OFSSA “AA” volleyball tournament kicks off with banquet


By Joel Charron

The 2012 OFSAA tournament officially opened with a kick-off banquet held at the Ciociaro Club Sunday night.

Twenty teams across Ontario sat as one before hitting the courts Monday morning.

Guest speaker Denise Van De Walle, former women’s head coach at Bowling Green State University who amassed over 500 wins in her 29-year career, said there were seven championship traits most players have. Those include commitment, hard work, playing with passion and enthusiasm, being competitive, having confidence, being calm, showing leadership and having character.


OFSAA conveners Jeff Miller (left) and Greg Scott (right) were presented with plaques from OFSAA representative Sandy Blackshaw for their efforts in organizing the provincial tournament.

“You have a lot of these traits,” Van De Walle told the crowd. “I’m not telling you anything new but I think we all know that when you give this type of championship effort it really isn’t easy but to me and your coach, it’s the only kind of effort you give.”

OFSAA co-convener, Jeff Miller encouraged all the athletes to “have no regrets and leave it all on the floor.” Miller also thanked the tournament’s sponsors, his organizing committee and also his wife Nicole for helping to bring the tournament to the town and the area.

OFSAA representative Sandy Blackshaw recognized Miller and other co-convener Greg Scott for their organizing efforts for this year’s tournament.  While players for all 20 teams were congratulated for making it to the provincial tournament.

“Just getting here, you have reached the pinnacle of your sport,” added Paul Antaya, superintendent of the Greater Essex County District School Board. “You are here because you want to win but it’s not winning at all costs.”

General Amherst principal Mary Edwards congratulated all the students on advancing to OFSAA and hoped the students would take back positive memories when they return home.

“Everyone is a winner and we haven’t even started yet,” said Edwards.

St. Clair College and Essex District High School were also venues used for the tournament.

“Play hard, play well but play with sportsmanship,” said St. Clair athletic director Jay Shewfelt.


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