Main Brook school wins at volleyball

Northern Pen - - FRONT PAGE - FROM A1

“We al­most never made it to the tour­na­ment,” coach and phys­i­cal education teacher at the Main Brook school Dean Bow­er­ing said. “We didn’t have enough girls, so we asked Chloe (Walker) if she wanted to play with us.”

Chloe, the only Grade 6 player on the team, said yes. Although she was ner­vous play­ing against the older play­ers, she showed de­ter­mi­na­tion when she scored the final point of the tour­na­ment, earn­ing her team the win.

Some may find it unusual that an el­e­men­tary school stu­dent was asked to join the ranks of the ju­nior high team, but for a school the size of Mary Simms All Grade, it was nec­es­sary.

For a school of only 24 stu­dents, they were lucky to have as many par­tic­i­pants.

Ev­ery Grade 7, 8 and 9 stu­dent al­ready agreed to play. There is only one fe­male stu­dent in ju­nior high in the whole school, and that’s Kate­lynn. Be­cause there had to be a cer­tain num­ber of fe­males on the co-ed team, they asked the only sixth grade fe­male to play.

“If any of these stu­dents said no, we wouldn’t have been able to play,” Bow­er­ing said.

At least two days a week since Septem­ber the team would prac­tise. Some of the stu­dents even play on the high school team for the same rea­son: not enough play­ers.

“We’ve im­proved a lot since then,” said Ni­cholas Walker.

The win

Dur­ing the round robin com­pe­ti­tion, Mary Simms lost to host team Cloud River Academy. But in the semi-fi­nals, they came back.

“We tried our best and lost,” Ni­cholas said. “When we faced them in the semi-fi­nals, we man­aged to beat them and were suc­cess­ful.”

It was that big win that en­abled the team to face Vik­ing Trail Academy for the ban­ner.

“We won our first set,” Kate­lynn said. “But in our sec­ond set, we fell apart.”

It came down to the third set to de­ter­mine the champs, which saw Mary Simms nar­rowly edge out Vik­ing Trail, 17-15.

Be­ing the small­est school par­tic­i­pat­ing in the tour­ney didn’t faze the group. They felt they had the skill and drive to win, and they showed re­silience against those that didn’t see them as com­peti­tors.

“A lot of hard work went with it,” Bow­er­ing added. “It wasn’t easy.”

Af­ter the big win, the team took part in a mo­tor­cade through the town, where lo­cals cheered them on. Then the school hosted a cer­e­mony to raise the ban­ner, and par­ents were in­vited to at­tend.

When asked if the team mem­bers had any ad­vice for those smaller schools that are com­pet­ing against other larger schools, es­pe­cially in large sports tour­na­ments, two stu­dents were quick to re­spond.

“Keep try­ing, never give up,” said Bran­don Brown.

The rest of the team nod­ded in agree­ment.

“Keep work­ing as a team,” Miguel Whalen added.

The stu­dents are look­ing for­ward to next sea­son, where some of the team will re­turn to de­fend their ti­tle.

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