Last year, the College Heights Cougars had their season end with a loss to their cross-town rival the Duchess Park Condors in the Bronze Medal Game of the AA B.C. High School Boys Volleyball Championships.
That loss clearly motivated the Cougars, who return six players from last year’s team and are currently ranked No. 3 in the AA Boys rankings. The Cougars have remained undefeated so far this season, capturing titles at the Kodiak Classic, the D.P. Todd tournament and most recently, the Jon Bragg Memorial Tournament.
Cougars head coach, Linden Smith, who has been a part of the Cougars volleyball program since 2011, says the key to the Cougars’ success so far has been the work the team has put in on executing their passing game, because passing is key.
Matt Shand and Isaiah Ohori are two key players for the Cougars, each earning individual honours at various points this season.
“I’ve known Matt for a while because I coached his older brother,” said Smith. “He’s as real good kid who’s eager to learn and get better.
“Isaiah is young (in Grade 11, but Grade 10 aged), but he wants to do real well every time he’s on the floor,” said Smith. “He’s starting for us, so he’s really happy about that, but he will do whatever it takes for the team.”
The next big test for the Cougars will be the Best in the West Tournament in Kelowna, Oct. 12-13. The tournament generally has one of the strongest fields in B.C. High School Volleyball.
But Smith says his team is excited for the challenge of playing in their first out of town tournament and getting a look at some of the top teams in B.C.
“We want to push ourselves to be the best and obviously try to win,” said Smith. “But realistically, we haven’t seen anyone outside of Prince George, so the tournament will also give us a gauge of the other teams and some insight on the areas we need to improve.”
Around the Province
In other news, the Earl Marriott Mariners held onto their No. 1 AAA Boys ranking with a win at the UBC’s Mizuno senior boys invitational over the Abbotsford Christian Knights. Despite the loss, the Knights jumped over three teams and moved into No. 1 spot in the AA Boys rankings.
The other movers in this week’s rankings were the Van Tech Talismen, who jumped from No. 7 to No. 2 (AAA) and the Burnaby Central Wildcats (AAA No. 12), the Steveston-London Sharks (AAA No. 13) and the Langley Fundamental Titans (No. 9, AA) who all climbed into the rankings this week.
Below are the current BC School Sports Senior Boys Volleyball rankings.
AAA Boys Volleyball Rankings (Oct. 2, 2018)
- Earl Marriott Mariners (Surrey) (LW-1)
- Van Tech Talismen (7)
- Claremont Spartans (Victoria) (2)
- Penticton Lakers (5)
- Boucherie Bears (Kelowna) (6)
- Moscrop Panthers (Burnaby) (3)
- Kelowna Owls (8)
- Oak Bay Bays (Victoria) (10)
- Argyle Pipers (North Vancouver) (9)
- Delta Pacers (Ladner) (4)
- Okanagan Mission Huskies (Kelowna) (11)
- Burnaby Central Wildcats (NR)
- Steveston-London Sharks (Richmond) (NR)
- Dover Bay Dolphins (Nanaimo) (14)
- Seaquam Seahawks (North Delta) (15)
AA Boys Volleyball Rankings (Oct. 2, 2018)
- Abbotsford Christian Knights (LW-4)
- Langley Christian Lightning (1)
- College Heights Cougars (Prince George) (3)
- George Elliot Coyotes (Lake Country) (2)
- MEI Eagles (Abbotsford) (5)
- Princess Margaret Mustangs (Penticton) (7)
- Surrey Christian Falcons (9)
- P. Todd Trojans (Prince George) (8)
- Langley Fundamental Titans (HM)
- Richmond Christian Lions (6)
Volleyball BC is looking to cover the B.C. high school volleyball scene like never before.
Know an inspiring athlete who has over come something or is excelling in sport?
Know a high school coach that has made a difference in their player’s lives?
Know a volunteer or referee that has made a difference at your school/district?
Throughout the high school volleyball season, Volleyball BC will be sharing some of the stories we hear about that are going on in our community. If you know an athlete, coach, referee, volunteer or team we should write about, drop Ian a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.