A provincial berth is on the line for the Riverview Royals and their goal is to be one of the two teams after this weekend.
The Royals are hosting the 3A boys regional tournament this weekend with six teams competing for the championship.
“The expectation for us is to advance to provincials. That is the goal that we set at the beginning of the year,” said Riverview’s head coach Jenn Wiens. “The boys have been very focused for the games this Saturday.”
Riverview will face Strasbourg on Saturday morning then Carnduff in the afternoon in round robin action. The Royals haven’t faced either one of those teams, but know they have to play their game and be prepared for anything. Also competing this weekend is Gravelbourg, Rocanville and Langenburg.
“I’ve talked to other coaches, but they are unknown to us right now. I know the scores of some of the games and I know that Strasburg has a fairly tall team and five Grade 12s. We are just going on that we have to play our best and be competitive,” said Wiens. “The most important game is the semifinal game. You have to win the semifinal game to make it to the final and the final is just to determine the regional champion.”
The Royals are a good passing team and that has been their strength all season. They realize that if they continue to play strong, they will be in control of their own chances this weekend.
“We have worked a lot on passing this year because that is the first step in doing anything on your own side. Passing is definitely key for us,” explained Wiens. “We’ve been working with our setters, both are Grade 10s and inexperienced. We are trying to prepare them for the pressure through lots of repetitions.”
The team has been working hard throughout this week in practice to prepare for regionals, but they are trying to stay confident and focused on their game.
“We’ve talked about our defence and different types of offence options that we have. To prepare, we have worked on more specific drills that will help with the things we need to work on,” she said. “The thing we need to work on is our mental game and making sure that we are always at our best and not playing at the level of the other team.”
The Royals will have one advantage — none of the teams they are facing have ever been to their gym. They finished higher than Gravelbourg at conferences last weekend in order to host regionals.
“We are excited and looking forward to this and have been anticipating it for a long time,” said Wiens. “It is nice to host and that is something we worked at when we went to conferences.”
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students.