Sports | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 01 Dec 2023 2pm

Dynos shine at provincial finals


For the first time in over 15 years, the DVSS Senior Girls Dynos Volleyball team represented the Valley at the 2A provincial finals.
A young Dynos team had a strong season, winning the zone championship by defeating the number four provincially ranked Strathcona Tweedsmuir School and headed to provincials from November 22 to 25 at Ècole St. Joseph School in Whitecourt.
Head Coach Erica Crocker told the Mail it was an amazing experience for the team on and off the court.
“Both Rachel, [assistant coach], and I are extremely happy with how it went. It has been a privilege to coach this program, and this team in particular is so talented,” she said.
On the court, the team was in action on Thursday in the 12-team tournament and finished tied for first in their pool, topping Immanuel Christian High from Lethbridge and Edmonton Christian. The next day, they fell three sets to Sexsmith and then played Onoway to qualify for the quarterfinals.
That victory put them up against Our Lady of Mount Pleasant Royals from Camrose, who were ranked in second place in the province going into the tournament.
“When you play these big teams, a lot of them have many Grade 12 athlete’s that have played for many years together. This team, as well as other higher ranked teams, played a very aggressive game, and that can be intimidating because we haven’t seen many teams like that,” said Crocker. “We ended up in the quarterfinals against the second-ranked team in the province, … and we put up a pretty good fight.”
Despite their best efforts, they fell to the Royals in two games. They went on to face Christian High from Lethbridge again. This time they fell in two sets.
The Dynos closed out the tournament by playing the host school and won seventh overall.
Crocker explains the Dynos were ranked sixth in the province going into the tournament, and set a goal of maintaining that position. Their finish was a success by the team’s standards.
“Seventh in the province is something to be proud of for sure,” said Crocker.
She said the host did an incredible job of executing the tournament. This included an opening ceremony, dinner and a dance and overall making the teams feel welcome. This also allowed players to make connections with other like-minded athletes from throughout the province.
“When speaking with the committee chair, it was mentioned the event took nearly nine months of planning, with 80 members of their committee to make this tournament happen,” she said.
Crocker said the strength of the Dynos is their true team spirit.
“Right from the hop, everyone got along, they bonded well, trusted each other, and played for each other,” said Crocker. “I really couldn’t have asked for a better group to go the distance with. Plus, the parents brought a lot of fun with their endless cheering and support!”
The outlook for the young team is very good, with only two graduating players.
“We are a very young and talented team, and it is very exciting to see what the future holds for these girls.”
The Dynos return early September 2024 with Junior B, Junior A, Junior Varsity (JV) and the Senior Varsity teams.

Dragons notch two wins at home

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The Dragons had a successful home stand, chalking up two wins over the weekend.
The Dragons were on home ice on Friday, November 24 to take on the Bonnyville Pontiacs. After a scoreless first period, the Dragons picked up their game and outshot the Pontiacs 20-9 in the second period. Adam Raesler scored 3:29 into the period, but Bonnyville answered back six minutes later. Jordan Luk scored his second of the season, and three minutes later Ryan Henderson scored to make it 3-1 after two.
Bonnyville added one more in the third but that was as close as the could get. Dragons win 3-2.
The next night, Saturday, November 25, the Dragons hosted the Lloydminster Bobcats. The Dragons dominated right from the puck drop and were up 2-0 after one with goals from Raesler and Vann Yuhas.
The onslaught continued in the second with Devon Winder, Yuhas, Luk and Coy Pighin all finding the goal and a 6-0 lead.
The Bobcats only managed 11 shots the entire game. Tate Yule and Connor Poffenroth capitalized in the third period to end the game 8-0 Dragons. Sean Cootes had his first shutout of the season.
On Tuesday, November 28, the Dragons were in Banff to take on the Canmore Eagles, results unavailable at press time. On Friday, December 1, they are in Drayton Valley to take on the Thunder, and on Saturday, December 2, they are in Whitecourt to take on the Wolverines.

Titans pick up silver at Alberta Bowl

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It was a fairytale season for the Drumheller Senior Titans, but that tale came crashing to reality at the feet of the St. Paul Lions.
The defending champion Titans had a great season going undefeated and landing in the top spot in South at the Tier IV level. They battled through the postseasons and ended up back in familiar territory, at the Alberta Bowl.
It was familiar territory for the St. Paul Lions as well. They have been to the final three times before, but never left with a trophy.
This time the Lions roared. By the end of the first quarter, the Lions were up 14-0. By the end of the second, they were up 35-0. One more touchdown in the fourth quarter put them up 41-0 for good.
Not looking for excuses, coach Ken Fournier tells the Mail, the Titans didn’t play to expectations.
“We had only 46 yards of offence. You can’t fumble the ball twice in the first quarter and then throw two picks, and expect to win in a championship game,’ said coach Fournier. “The simple reality is the guys showed up, we made mistakes and we paid for it.”
He said St. Paul played a good game.
“They did some good things, they could kick long field goals, they could run the ball, they were good a blocking at the point of attack and they didn’t commit any errors,” said Fournier.
Despite this loss, the Titans program is in elite territory with this trip to the final.
“We made a lot of progress along the way, but after going all the way and winning it last year, it is hard to replace all of those pieces. That experience in big games plays a huge factor. That was a big part of the reason we made it back, having experience with our grade 10s and 11s that returned from last year,” said Fournier.
He adds that St.Paul made the Titans deviate from their game plan.
“A big part of our success this season was we were able to execute our game plans without much disruption,” he said. “By making those mistakes early our guys were finding it difficult to maintain that level without following a game plan.”
“Sometimes you make it there and the ball doesn’t bounce your way, and it can derail from there. Once St. Paul capitalized from those first turnovers, they were like a locomotive,” said Fournier.
“Looking towards next season, we had some good accomplishments this year. The guys returning got a taste and hopefully, we have an opportunity to play for that again.”

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