PLAMONDON – The École Plamondon Hawks are celebrating a series of huge wins for the senior boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams this season. The teams reached milestones on the road to the 1A Zone Alberta Schools' Athletic Association (ASAA) Provincial Championships, last month.
With two first-place wins during the NEASAA Zone 1A northeast qualifiers and entering the provincial championships as the top teams to beat, the boys continued the winning streak and came in first place at provincials.
Boys take gold
On Nov. 26, the Hawks beat the Bawlf Wildcats during the provincial championship in Vegreville. In a close three-set game for both boys teams that went undefeated during the three-day tournament, the final round tilted in the Hawks' favour, 15-12. The Hawks lost the first set 26-25 but won the second set 28-26.
With a few junior players on the roster among senior team members who managed a 37-3 record during the regular season this fall, the win was that much more special, said Helly Kim, the Hawks senior boys’ head coach.
“The success of coming from a small town with only seven seniors and having to bring up two Grade 9s… [and] we were able to be the first ever to win provincials,” he said proudly, bringing the championship to École Plamondon for the first time.
“For me, winning provincials was a bonus. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I feel that I already won because of the players’ character... The compliments I get from parents, other teams, coaches that my boys are so respectful, humble, classy, [it] makes me feel I did a little bit for them to succeed for their future.”
Girls finish fourth
This year’s Zone 1A provincial championship was the first appearance for the Hawks’ girls’ team since 1988. The final saw the season end for the Hawks’ after the bronze medal match up against last year’s provincial champion’s from Central Alberta Christian High School (CACHS) concluded in a third set loss of 15-13.
The girls’ championships were hosted in Picture Butte from Nov. 24-26 and the Bawlf Wildcats took home gold.
After a dominant performance during the Nov. 18-19 zone tournament held on the Hawks’ home court, it was a well-fought season, said Steven Reid, École Plamondon School’s athletic director and senior girls’ volleyball coach.
“It was an amazing experience and our girls played fantastic… I just couldn’t be more proud of our team's fourth-place finish,” he said.
“The experience was second to none and we played very well. I was happy with the level of play and everyone felt like we gave it our best. We left it all on the court,” he said.
A surprise celebration was held for the two teams last Tuesday at the school that saw the entire Kindergarten to Grade 12 school cheer on the athletes and their coaches. Lac La Biche County Mayor Paul Reutov, Coun. Colette Borgun and Jimmi Lou Irvine, Northern Lights Public Schools (NLPS) associate superintendent, were also in attendance to congratulate the group.
“It’s amazing to see small-town talent on a provincial stage. Plamondon has produced some amazing athletes,” Mayor Reutov said, during the afternoon event, attending both as a municipal leader and a father of athlete Kira Reutov.
Principal Karen Grygus congratulated the students for their accomplishments and thanked them for representing the school in a positive way.
“We’re so very proud of you for not just your playing on the court, but for being ambassadors of our building, for being true Hawks and giving us that true inspiration of what integrity, sportsmanship, resiliency really are all about.”