Smithville (Ontario) Christian High School’s boys’ volleyball team made history last week by winning the gold medal game in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations’ (OFSAA) Boys A division tournament.
A first for Smithville, bringing home the province-wide championship was a hard-won accomplishment. “It was quite an experience,” said head coach Tim de Vries. “We worked really hard, and these guys deserved it, so it was pretty fun.”
De Vries and two other volunteer coaches, Rob Greenham and Chris Wiersma, brought the boys through their winning season, first achieving the championship titles at the Southern Ontario and Ontario Christian secondary school association tournaments. De Vries said the camaraderie among the team, particularly on these travels, is what made a difference in their performance in this very mental team sport. “You can’t win by one individual, you need to all play together,” he said. “This team all gets along, they all like each other.”
The love wasn’t limited to just the team on the court: the excitement of being in the OFSAA finals spread to the whole school community. More than 40 fans, including parents and teachers, made the four-hour drive to the tournament in North Bay, Ontario. Many hundreds more followed the key games on OFSAA’s live streaming web feeds, promoted on Smithville’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Other Christian schools also excelled in the tournament. Toronto District Christian High School achieved bronze, and Durham Christian High School was awarded antique bronze.