Main Brook school wins at volleyball
“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.
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.