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Club News Story

The weekend with our young developmental teams.

2016 / 01 / 24

The 13u-15u age groups in our club are the what we refer to as the player dvelopment years. While most clubs specialize with the goal of winning at the onset, we have  decided to embrace the Sport Canada LTAD model and focus on the total development of the individuals. The fact that some of these teams are in the top level of their age group and are being successful without a specialized setter or front row attackers is remarkable.

Let’s start off with the boy’s side and the youngest Mavericks the 13u Copperheads and Diamond backs. These two spunky little squads were in the city at the end of the lake to play their second event. The teams had a busy day with the Copperheads seeded 3rd and the Diamondbacks 7th. But coach Paul Rainville’s group would prove to be the snakes in the grass at the end of the day winning Bronze while the Copperheads held on with a final match victory to finish 5th. Both excellent results, which were in fact mirror images of the teams finish at the last event. Of interest with this group the coaches have been juggling the rosters to try and produce opportunities for all players in big games.  The roster must be set eventually for the Ontario Championships but until now this group has been working together to get the job done no matter what team name they are playing under.

Also in Kingston were the 15u Chargers and Coach Mike Spears, this group is following along the LTAD model embraced by so many of our teams and is playing a system that is really not a system, well ok it is sort of a 6-3 but not specialized which by contrast to every other team running a 5-1 at this age group is amazing.

This commitment to development of the complete player is also not really showing any negative effects as the boys swept through their pool with wins over Toronto West and the newly founded Kingston VC 14u squad by decisive measures. The advance continued past the Revolution (Red) but stalled in the semis against the Ottawa Fusion boys in a good contest. Coach Mike was able to get the guys back on their horses and finish the assault with a straight set win over the more established Pegasus VC of Kingston. The team is ready now for the next level and coach Spears and company hope to have a few surprises for their opposition in the next event.

Now on to that traffic jam that is 14u girls.

First up are the Outlaws in Oshawa for the Premier East division. These girls are also on the proper road by sticking with the SC LTAD model and the goals and objectives for training athletes to train. Coach Nick Krawchuk was leading this band of second years up against three of the top teams in the Province including a Storm group that may even compete for tops at the 15u division. Seeded 4th in the tournament the script went accordingly. Split the pool matches with #3 Durham and #9 Barrie. Win the pre-quarter vs Revolution and then face the Storm in the Semis. The result was a lesson on next level play but with this team having defeated our 15u Ambush last week- twice, Saturday’s outcome serves more a experience for this gang. The Bronze medal was also a tough match-up against the Durham squad from earlier in the day. A 4th place finish at the top level of your age group (equating to a possible top 8 in Ontario) is a great step forward for these girls after competing in Tier 2 OC’s last season. Possibly the biggest jump forward in standing I have seen and a long time.

Meanwhile at Championship no less than three Maverick teams were in the second tier. The 14u Raiders, Desperados and Banditas were all in Markham for the Championship D tournament. With only spotty results being sent in I can only tell you that the results were mixed.

On the top side of the draw Coach Rob McMullin and his band of Raiders got off to a surprising hiccup with an opening day loss to the 13u Storm group that had just come up from Trillium. After that the Raiders were taking matches here and there and even stole a semi final win from Durham with a 16-14 comeback from an 11-14 deficit in the third. Back in the finals against that Storm team that had only gathered in ferocity in the end the Raiders dropped one place in the standings by falling in the gold medal in a tough loss that would have placed them in the premier east division for the next one. Soooo close.

At the other end of the spectrum the Coach Misha Nefedov’s Desperados and Coach Richard Paquette’s Banditas had tough finishes with the Banditas struggling to a loss in the 5th place match that would have kept them at this level for the next event and the Desperados had a winning finish to their day in the match for 9th, they two will be returning to a venue closer to home for the next Trillium event.

And on that note we find our 13u girls squads playing up and age division as well closer to home in Cornwall. The 13u Rattlers and Sidewinders both gave it a shot at this age group and again we are so pleased that Coaches Salem and Slutier are following along with the club development model and giving the girls the opportunity to develop all skills but also to play at a level that challenges them even more.

The 13u Rattlers had an great day over all including a win over their first Quebec opponent a huge win over the OV Vikings black 14u for the first time in 5 attempts giving them 1st in their pool.  Another match-up with the OV Vikings only the Red team this time around and the Coach John Salem’s nest of vipers were once again victorious. A rematch against the Noir et Or who have given Eastern Ontario teams fits in recent years. But the Rattlers showed their bite and advanced to the final after yet another thrilling 2-1 win over their second opponent from la belle Province. In the finals it seems that the third and final set of Vikings were just a little too much for the girls and the host Cornwall Vikings came away with the victory. All in all, a very nice Silver Medal for our 13u group.

This Cornwall event also marked the first attempt at playing up and age group for coach Andy Slutier’s group. While the13u Sidewinders are mostly 12u players, they did have a competitive day. While it took a while to overcome the nerves and adjust to the style of play, the coaches did see a big improvement over the course of the day and while finishing in 9th place may be tough to swallow at first, the venom it will put into the bite of these young vipers will come out to sting someone real soon.

“ Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the titanic. ”
– Anonymous