Being the best is something every sports team strives to achieve but staying there is a completely different ball game.
Coach Tammy Emes of the Ponoka Composite High School girls’ junior varsity volleyball team has brought the team to a perfect season with a 9-0 record. The team heads to École Secondaire Notre Dame High School in Red Deer to compete in the league finals, and Emes said the players are not overconfident. “There’s some tough competition, definitely.”
She has her eyes on three other teams who have the potential to win the championships; Hunting Hills, HJ Cody in Sylvan Lake and Notre Dame.
She anticipates some tough games because of the position the team is in.
“Once you’re on top everybody’s gunning for you; it’s not going to be easy,” she said.
It is one of the focus points for the players, who realize playing the best teams brings the out the best efforts from opponents, she explained. Her mantra though is to “never give up.”
Emes realizes the other teams have the same motivation against the Broncs. The team played a friendly match against the St. Augustine senior girls recently to play against a team that gave them a “little more competition and a little more intensity.”
They lost 4-1, which she feels gave players a higher level of play and experience.
The team also won gold at every tournament they competed in and Emes credits the Broncs’ unity as one of the reasons they have done so well.
“I’ve been with these girls three or four years now and I tell them no one’s bigger than the team,” she stated.
Once that team focus was delivered then it became easier to coach the players, explained Emes. She feels proper training at an early age helped the players bring positive habits to the game, and the results can be seen in their perfect season.
League finals are the last stop for the Broncs as there are no provincial championships at this level.