With everything on the line for the final time this volleyball season, the Central Cyclones will have a bit of a target on their backs this weekend.
They are listed as a favourite to win the 5A boys provincial title in North Battleford. The team realizes the pressure, but is ready for the challenge.
“The team is on a high right now. We are coming off a good win at regionals. We played well there, but we still know that we have to step up our play and play the best Central volleyball at provincials,” stated Grade 12 Zach Schutte.
This team has won each tournament they entered and won regionals without losing a set. The team is talented, but not overconfident heading into provincials.
“We are confident, but we are nervous as well. I don’t think we are overconfident because we have been humbled a few times,” said senior Jonathan Phillips. “Any team at provincials can beat us and two of the teams there have already beaten us, so anything can happen. We just have to play our game.”
There will be 10 teams overall at provincials this weekend, including Regina Campbell (bronze last year), Regina LeBoldus, Saskatoon Bishop Mahoney, Saskatoon St. Joseph, Yorkton Regional, Estevan, Prince Albert St. Mary (three time defending champion), Central and North Battleford.
“There are two or three teams we haven’t played yet. We feel good, but we know we have to play our game and not play down to their levels…we still have to play at our best,” said Schutte.
There are five Grade 12s on the roster and this team has been in the works for a couple of years. For captain Myles McDougall, a provincial title would be a great way to cap off his final volleyball season at Central.
“I think this is the team. We have been waiting for our Grade 12 year. We knew we had a strong team all year,” he said. “I think it would be awesome to win in my Grade 12 year.”
The team has improved throughout the season and has talked about reaching another level. Although they aren’t sure what that level looks like right now, their goal is to win provincials.
“We are striving for perfection, but we know that is impossible,” stated Phillips.
For more on this story, read an upcoming editon of the Times-Herald.