September 21st, 2018

Golf, volleyball and football dish up varied tasty fare


By Submitted Article on September 12, 2018.

This week’s ‘High School Notebook’ column by Dave Wells

The Alberta Schools Athletic Association competitive golf season is upon us.

Today, golf teams must be registered with the ASAA. The South Zone Championships hit Paradise Canyon next Tuesday, Sept. 18. Then, the provincials are held Sept. 24-25 in Calgary.

Immanuel Christian hosts the South Zone tourney. Originally, I see Vulcan was listed as a co-host, but the entire 1A/2A and 3A/4A team and individual events will be contested at Paradise.

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The Southern Alberta High School Volleyball League regular season was served last night.

In the end, all 12 league members; Chinook, LCI, Catholic Central, Taber W.R. Myers, Winston Churchill, Magrath, Picture Butte, Cardston, Raymond, Taber St. Mary’s, Coaldale Kate Andrews and Immanuel Christian were able to enter varsity and junior varsity girls teams. Matches are primarily held on Tuesdays, with action tipping at 6 p.m.

There is a major change in the girls scheduling format this season. Teams are grouped in four-team pools, with a re-grouping after playing each other once. In theory there should be many more close matches this season.

The initial pools were based on power projections by head coaches at the end of the last campaign, but it is possible for a team seeded 12th to win the whole regular season ball of wax and the team seeded No. 1 to be the 12th seed heading into the playoffs.

As for boys, there are eight schools in both varsity and JV, but not the same eight. Football sharing the same season on the ASAA calendar is a factor than can keep boys membership down.

Cardston, Magrath, Winston Churchill, Immanuel Christian, Catholic Central, LCI and Chinook are entered in both divisions, along with the Kate Andrews varsity and Myers JV lads. Boys matches are primarily played on Wednesdays, again starting at 6 p.m.

Junior varsity matches in both genders are comprised of three sets, regardless of whether one team has won the first two. Varsity matches are best-of-five.

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This is one of the two busiest weekends of local high school football action this season, with five gridiron showdowns on tap.

The only regular season divisional showdown sees Claresholm Willow Creek visit Pincher Creek in Division B action. Kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m., Friday.

There is an interlocking clash Friday evening at the University of Lethbridge Community Stadium as Division A Catholic Central takes on Division B Chinook at about 7:30 p.m. Although in different divisions, both play Tier II provincially. The winner of this encounter will be the “home” team in the post-season, although that point is almost totally moot (unless you’re really into choice of jersey colours and sideline) since they both play out of U of L.

As for exhibition (I actually prefer “non-conference” as a designation) games locally, Calgary Ernest Manning visits LCI at U of L for a Friday 5 p.m. doubleheader lid-lifter; Medicine Hat Crescent Heights are in Cardston Friday at 7:30 p.m., while Saturday in Taber Calgary Rundle College takes on W.R. Myers at 1 p.m.

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I see two SAHSFL teams debut in Football Alberta Top 10 Power Rankings this week.

Chinook is No. 9 in Tier II, with Winston Churchill at No. 9 in Tier III. Remaining on these nice lists are Raymond (No. 4, Tier I), LCI (No. 7, Tier I), Willow Creek (No. 1, Tier IV) and W.R. Myers (No. 2, Tier lII).

One note regarding the post-season is that Cardston announced at the fall league meeting they are staying Tier III provincially. They’d seriously considered Tier II.

WELLSIE’S WORLD – Last Friday’s Winston Churchill vs. Chinook football game at the University of Lethbridge Community Stadium was one of the more personably enjoyable high school sporting events I’ve attended in recent times. I’m sure many of the perhaps 1,000 fans on hand would have similar feelings.

Why?

Well, the teams were very close in calibre. Chinook prevailed 22-19 in a back-and-forth affair.

No doubt the warm weather was appreciated.

But, beyond those factors, what really set the tilt apart in my eyes were similarly numbered, large throngs of passionate student supporters backing both sides. Heck, it was fun just watching them!

To me, high school football provides the best opportunity for school spirit to be publically exhibited on the local scene outside of the 4A South Zone Basketball Championships. And one major advantage football has over hoops, is a season at the start of the school year, thus a potential launching point for spirit as a whole for the rest of the school calendar.

I imagine multiple schools are leveraging this advantage early on by hosting ancillary activities like pep rallies, too.

School sports absolutely can have a benefit for school communities far beyond those who actually compete.

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