The Raiders Senior Boys Volleyball team had an exceptional season of development and high quality competition. There were a great number of very talented boys who tried out this season and it’s a coaches least favorite aspect in forming a team when we have to release players who are good enough to make it. This bodes well for continued success for the Raiders brand and volleyball within the Lakeland Area.
The Boys fought hard at their first three tournaments this season achieving 2nd place at the Glen Avon tournament, taking 5th place at the FG Miller tournament, and 2nd at the Mallaig tournament.
The final tournament of the volleyball season, the SPAA Championships, were held Nov 20, 2023 on our home court. Through hard work, perseverance and a dedication to mastering the fundamentals of serving, passing, and tactical knowledge, we were in a three way tie for first place in league play. The tie breaker would fall to us giving us both first place as well as homecourt advantage. Finishing first in our pool set up a semi-final versus Ecole du Sommet. We were able to emerge victorious besting the Sommet boys in two sets. The final was a dramatic affair as we battled fatigue, high emotions and even higher expectations. We won the first set handily. The second set was another story as they could feel the mounting pressure and the hardened experience of the Crusaders. The third set was a test the boys will likely remember for years to come. I saw a light go off in their heads as they decided that second place was not enough.
Though emotional, I can say that the whole of them matured beyond my expectations in that final set. Quality serving, tight passing and setting, and heavy and tactical attacks kept the FG Miller squad subdued through 15 points. The boys had declared that taking home the banner was their goal for the season; mine was continued passion for volleyball and for healthy competition.
I would say with confidence that we achieved both and I look forward to watching these young men continue to develop over the coming years.
I thank all the members of this team for a remarkable and memorable season and I wish them all the best in their athletic pursuits to come.
Head Coach Racette Raiders Sr. Boys Volleyball Team