Emma Holmes – ACAC Women’s Volleyball South Rookie of the Year
From RDC Communications
Holmes, Domoney and Wandler recognized at 2019 ACAC Women’s Volleyball Awards
Two members of the Red Deer College Queens Volleyball team, along with their coach were honoured at the 2019 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women’s Volleyball Banquet & Award Presentations on Wednesday evening at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club in Calgary.
Bachelor of Kinesiology student Emma Holmes received the ACAC Women’s Volleyball South Rookie of the Year and was selected to the ACAC Women’s Volleyball South All-Conference team.
Kaylee Domoney was also named to the South All-Conference team.
Queens Head Coach Chris Wandler was chosen as the 2019 ACAC Women’s Volleyball South Coach of the Year. All three helped guide the Red Deer College Queens (16-8) to second place in the south with 32 points.
Holmes had a tremendous start to her ACAC Volleyball career. In league categories typically dominated by veteran student-athletes, the five-foot-ten player finished tenth with 202 kills and 13thwith 2.38 kills per set. In 24 matches, the first-year student-athlete scored a total of 232 points for the RDC Queens.
Queens Head Coach Chris Wandler is impressed with the outside hitter’s motivation and play in her inaugural year in the ACAC, and sees potential for further development. “Emma has drive and the more she touches the ball the more she thrives,” he says. “For her to finish in the top of the ACAC with a much more experienced group goes to show how much upside Emma has in her game. She has a lot of space to grow her game, which is exciting.”
Domoney has been a steady force for the RDC Queens. The Business Administration Human Resources student finished conference play with a total of 387 digs, the most in the league. The talented third-year from Red Deer averaged 4.35 digs per set, ranking her second in the ACAC.
With perhaps the youngest group in the ACAC, Wandler prepared and developed the Queens into one of the strongest and most winning teams in the league. The Red Deer College Queens won eight of its past ten matches and 15 of the last 18 conference matches.
“With eight first-year student-athletes on the Queens, Chris has worked hard to prepare and develop this young group throughout the ACAC season,” says Diane St-Denis, RDC Athletic Director. “He holds his players to high standards in competition, the classroom and in the community, reflecting the values of Red Deer College and RDC Athletics.”
“Kaylee’s season is a tribute to her hard work and dedication to her craft at the libero position. A constant learner, Kaylee is always processing feedback to make her and her teammates better,” says Wandler. “She’s also a relentless competitor, and prepares herself for each and every week to be at her very best. She is most deserving of this honour.”
Chris Wandler, from Cold Lake, has an extensive coaching resume. He was an assistant to Talbot Walton with the RDC Queens from 2003 to 2012 and then took on a head coaching role with the Olds College Broncos Women’s Volleyball team from 2012 to 2016. He led the Broncos to an ACAC bronze medal in his third year. Then he took over as the head coach for the RDC Queens Volleyball team in 2016-17 and guided them to a pair of ACAC bronze medals in the last two years. In addition, Wandler coached Team Alberta at the Western Canada Summer Games and the Canada Games, earning gold in 2013.
The Red Deer College Queens will compete at the ACAC Women’s Volleyball Championship from February 21 to 23. In their first match, the Queens (16-8) will play the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings (14-10), who finished third in the north. The opening serve will occur on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in Calgary. Ambrose University is hosting the event.
Fathers and DeWit celebrated at 2019 ACAC Men’s Volleyball Awards
Regan Fathers and Mark DeWit of the Red Deer College Kings were recognized at the 2019 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men’s Volleyball Award Presentations on Wednesday evening at Shaw Theatre in Edmonton.
Regan Fathers was named the ACAC Men’s Volleyball Player of the Year and was selected to the South All- Conference team after a remarkable regular season. Middle Mark DeWit was also named to the ACAC Men’s Volleyball South All-Conference team with solid play. Both gifted student-athletes helped lead the RDC Kings to an 18-6 record, capturing second spot in the south and a position in the ACAC Championship. The Kings finished the season with momentum, achieving a 15-2 record in the last 17 matches.
As the year progressed, the impact of Fathers increased. In RDC’s final two matches of conference play, the Kinesiology student totaled 66 kills, 33 digs, three stuff blocks, two aces and one assist against the previously undefeated Lethbridge College Kodiaks, helping the Kings hand the Kodiaks a pair of defeats, for the first time in 2018-19.
The six-foot-six right side hitter from East Fremantle, Western Australia led ACAC Men’s Volleyball with a total of 435 kills and 5.37 kills per set. Even though he played only 21 matches, he had 69 more kills than Lethbridge College’s Carter Hansen, who was second in the league after 24 matches.
Kings Head Coach Aaron Schulha recognizes the motivation from Fathers to continually improve and make his teammates better. “Regan put up dominating numbers while embracing an increased leadership role this season. He takes individual and team improvement very seriously, and it shows with his ability and willingness to take over matches throughout the season,” he says. “I don’t recall a season over the last several years where a men’s volleyball player has put up those kind of kills numbers in our league. It has been very impressive to watch.”
Fathers is a proven winner and a student-athlete who increases his level of play as the stakes rise. The previous time he played for the Red Deer College Kings in 2016-17, he won ACAC and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) gold medals. He was selected the Tournament MVP of both events.
Mark DeWit, a second-year student-athlete, had a very strong campaign wearing the crown. The Bachelor of Commerce student finished fourth in the ACAC with 56 total blocks and 0.75 blocks per set. From the middle, the student-athlete from Lacombe accumulated 124 kills over 21 matches, impressively hitting for 49.8 per cent efficiency.
“Mark has been tremendous for us during his first two years. He has started the bulk of his first two seasons and showed steady improvement throughout. He is very dynamic with a quick jump and arm, which are very important to being an effective middle,” says Head Coach Schulha. “He is also a very explosive blocker that moves quickly along the net and has active hands. His recognition as an All-Conference player is very well deserved and we are excited to see how he continues to improve in year three with our program.”
The RDC Kings are in Edmonton for the ACAC Men’s Volleyball Championship from February 21 to 23. In their first match, the Red Deer College Kings (18-6) will play the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings (15-9), who finished third in the north. The opening serve will occur on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. The NAIT Ooks are hosting the event.
Blackfalds Town Council approves Arena and Library Expansion – Video and photo galleries included
From the Town of Blackfalds
The Town of Blackfalds is moving forward with the Arena and Library Expansion
The Town of Blackfalds is excited to announce that the Arena and Library Expansion project will be proceeding and shovels will be in the ground in June of 2020 with a completion date targeted for Spring of 2021.
At their May 26 regular meeting, Council voted 4 to 3 to approve the final and guaranteed maximum price of the $24.6M capital budget which includes $18 M for the arena (which includes a $1 M contribution by the Junior A team) and $6.6 M for the Library.
Over the last year, the Town participated in various engagement opportunities including public open houses and meetings with stakeholders, school boards, and other organizations. The consultations prompted changes and additions to be incorporated into the design to improve the functionality of the facility which also resulted in increased costs.
Town of Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole is proud of the work that Administration and its contractors ACI Architects, Eagle Builders and Delnor Construction undertook in the last 2 months to review those areas where costs could be reduced to come up with a target value design, “I support this project for a number of reasons,” asserts Mayor Poole. “First of all, this will be an excellent value for our community when it is built. It will be second to none and I believe it will be a project our community will be proud of, and, as Councillor Taylor stated, it will ‘enhance business opportunities within our community.’ The Abbey Centre continues to receive praise and compliments from community members throughout Alberta and I am confident Blackfalds will duplicate that success with this facility.”
Mayor Poole added, “I am also excited about the opportunities that the AJHL will bring to the community. The new Library is going to be one of the largest in central Alberta and, for a community under 20,000, this will be an attraction that we will not only be extremely proud of, but given the provisions of the facility, will allow for progressive programming even in a post-COVID era. In addition, by awarding the construction contract to Eagle Builders, we are providing jobs for many central Alberta families. I am thrilled to be working with such great partners like Eagle Builders, Delnor and ACI with whom we have had a great relationship in the past.”
The guaranteed maximum price ensures that the Town will not pay any more than the $24.6M and therefore, if the cost of the project does go up, the risk will be to Delnor and Eagle Builders, and not the municipality. CAO Thompson echoed some of Council’s words, “We want to provide a high quality facility to our community similar to our past successful projects, and not have to cut corners.”
A gallery of final design concepts can be viewed on the Multi-Plex Arena web page at blackfalds.com/tourism-recreation/multi-plex-ice-arena.
A small ground breaking ceremony will take place on Friday June 19 and will celebrated by invitation only to ensure physical and social distancing.
If any organizations are interested in sponsorship, please see the sponsorship brochure at http://blackfalds.com/tourism-recreation/multi-plex-ice-arena.
Alberta Juniors Choose Positive Path
Alberta Juniors Choose Positive Path
Everywhere there is gloom. Well, almost everywhere.
A welcome exception is the 15-team Alberta Junior Hockey League, which lost much of its gate revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic arrival at playoff time, and now waits for permission from Hockey Canada and Alberta Health Services to go ahead with its 2020-2021 season.
President Ryan Bartoshyk confirmed on Monday that his league is “in the process of drawing up our schedule right now. We’re aiming (to have teams on the ice) by Sept. 1 and we hope to get the season started by Sept. 18.” Any and all final decisions must meet with at least two levels of official approval, of course, but operators have expressed their confidence by agreeing to put in the work, recognizing that later starts (or no start) are still possibilities.
To an outsider, the clearest declaration of league independence is this: the schedule, with various possible opening dates pencilled in, is being drawn up for all 15 teams. This is most impressive when it is known that several franchises – no names provided by president Bartoshyk or any team spokesman – have expressed serious concern about the cost of business in the coming season.
We have lost at least one league camp for tryouts,” said a spokesman. “We know we’re going to lose more.”
Not included are the Blackfalds Bulldogs, who will replace the former Calgary Mustangs at the start of the 2021/2002 season. Bartoshyk was pleased to say “work on the new arena for Blackfalds is due to start this month.”
Among the established teams reported to have mentioned their problems outside of league meetings are the Canmore Eagles, but the team’s two captains and a pair of assistants have already been named for the coming season. At least a couple of promising signings have also been announced. As a result, pessimism has shrunk a great deal.
Also optimistic about the coming season are the Olds Grizzlys, whose attendance averaged well over 1,500 a game when they dominated Junior A ranks several years ago but dropped to about 600 a game last year. “This is a great sports community, a great place to be,” said club governor and vice-president executive Trent Wilhauk. “We know the fans will come back; they love their Grizzlys.”
Population of the community is slightly more than 10,000. “It’s a happening place when the team is going good.”
After wiping out last year’s playoffs and destroying some of the regular post-season increases at the gate, COVID-19 has continued to harm the AJHL, just as it has damaged so many other areas of the economy. “We have lost at least one league camp for tryouts,” said a spokesman. “We know we’re going to lose more.”
Those financial setbacks may have been dwarfed by the loss of some appealing playoff matchups. “Some of the teams that drew above-average numbers for us (Okotoks Oilers, Brooks Bandits, Sherwood Park Crusaders) didn’t have a playoff game before we had to stop,” Bartoshyk said. “They all had byes in the first round.”
Other teams with relative season-long success at the gate also missed money-raising opportunities. “It’s obvious that our league relies on corporate sponsorship and support at the gate,” Bartoshyk added, mentioning a handful of promising pending post-season clashes — Drayton Valley and Sherwood Park, the Whitehorse Wolverines and the Spruce Grove Saints, Camrose Kodiaks and Drumheller Dragons – that could not take place.
At this point, the day’s general feeling that the AJHL future remains bright surfaced again.
Said Bartoshyk: “We’re ready. We’ll do what is necessary.”
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