It’s a new outlook for both senior high volleyball teams in Bashaw to go along with the first full season in their new gym.
For the Rebels senior boys, it’s a third season with Jess Viske at the helm with the team having an eye of building toward the end of November as they are the hosts for the 1A Boys provincial championship.
And the club has started that road on the right foot, taking fourth at a 16-team tournament in Camrose.
“We were the top placed 1A team and the boys performance forecasts a very exciting season ahead,” said Viske.
“I have had the opportunity to work with the six Grade 12s on the team for three years and they are showing great leadership — both on the court and to the younger players. The Grade 12s come with a lot of skill, but still have the drive to critique and improve their play.”
Back in his first season, there were just seven players and this season there are 15. That has Viske excited, not only for this year, but for the program going forward.
“We want to prove that we are competitive, even with the automatic provincials entry. Our goal is to place first or second in the league and progress to zones,” he added.
Meanwhile, the senior girls have seen a dramatic shift in two ways — a new coach with new systems and philosophy plus a roster change will take some time to meld together. However, the team has showed on the weekend that it may not take as long as first thought.
Don Seale, who brings a wealth of coaching experience from Donalda along with the Castor Crush club team, took over this season from Al Middleton. While the 16-member team has just four Grade 12s and some new strategies and tactics being installed, the athletes had a positive performance at the 32-team Vermillion tournament — falling in the semi-finals to Holy Rosary of Lloydminster.
“It was extremely positive for their first time on the floor. I’m very proud and it was an excellent start with everyone getting a chance for some touches,” he said.
“And we didn’t just walk through our games, we had some battles and struggled at times.”
Seale, who recently retired from teaching, was asked over the summer to come to Bashaw, but it didn’t take much as one of his daughters is playing for the Rebels.
With the roster having a range of experience levels, Seale’s main focus is on having the team fuse as a group.
“I’ve started to put in some rather advanced stuff, so it will take some more time to get everyone used to all of it. Though, the team has done well in picking things up quickly and getting the movements working for what I want to see,” he explained.
“If I can get the girls to come together, work with each other, feel good about themselves and being the best that they can be, then the results will come.”