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Kings crown Royals for national bronze

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Quebec, QC – The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings are bringing home hardware from the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Volleyball National Championship.

The Kings controlled many facets of the match and defeated the Redeemer Royals in four sets (25-21, 25-16, 23-25 and 25-20), earning national bronze.

“Our group was really resilient and showed a lot of growth this weekend,” said Aaron Schulha, Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Volleyball Head Coach. “We had guys playing through injury and after losing that tough first round matchup to a very good host Limoilou team, our guys refocused very well and came together to win bronze.”

Setter Maddux Greves got many teammates involved in the opening set against the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) wildcard. He connected with outside hitters Reece Lehman, Brett Lower, Nicholas Possingham to help build a four point lead (18-14). Middle Dillon Gauci picked up three kills in the set. The Kings retained that four point margin and won 25-21.

Possingham (6)

RDP set the tone early in the second set, opening on a 6-0 run. The Kings built on that margin with an ace from Cody Boulding and offensive production from Lower, Lehman and Possingham late in the set to solidify a 25-16 victory.

Lehman (9), Boulding (7), Lower (5)

With their backs against the wall, the Royals started the third set 8-1. A pair of kills from Lehman eventually helped bring the Polytechnic within four (8-12). The Kings kept chipping away and evened it up 19-19. Two late kills from Redeemer Player of the Match William Winkelhorst (25-23) gave his squad the decision and brought them within a set.

“The bronze medal is a very difficult to win in this format where you have to play four matches in three days,” added Schulha. “I’m very proud of this group for what they’ve been able to accomplish this season, given all of the crazy circumstances.”

In the fourth set, the teams were even 15-15 and then RDP started to pull away. Three kills from both Possingham and Lehman created separation and the RDP Kings picked up a 25-20 decision and CCAA bronze.

Kings Player of the Game Possingham totaled 12 kills (0.364 hitting percentage), six digs, one assist, one block and one of the team’s 10 service aces. Lower fired 13 kills. Lehman added nine. Gauci (six kills and three blocks) and Boulding (two kills and four blocks) were effective from the middle. Greves had 41 assists, five digs, five aces, two kills and a pair of blocks.

Winkelhorst contributed 11 kills for the Royals. Teammate Brett Jenkins led the team with 12 kills. Brayden Stoffers added 10. Jason Wildeboer had five of the Royals’ seven aces.

Three Kings were also named to the CCAA All-Tournament teams. Greves and Boulding earned spots on the CCAA First All-Tournament team. Lower received the honour as a CCAA Second All-Tournament team selection.

The Camosun Chargers (PACWEST gold) defeated the host Limoilou Titans in the gold medal match.

With many of the student-athletes returning to Red Deer Polytechnic next season, the Kings will have another strong team.

“I am excited for what next year holds for our program,” said Schulha.

RDPolytech Athletics

Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics announces Harrison as Queens Basketball Head Coach

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Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics has named Avery Harrison the new head coach of the Queens Basketball program.

“We are extremely excited to add Avery to the Red Deer Polytechnic coaching staff. He brings decades of experience, a proven championship mindset, and the ability to harness the potential in each student-athlete,” says Randy Stewart, Manager Athletics and Student Life. “In addition to being an excellent coach and mentor, Avery has the innate ability to develop a winning culture and to be successful at the highest level.”

The five-time Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year has helped to guide his teams to five ACAC Championships and three Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) titles over 23 years as a head coach in the league. Harrison has led his teams to the national championships 10 times, which is the most for an ACAC Women’s Basketball Head Coach. Harrison was also an ACAC Assistant Coach for 11 years.

In this role, Harrison worked with legendary SAIT Trojans Head Coach Phil Allen, who is an ACAC Hall of Fame Coach and a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and a major influence on Harrison’s coaching career. Together, they led the Trojans to four ACAC Championships and one CCAA gold medal.

Harrison has had post-secondary coaching stints at Mount Royal College, Lethbridge College, SAIT, and most recently at Olds College from 2017 to 2020. During his tenure in Olds, Harrison built the Broncos into both ACAC and CCAA Champions in 2019.

With Harrison’s leadership, 46 of his players have earned spots on ACAC All-Conference teams and 12 student-athletes have been recognized as All-Canadians.

Harrison is looking forward to coaching and sharing his expertise with the Queens, who qualified for last year’s playoffs for the first time since 2009/2010.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to join the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Basketball program as their new head coach,” he says. “We have a great mixture of veterans and I think one of our first goals is to establish a winning culture in our locker room. We need to create an on-court identity that the team can be proud of, so we can go out and give our best effort every night.”

This past season, the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens (7-9) finished fifth in the south and then were downed by the Medicine Hat College Rattlers in a playoff division quarter-final.

Looking to the 2022/2023 season, the returning players and new recruits will all benefit from Harrison’s leadership.

One key returning student-athlete to the Queens is Amy Szymanek, who has been a leader on the team and within RDP Athletics. The team MVP and co-chair of the Polytechnic’s Student-Athletes Advisory Council (SAAC) is entering her fourth season. She led the Queens with 15.1 points per game last year. The Bachelor of Education student’s talent, leadership, work ethic, and impact on the game resulted in a 2022 ACAC Women’s Basketball Second All-Conference team selection. Sophie Melin (12.6 points per game), Lauren France (10.6), Heena Sidhu (7.7), and Keanna Richards (6.1) are also expected to return for the 2022/2023 season.

Harrison will immediately step into his head coaching duties at the Polytechnic.

More information about Queens Basketball, including the roster and schedule, will be available in the fall at: rdpolytechathletics.ca.

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Sarcevic joins Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Soccer as Head Coach

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After an extensive search, Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics has named Ado Sarcevic the head coach of the Kings Soccer team.

Sarcevic brings an impressive playing and coaching resume to the Polytechnic, along with a familiarity of the RDP Soccer program and Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).

“We are thrilled to have Ado lead the Kings into the 2022/2023 season. He was a professional soccer player in Europe and former Yugoslavia, and has successfully coached at a variety of levels,” says Randy Stewart, Manager Athletics and Student Life. “Ado has previously assumed an assistant coach role with the Kings Soccer team for two years. We look forward to following the progression of the Kings as they strive to build upon last year’s second place regular season record in the south division and ACAC bronze medal.”

The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Soccer team has evolved into one of the elite squads in the conference.

Along with winning hardware this past season, the Kings earned ACAC silver and placed sixth at nationals in 2019/2020, ranking as the top ACAC team in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The 2020/2021 season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Sarcevic has been an integral leader in growing soccer in central Alberta. He established the Red Deer Renegades, which provide competitive options for youth to develop and enhance their skills within Red Deer City Soccer Association (RDCSA). Sarcevic also served as Renegades Technical Director for a decade.

In addition, Sarcevic assumed the role of RDCSA General Manager and coached U12 to U18 squads, winning three U18 Alberta Championships with the Renegades. He also coached the Renegades Women’s team in the Alberta Major Soccer League and worked with central Alberta coaches to grow their expertise.

“I am very excited for this wonderful opportunity to become a member of Red Deer Polytechnic as Kings Soccer Head Coach,” says Sarcevic. “I’m looking forward to building exceptional soccer players, but most importantly, developing great citizens of our communities.”

Sarcevic will officially begin his coaching duties on May 2, 2022.

More information about Kings Soccer, including the roster and schedule, will be available in the fall at: rdpolytechathletics.ca.

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