by Mac Olsen
The Ecole Heritage Lynx senior boys volleyball team has something to be very proud of, as they came from behind in their first set and maintained their lead in the second set to claim the Alberta Schools Athletic Association’s 1A Boys Volleyball Championship – the banner, provincial plaque and the gold medal.
They had a tough adversary to play against in the championship game on Nov. 28 – the Living Waters Christian Academy Warriors from Spruce Grove. The Warriors took a commanding leading early in the first set.
However, coach James Bazan-Lindsay talked to his team during a timeout. They got their mojo back after that, and their fans cheered and did the human wave as they gained points.
The Lynx battled for every point and managed a 27-25 win for first set. They had similar battle for the second set, but they came out on top and won 25-22.
Coach James Bazan-Lindsay says he had to calm the players down during the game.
They were trying too hard, especially as the audience was getting them “pumped up.” He had to downshift their performance when the Warriors took the lead.
So he worked on their confidence, individually and as a team, to get them back in the game.
And when they acquired their final point to win the championship, it was moment of pride for him.
“It was a great feeling,” he says.
Bazan-Lindsay also says that winning the provincial championship was the team’s from the start, and this win gave them their sixth gold medal of the season.
Bazan-Lindsay hopes that the team takes pride in themselves. Although they come from a small school in a rural setting, they can achieve great things in their lives, given that they’ve won a provincial championship, he adds.
For Principal Nicole Walisser, the excitement that this event generated was unbelievable.
“Everybody was pumped,” says Walisser.
“The community was buzzing as well. This event helped build our school family, because it brings everybody together.”
Walisser also says there was a lot of volunteer work and community involvement. Moreover, she gives kudos to the team, especially when it comes to their sportsmanship.
“As for the win, the team has represented us very well all season. They’ve always been a very gracious team with their competitors and they appreciate good sportsmanship.”
Good sportsmanship is part of the school’s culture, she adds.
Walisser also thinks highly of the media coverage of the event. The games were broadcast live on the Internet and people were making note of, and watching, the games on social media too. The school received many messages from around the province, too, offering congratulations. Check the Smoky River Express’ Facebook page for video clips of the event.
The girls’ team
Also, the girls’ team didn’t make the final cut at their championship in Fairview the same weekend. But Walisser is still proud of them.