, and he enjoys seeing teams come from all around central Alberta.
He enjoyed being able to take part in the Turkey Burner this year. Josephison added that it helps enhance the school spirit as the teams enjoy competing in the same tournament.
The girls ended up placing second in the finals losing both sets 18-25 and the boys landed a third place spot.