Axemen hungry to win third straight title
Winning the P.E.I. School Athletic Association’s senior AAA boys volleyball league two years in a row tends to put a target on your back.
That is the reality the Three Oaks Axemen will face on Saturday as they host the annual Domino’s tip-off tournament. The two-time defending champions will face teams from Bluefield, Charlottetown Rural and Montague in the first tournament of the season for all four teams.
Three Oaks athletics director Joel Arsenault said the object at the end of the season remains the same this year.
“I think if you talk to the guys on the team, that would certainly be their goal, to be in the championship game and come away with a banner.” Steve Boyd is the squad’s head coach this year after sharing the role with Arsenault previously.
Arsenault said some Maritime teams weren’t able to make it, so the event will be scaled back slightly as a fourteam tournament. Rather than having a playoff round, the team with the best record following the roundrobin will be awarded the championship trophy. “We’ll get to see how we stack up against other teams in the league.
“It’s the first competition for everybody, so it’s a chance
to get out and play, and give everybody a shot before league play starts on Monday.” Arsenault said the Axemen will particularly rely on senior starter Ethan Boyd.
“He’ll be one of the top power hitters in the league this year.” Grade 10 student Ben MacDougall will be asked to step into a starting role this year. Arsenault said the roster is pretty evenly distributed among the three grades. There are a couple of injuries at the moment, but the athletics director is bullish about his team’s chances.
“We’re pretty optimistic going into the season that we’ll compete for a medal.” League play is comprised of six Island schools which each play a home-and-home series against one another. The Axemen will also compete in five tournaments this year. Other members of the roster include Kamden Arsenault, Brandon Hastings, Logan Cameron, Justin Caron, Connor Lilly, Tyler Macdonald, Blake MacKinnon, Dylan Noonan, Jack Somers, Cameron Wall and Kurtis Paula.