It’s going to be an interesting season of volleyball at Ponoka Secondary Campus and it’s all about the girls.
The Broncs senior and junior varsity girls teams were selected last week during three days of tryouts with both squads being on the young side of the ledger. Due to a lack of interest, there is no high school boys team this season.
For senior girls’ head coach Ron Labrie, there are three returning players to the roster and that is where the strength of the team is.
“The senior team is young and much more inexperienced compared to last year,” he said.
“Our senior players exemplify great leadership, strong athleticism and possess a wealth of volleyball experience. We will likely be a bit green early in the season, but I expect that we will be competitive come November.”
Labrie added he was somewhat disappointed with how many players came to the tryouts, fondly remembering the days when it wasn’t uncommon to see 40 to 50 showing up.
That said, he is looking forward to the season, which will see the team play just three league games on home court as well as take in five tournaments before the provincial playoffs begin.
“I anticipate that chemistry will be strong with this year’s squad. All of the girls understand the concept of ‘student-athlete’ and will be great role models for our student body. We have a solid mix of young talent and experienced veterans to compete in our zone,” he stated.
On the junior varsity side of the net, head coach Tammy Emes is once again taking charge of the development team.
Emes, who’s been coaching at Ponoka Secondary Campus for the last four years and involved in coaching for close to 15 years, stated it was great to see the number of girls that came out, making it tough to select a squad.
“I am extremely excited for this upcoming year. I believe our strengths this year are going to be hard work and coach ability. The girls proved in the tryouts that they are willing to work very hard,” Emes said, adding there is quite a youth factor this season with four Grade 9 girls making the team.
“We are going to have lots of practices and will be attending some tournaments throughout central Alberta to improve our skills so that next year, these girls can compete at the senior level.”
Smash hits – Both clubs began their season last night at home, playing host to Innisfail (result took place after press time) with both clubs heading to their first tournament of the year on Sept. 22 and 23 when the seniors are off to Beaumont and the junior varsity team is in Red Deer.