The atmosphere among the fans who filled the bleachers at the school gym and the community centre for the recent ASAA 2A Girls Provincial Volleyball Tournament was charged with excitement.
The tournament, held Nov. 22 to 24, gave Rimbey Spartans a first-time opportunity to play host to 11 high school volleyball teams from schools throughout Alberta.
It also gave volunteers, school staff, coaches and Rimbey itself, a chance to showcase the community as a friendly, hospitable town.
According to comments from players and parents, it was an opportunity well taken.
“It is very well organized,” said Doug Broadhead who was here from Magrath to watch his daughter Shelby.
Denise Heerink from Vauxhall thought the tournament was excellent and the hospitality in Rimbey evident.
“Everybody is friendly and nice and they have been very good at the hotel as well.”
“And we had no trouble finding both facilities. They are not that far apart.”
Phoenix Riggin, a player from Magrath, said the tournament was a great experience.
“It is a great way to make wonderful memories which highlight the fun of playing volleyball,” she said.
Cindy Buist, whose daughters Leanne and Caitlin play for the Spartans, said the organizers and volunteers deserved credit for a job well done. “They did an awesome job. Everything is going really smoothly.”
Buist said the competition was tough at the provincials, but the Spartans, who never made the playoffs, knew that when they went in.
“They had been geared up for this for a long time. And it’s good for the girls to play up. It gets them geared up for next year.”
“Having two different venues is really tremendous and adding the new floor allows us to host events such as this,” Principal Tim Lekas said.
The teams all seemed to be having a good time, he added. “They are having a lot of fun and that’s what it’s all about.”
Lekas gave credit to coach Lisa Shukan and athletic director Jarrod Robertson for the work they put into making the event a success. He also gave credit to the school staff and the volunteers for their commitment of time and effort.
“It’s been good for the school and good for the community,” added high school teacher Gary Hiebert.