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Joe MacDonald Youth Football League
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019
A very well deserved number one seeding
by Randy Pascal

The Northern Chill 16U Girls left absolutely no doubt that their pre-tournament #1 ranking was completely deserved at the recent Challenge Cup – Trillium “D” tournament in Orillia. The local ladies will drop but a single set throughout the day, and that in the championship final.

The die was cast from the opening match as the Sudbury squad bounced the Collingwood Black Diamond 25-9, 25-22. Convincing round robin victories over the host Orillia Suns – Chaos (25-5, 25-15) and North Bay Lakers (25-15, 25-13) only served to cement their reputation as tournament favourites.

Quarter-final action did little to slow down the local express, blasting Barrie Elites Black 15U 25-4, 25-12 and moving on to the final four. Turns out their pool was also the toughest of the two, as the Chill were back to beating Collingwood in the semis (25-11, 25-9), before drawing their northern rivals for a second time.

With a tight three set loss to the Lakers from November still on their minds, the 16U Chill went the distance before claiming gold with a 25-23, 17-25, 15-6 triumph over the North Bay club. “The girls came and played with purpose,” noted head coach Sheldon Root. “This feeling of success is not about what they won (gold), it is about how they won,” added assistant coach Bryan Welsh.

“We have been driving communication a lot lately in practice, allowing the team to start running a more complex offense,” stated Root. “Not only did they operate better as a team, there was a certain rhythm to how they played. That takes time, consistent effort, and a willingness to work with your teammates.”

Individually, Root singled out the attack tandem of middles Amy Connelly and Brielle Chicoine, next to unstoppable on offense, with both players achieving a kill efficiency greater than 50% on the day.

Amelina Iturregui, Amber Jacques, Katie Legros, Lauren Jeanneault, Emma Squires, Katie Staffen, Ayla Jones, Hailey Selk and Symantha Welsh comprise the balance of the 16U roster in 2017-2018.

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