It’s a game people are going to talk about for a while.
The Semiahmoo Secondary School Totems jumped out to a two sets to none lead on the Mt. Baker Secondary School Wild, only to watch the Wild claw themselves back into the match, taking the Totems to the limit in a nail-biting, 25-21, 25-22, 25-18, 12-25, 15-12 win.
“I did not let them off the floor,” said Totems head coach Michael Sapic as he explained how he handled his team heading into the deciding fifth set after dropping sets three and four.
And after that, Sapic began screaming encouraging word to his team, saying that the two sets they just lost didn’t matter anymore.
“I was trying to bring their emotions back up,” Sapic smiled as he celebrated with his team. “I said look, at the beginning of the season you thought we’d be in a fifth set for a Provincial Final, I think you’d be pretty happy with that, so let’s go and take it.”
The inspiring speech changed the Totems mood immediately, as they fired on all cylinders in the final set.
The play of Grade 11 setter, Jag Gill came around in that set, and he was lights out setting tournament MVP, Mike Dowhaniuk.
“He was lofting the ball a bit too high to Mike and he likes a faster ball, and so they were able to load up their blockers on Mike,” Explained Sapic as he talked about his setter that had only played the position for a mere three months. “But I think he adapted and by the fifth set they were faster.”
Dowhaniuk was just as complimentary about Gill’s play in the final set.
“When it came right down to it he really stepped up,” Dowhaniuk said. “I think he stepped into a big role for us and it was great having him all year to set me.”
After the win, Dowhaniuk said both championships are moments he’ll cherish for the rest of his life. A feeling that is shared with Grade 12 teammate, and First-Team All Star, Braxton Campbell.
“It’s an indescribable feeling, definitely better than last year,” Campbell said grinning ear-to-ear.
It’s unfortunate that in a Gold Medal game as good as this, someone need to go home with the Silver Medal. Still, with that in mind, Wild head coach Karley Ferner is proud of her team’s efforts in adding third Silver Medal to her school’s collection.
When the Wild were trailing two sets to none, Ferner modestly said she just never stopped cheering, believing in them and reminding them that the next point is theirs.
“I try to get them to rally each other instead of me trying to rally them, because they work the best when they’re building each other up.”
After the match, she called the second place finish bitter sweet. Sure they are happy to be returning home with a medal after an 11th place finish last year, but the loss still stings.
Earl Marriott captured the Bronze Medal, 25-22, 23-25, 25-13, 25-21 over Seaquam