TeamFULLHub Staff

A proud Saugeen District Secondary School held a surprise celebration for their own SDSS Royals Senior Boys Volleyball Team on Wednesday, December 2 to mark the accomplishment of the team's amazing achievements this season.

Although the coaches of the team knew about the surprise the players did not. Tyler Schropp, Liam Flaherty, Eric Langridge, Tyler McMillan, Kodey Vance, Hayden Duplantis, Murray Martin, Jacob Kloosterhof and Malik Khan were led on stage in the school's full to capacity auditorium to chants of 'Let's go Royals, let's go', cheers and applause.

The team began their achievements by being named champions of the South division of the Bluewater Athletic Association (BAA) and making it through their season undefeated. This qualified them for the BAA championships, where they went up against 11 teams; and again finished undefeated.

Then they were off to the Central Western Ontario Secondary School Association's (CWOSSA) championships in Walkerton where they competed against 23 other Central Western Ontario championship teams. Again, they went on to win undefeated, not losing a single set.

From CWOSSA, the team headed to OFSAA, the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association's Boys AA Volleyball Championships in Kenora and after competing November 26 to 28, they finished in a medal position, Antique Bronze, or fourth place.

“What a season, what a team and what turned out to be an adventure,” said proud Head Coach Dr. Allan Gundrum. “A terrific group of young men who were excellent ambassadors for not only our school but our town.”

“It's fairly rare for someone from our area to win CWOSSA to start with,” he said. “We last did it ten years ago and to my knowledge, I don't think a representative from CWOSSA has ever got a medal at OFSAA.”

Gundrum said he tried to find out how many AA schools there were in Ontario and although he couldn't find an exact number, he thought it was between 300 and 400. “Finishing fourth isn't too bad,” he said.

Steve Taylor, who coaches the Junior Boys program and traveled to Kenora with the Senior Boys team, said the team went into the OFSAA competition ranked 10th after their achievements. “We were seeded tenth and we came in fourth, so we defeated a lot of teams,” he said. “A lot of upsets on our behalf.”

Tim Smith, Head Coach of the Girls volleyball team, who also traveled to Kenora for the competition, recognized several teachers and coaches for their part in assisting the team, including Mike Dennis of Northport Elementary School. Eight of the nine players on the SDSS team had come from the Northport program.

“This is really something special,” said Smith. “I've tried to look in the history of team sport at Saugeen District and I can't find anywhere that shows that a team has ever come home with a medal,” he said. “History making right here in front of your eyes and I'm so proud we were able to do that.”



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