The Bantam Boys volleyball team at Creston Valley Secondary School has tasted victory in the final tournament of the season.
On Nov. 6, the Bulldogs took first place in the East Kootenay Volleyball Championships hosted in Cranbrook.
The team of Grade 8 students narrowly defeated the Jaffray Junior Secondary School Rebels, winning two out of three sets (25-21, 26-24, 18-16).
“It was a hard fought match against Jaffray, but we came out on top in the final deciding set,” said Head Coach Norm Eisler, who just spent his first year with the Bulldogs.
“We were down 16-15, but managed to score the last three points consecutively.”
The Jaffray Rebels had proved to be stiff competition since the start of the season in September. In the first tournament, the Bulldogs lost to them in the semi-finals. And at the second, the Rebels came first while the Bulldogs came in at second place.
“Every game was close, and we got a little better at each tournament,” said Eisler. “I can’t even believe how much the team progressed this year.”
The team’s strength lies in their consistent success with serving, according to Eisler. He also attributed much of their growth to co-coaches Casey Charles, Frieda Draxlir, and Devan Davidson.
“They were so good at technically explaining and breaking down skills, and the boys really listened to them,” Eisler said.
“This whole group of kids was just in love with the game. Beyond how they improved in their skills, I was also just impressed by what good teammates they were. They were so supportive of each other, and it was really uplifting to see.”
He hopes to continue coaching the team next year. Until then, he will be working with many of the same boys at an evening volleyball program ran by the Creston and District Community Complex until April.