As October is making room for November, students at SGA are sad to see high school volleyball and cross country beginning to wrap up. A look back over the season, however, reminds us of all the exciting achievements that our students have experienced so far this year.
The junior high boys’ volleyball team had a great year of building skills, led by co-captains Alejandro Ventura and Lincoln Goodman. With many new players on the team and many new roles on the court for a number of players, the team improved from game to game throughout the regular season and made it to the quarterfinals in the playoffs.
The high school team, led by captain Andrei Lopez, had a hectic season. Early in the season, they travelled to Three Hills, AB, to play in the Prairie Christian Academy tournament, where they placed fourth overall. The boys also competed at the Father Lacombe tournament where they played hard and finished third.
The junior high girls’ volleyball team had enormous success in their 2017 season, leaving the school very proud. They went undefeated into playoffs and stayed that way to the city final game on Friday, November 3rd, where they played St. Bonaventure at Bishop Grandin High School. In an exhilarating five sets, the girls played skillfully and were able to win the first and fourth set, but unfortunately experienced some struggles against a hard serve in the fifth set. Regardless of the outcome, the girls had a fantastic season which was indicative of the auspicious future for girls volleyball at SGA. A special shout-out to their captain, Jenae Papke, for her positivity and strong leadership throughout the campaign.
St. Gabriel’s junior varsity girls’ volleyball team qualified their playoffs, which finished last week. The girls successfully defended their title of City Champions for the second year in a row. They competed in Bishop McNally’s tournament, finishing third and they played in Bishop O’Byrne’s tournament along with an out of town tournament in Leduc, AB. The girls were very excited and felt confident going into the playoffs. The team, led by captain Paige Ficaccio, has gotten a hard-earned spot in the playoffs and made the SGA family very proud of all they have accomplished this season and are showing great potential for the coming years at St. Gabriel.
The high school senior varsity girls’ volleyball team have also had an exciting season, finishing fourth in their standings and earning a home court advantage for their first playoff game on Tuesday, November 14th. They had great success in the numerous tournaments they attended this season, including a trip to Leduc, AB in October as well as tournaments at both Notre Dame and St. Martin De Porres High Schools. They performed well and held their own in competitions against division one teams. Captain Tina Jozeljic and the rest of the girls were very optimistic entering playoffs and played will in quarter-finals but unfortunately they were defeated, ending their season. The team competed well throughout the season and accomplished a lot this past season.
The St. Gabriel’s girls’ high school soccer season came to an end in October, but not before the girls were able to win the City Championship for the second consecutive year. During the 2016/2017 season, they played in the tier 3-4 split division and earned the championship title. This year, although they moved up to compete against only tier 3 teams, nothing could stop the girls from enjoying an undefeated season, culminating in a win over St. Timothy’s in the city finals. The team dominated the field and was able to pull off a 7-2 win. Next year the team will be losing their captain Alaira Henry, along with the remaining two senior players, Tina Jozeljic and Cassie Leil, but the positive influence these three players are leaving behind is sure to have a lasting impact.
The junior high cross-country team at St. Gabriel experienced great success this year with Faith Drinkwalter qualifying for city finals. The high school team shared that success this season when Darienne Worms finished first on an all-divisions field and fourth in City Finals, qualifying for Provincials. The top male finishers this year were Brian Wolkowski and Jake Harasemchuk. All of the cross country athletes had a tremendous season and made St. Gabriel proud. Additionally, the cross-country team was awarded the Stride School Involvement Award. This award, which is presented to the school that has the most substantial increase in cross country participation, was earned by St. Gabriel because they experienced an increase of over 50% to the size of their team this year. This achievement shows the great dedication that both athletes and coaches have to SGA athletics, promising an exciting future in school sports.
As the snow starts to fall, the students and coaches at St. Gabriel Jr. High and High school begin to eagerly anticipate the start of a new basketball season, with updates on the season and teams coming in the future.