Someday, surely, the time will come when the Northern Chill 13U (2007) OverChill Boys will not medal at an OVA (Ontario Volleyball Association). That day, however, has not yet come.
After breaking the ice with a bronze medal performance in Newmarket in November, the local lads did one better, earning second place silver when they took to the road a month later, returning to the exact same venue.
Apparently, the boys were not quite ready to descend from the podium, just yet, picking up their second set of bronze medals this year, despite being two players short and unveiling a brand new system of play.
"We had not had a lot of time to work on it," noted head coach Cassie MacKinnon. "We were determined to give it a try. In our first game, we had a few kinks that needed to be worked out. But what we gained was some leadership, with a few players really picking it up to help their teammates along and try and get this system down pat."
"For the remainder of the day, we were able to work the system quite well. I was really proud of the kids for pulling together to make that happen."
The OverChill boys overcame a 25-27, 25-14, 6-15 setback at the hands of the Kingston Rock - Black, to open the day, closing out pool play with a straight set triumph (25-16, 25-20) over the Maverick Lonestars from Ottawa.
Another solid outing in the quarter-finals (25-19, 25-15 vs the Niagara Rapids Samurai) would advance the Sudbury reps to a tough semi-final battle, beaten 25-14, 25-9 by the gold medal winning Markham Unity West. Not ready to call it a day just yet, the 13U Chill went right down to the wire, and then some, in order to slip past the Leaside Rumble, 25-23, 31-29, in the bronze medal encounter.
"I was so proud of the teamwork that we displayed, making great passes to an attacker that was on point, and really pulling for one another when we did some strategic substitutions," said coach MacKinnon. "That bronze medal was really a team win, regardless of who was on the court at the time."
"They are growing as athletes, and growing together, and I'm very lucky to be their coach."
The Sudbury-based hardware collecting crew is comprised of Cameron Van Der Zyl, Davis MacKinnon, Brayden Bertrand, Nicolas Dalcourt, Gabriel Larocque, Tyler Chouinard, Logyn Bernard, Maxim Laberge, Mackenzie Alisappi, Cash Duchene-Milne and Brady Rajotte.