It's an academic combination that is
paying huge dividends for the volleyball faithful in Valley East.
Graduates of the C.R. Judd Public School volleyball program in Capreol
move on to join the Confederation Chargers at the secondary school
level, producing quality athletes at a relatively young age.
Michelle Claveau is
just the latest in a line of testimonials to the two schools and surely
won't be the last. "I was in Grade four at C.R. Judd when Mr "T" (Craig
Thomson) asked me and a few of the other girls to come and try out",
explained Claveau of her first introduction to the sport.
Taking an initial liking to
the game, Claveau admits that most of the basic concepts of volleyball
came to her fairly naturally. But as time would go by, the complexity on
the court would take a little extra time and effort to master. "I think
the footwork and remembering everything that is going on at once - those
were the toughest things", said Claveau.
"You have to remember so much,
all at the same time." The youngest of two children in the family
(Michelle has an older brother who she says is not particularly
athletic), the Grade 10 Confederation student has played "power" or
left-side since her earliest days of volleyball. According to her, there
are likely a few elements of her makeup that would make this a good
A good approach to the net, an
attentive learner, good vertical jumping ability and solid technique
provide the fundamentals, according to Claveau, that can help in being a
successful left-side hitter, although many are likely true of several
other positions on the court.
Named as the Most Valuable
Player with the Northern Chill 2005-06 14-U squad, Claveau has no
difficulty explaining the attraction of the sport that she feels. "The
adrenaline rush you get when you get like a "sick" hit", she notes in
terms far more familiar to the junior high-school crowd.
While she enjoys her time
spent previously with the C.R. Judd team and currently with the
Chargers, Claveau also relishes the time she devotes to the Northern
Chill Club volleyball team as eight members of her group have now played
two years of club ball as teammates.
"Club is a whole different
level - the overall competition is that much higher", states Claveau.
There's a definate common bond between Claveau and her fellow athletes
who devote so much of their time to volleyball. "They're a really hard
working group and lots of fun to be around."
Noting the Silver medal
performance at the 2006 OVA Zone D Provincial Cup as a volleyball
highlight to date, Claveau believes the best is yet to come. "We've all
grown so much over the past couple of years, as players and people." A
growth that owes its roots to a pair of academic institutions very close