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School teams from Hay River returned with a banner and all colours of medals from the Lawrie Hobart Memorial Volleyball Tournament, held from Oct. 17-20 in Fort Smith.

The banner was actually claimed by two teams of Grade 7 girls from Princess Alexandra School, which tied for top spot in the Grades 6/7 division.

Two teams from Princess Alexandra School tied for top spot in the Grade 6/7 Girls Division at the Lawrie Hobart Memorial Volleyball Tournament in Fort Smith. The teams and their coaches were, front row, left to right, Rylie Beck, Danika Coakwell, Gracious DeVera, Miah Harris, Corrine Smith and Avaia Ashton; and, back row, left to right, coach Coral Helmer, coach Tara Boudreau, Julianne Groenewegen, Shelby Snow, Daide Coleman, Mackenzie Schwartz, Brianna Simister, Rylee Robillard and coach Nikki Ashton.
Photo courtesy of Princess Alexandra School

Pat Morris, a teacher at PA School and one of the coaches of a boys’ team, was watching the final game for the Grade 7 girls when the teams – PA Predators Blue and Gold – decided to declare a tie.

Morris noted that the girls were originally all on one team, but it was decided to split them into two teams for the tournament.

The girls’ teams were tied at one set each in the final game.

“And then the coaches and the teams just decided to not even play the third and deciding set, and to just say both teams won the gold,” Morris said. “So they brought back the banner anyways and both groups brought home a gold medal.”

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That decision was well received by the players and fans alike, he added. “All the girls left happy.”

There were also a number of other medal-winning teams from Hay River.

PA School had two Grade 7 boys’ teams in the tournament, co-coached by Morris, and they won silver and bronze in the Grade 6/7 Boys Division. That division was won by Paul William Kaeser (PWK) High School from Fort Smith.

In the Grade 8 Girls Division, Diamond Jenness Secondary School finished second, while PWK took top spot.

In the Grade 8 Boys Division, Diamond Jenness also finished second, while K’alemi Dene School of N’Dilo won the banner.

In the 15 and Under Boys Division, Diamond Jenness took home silver, while top spot was claimed by PWK.

In the 15 and Under Girls Division, teams from Diamond Jenness placed second and third. Top spot went to Sir John Franklin High School from Yellowknife.

Ecole Boreale placed second in the 19 and Under Boys Division. Top spot went to Sir John Franklin High School.

And, Diamond Jenness won the silver medal in the 19 and Under Girls Division, while Sir John Franklin High School claimed the banner.

Al Karasiuk, principal of host PWK High School and one of the tournament organizers, said 37 teams – about 350 students – participated in the event.

Along with Fort Smith, the teams came from Hay River, Fort Resolution, Yellowknife and N’Dilo.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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