Several students at Langley Christian School may be having trouble concentrating on their studies, still elated over boys volleyball team and its AA division win at the provincial championships Dec. 1 in Kelowna.
The entire year the Lightning were leading up to this point, and for many of these athletes dreaming since they were Grade 7. Every game they played in taught them something key to the success of the final game, coach said.
They worked their way through teams from Clarence Fulton, Cambie, Gulf Islands, Duchess Park, and Okanagan Mission before facing Duchess Park in the final. The team knew it had to come out strong to influence its draw but at this level, every game is a challenge.
"In the quarter finals we came up against a team also unbeaten in the tournament in Gulf Islands. We learned how to overcome underdog energy from our opponents and playing focused and calm down a set losing the first set and then winning in four," coach Aaron VandenBrink said. "We battled hard and learned that if we believe in ourself we can overcome any obstacles, showing great character and focus by forcing our way back from a seemingly insurmountable 13-9 deficit in the 5th and deciding set to win 15-13."
Ben Macadam provided a block late in the action on game point.
The finals, against Dutchess Park, was the continuation of a battle that went on between the two squads all year.
Prior to this game every match played between the two teams had gone to a final deciding set (third set or fifth set). The provincials would be no different.
"Much of the game we played from behind, losing the first and third sets, fighting to even it up in the second and fourth with key leadership by our captains, Mike Grypma, Eli Tolkamp, Levi VandenBrink, and Braden Heppell," VandenBrink said.
In the fifth game, the boys found themselves down 7-8 but then the scoring started, first one, then another until they were up 14-8.
"In poetic fashion we wrote our name into history with a solo roof block by Jeremy Hansma," the coach said.
The championship point was in their grasp and they achieved gold. The Lighting players are Mark Antoniuk, Joel Hansen, Isaiah Dahl, Aiden Kits, Ben Macadam, Levi Vandenbrink, Mitchell Jarvie, Mike Grypma, Eli Tolkamp, Jeremy Hansma, Fran VanWyk and Braden Heppell.
"That night we played for the love of competition and the game that we put thousands of hours into, for our teammates who we have been through blood, sweat and tears with, and for our Creator who has give us the gifts to play this sport. We were out there to honor and glorify Him," assistant coach Jesse Zuidhof said.