Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Buckeyes rekindle magic in time for final

  • Print

The Miles Macdonell Buckeyes junior varsity boys’ volleyball team managed to recapture the magic just in the nick of time.

After cruising through most of the season, winning four of six tournaments and their conference championship, the Buckeyes found themselves in a bit of a funk to start the provincial championship.

"We really slowed down towards the end," said coach Colin McDonald. "We didn’t really play to our best capabilities."

Whether it was a lack of focus, fatigue after a long season, or simply overconfidence, the Buckeyes bumbled their way to a round-robin loss to Steinbach that appeared to be a sign of bad things to come.

"I think we were bewildered at first," said captain Andrew Hector, a Grade 10 left side. "We didn’t know what had happened to us. It was a bombshell."

The Buckeyes won the rest of their round-robin games, but their play didn’t match the high standards they had set early in the season.

Heading into the final day, the coaches decided to shift the team’s focus back to one key element: having fun.

"We thought maybe the expectations we were putting on them were a little too high," McDonald said. "The pressure — these kids are only 15 years old — to process was a little too much."

Hector added: "There was not as much passion. Once we won the River East tournament, we started feeling like we were on top and we deserved it. Maybe we weren’t cocky, but definitely we were expecting to win."

The Buckeyes lost the first set of their semifinal against Lord Selkirk, but came back to win 15-9 in the third set. Then they got their chance to make up for their loss against Steinbach, beating the Sabres in two sets to capture the provincial title.

Hector won’t soon forget the pandemonium that followed Parker Thiessen’s service ace to clinch the winning point.

"It was surreal," he said. "I was just running, screaming… I wanted to give the guys a bug hug and congratulate everyone. You could feel all the emotion in the gym."

McDonald’s team is just the latest Miles Mac volleyball squad to win or go deep in a provincial championship. He points to the school’s culture as a big reason for the sustained success.

"Kids want to be here," he said. "It’s the environment created from phys-ed to intramurals to extra-curricular activities. The school is where people want to be."

The JV boys are a tightly-knit group that features seven players from the Winman club. Hector said the attitude going into the final was to make the most of the opportunity.

"It was like some of us might not get to experience again what it’s like to play in a provincial championship with the same group of guys we liked so much," he said. "We enjoyed the moment, and took it in stride. We played like we love the game."

avi.saper@canstarnews.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

How many Fringe shows have you attended or plan to attend this year?

View Results