Thank you, Don, and Thank you committee for this induction
words I am about to share with you come from the memories of
my team mates. And I will do my best to give you a picture
of why we are here tonight receiving such a great award.
What an honor to have been a
part of such a magical team experience that won on sheer
determination and hard work. Accomplishments that really
count are ones you work hard for and not the ones that come
easily. That is why this experience is so cherished.
We fought tooth and nail every
time we played. The drive and determination we had make the
memories from being a Sabre Volleyball teammate a "forever
We started with a coach, who
after coaching men's teams, was used to no frills, no tears,
no make-up and no fancy hair bows. Coach E often said “ we
will play like men in women's bodies”, or how can we forget
our fearless leader leading us in this chant
"We try just as hard as we
can, to play volleyball just like a man.
We fight and we dig, and we sweat like a pig
But , we still squat when we go to the can!"
Coach E taught us that hard
work would be worth it. Floorboards, stairway to heaven,
timed lines - at first we thought they had to be types of
corporal punishment, yet without us knowing the outcome of
these tasks, he developed a team who never quit no matter
how hard it was. All the practice of serving, hitting,
defending, blocking and of course, "COVER that ball!"
Coach taught us how to be a
“We-task-I- win”, there is
no “I” in “team”.
We did all the drills and work
together. Carrying a teammate on our shoulders across the
gym, it was timed of course.
The "Book" of positive
affirmations that Mr. E put together for us is
affectionately remembered. When academics were challenging
and when a glimpse of doubt set in our minds - if we could
win or not - many concepts in this book of affirmations
mentally helped build our confidence to step on the court as
if for the first time.
Create your wave of
emotion and Continue your momentum on the court!
ONE POINT AT A TIME!
The game is 90% mental
and 10% physical.
Know that as an
individual on the court you will fall into place as
a team, because we are playing an area on the court
and not a spot!
Keep the ball off the
He made it sound easy and in
our minds he helped us make it more realistic to get the job
done! And as always we would cheer "TEAM" and get back
on the court.
When we thought we were going
to have a hard practice after a tough loss, we ended up at
the bowling alley, trying to use our non dominant hand, eyes
closed, backwards bowling.
We knew how to play on and off
the court together.
We always drew names for who
we roomed with in the hotel on "away" tournaments. Silly
names on slips of paper, sometimes Mickey Mouse, sometimes
numbers or colors, It was a great way to keep us mixed up
and avoid “groups”, to keep us a team.
When the decision was made on
whether to go 4A or not, it came down to a “hands up” vote.
Because we all made the decision together, and because we
believed we could do it, it made us successful from the
We had hard moments that
For example: The
Barrhead tournament where we were not playing well against a
team that we could beat physically, but who were beating us
mentally. Coach called a time-out and made everyone do lines
the whole time. He didn't say anything. We came back to win
the set looking within ourselves to find the win.
An this one: A
significant loss at TVT tournament and the absolute quiet
ride home in the van. Undoubtedly one of our toughest
losses, yet Coach believed we had what it took to refocus.
And how could we forget in the
final game when Natalie rolled her ankle. The air left the
building, many thought our game and dream were over. And
then comes Jolene, stepping in to play middle. The positive
energy she brought to the court propelled us. Anyone
observing could see that Church Hill was feeling defeated,
because they recognized that no matter what combination of
players we put on the floor, we were going to win! We were a
Coach gave us the mental
picture at the beginning of the Provincial Tournament of our
team being an avalanche. With every win, we gained more
momentum. We truly were unstoppable. The energy to the final
was epic... including the artwork of a snowball rolling down
a hill from the man who was a few fingers short!
One of our favorite memories
we shared as a team of our 4A final was the electricity in
the gym. The atmosphere with over 600 fans banging on drums,
blowing on horns was second to none.
Thank you to our family, to
our friends, to WCHS for all your support. And of course
that final winning point, we had worked so hard for it!
It is amazing what one can
remember twenty years later. It really shows how that
experience shaped our lives and helped us be the women,
mothers, teachers, coaches, and professionals we have become
Coach Ethier, we thank you for
the time and hard work you put into the dream.
And Deb, all the Ethier
family, you were his support behind the dream. You
ultimately gave up much precious family time so the team
could be nurtured, so thank you! We all know there is a
fantastic woman behind every great man!
Mr. E, you were our teacher,
mentor and coach, a great source of guidance on and off the
court, academically, personally and athletically. You lead
by example: Family 1st, School 2nd and Volleyball 3rd and
Without your father-like pride
and encouragement we wouldn't have believed we could play in
the big leagues. We would not have become the players we
were. Coach, you never once gave us the impression that we
weren't perfectly capable and up to the challenge. We
were determined and focused at Provincials.
It was as if all those years
of Senior Women's League, North Battleford tournaments,
midget teams, classical music for warm-ups, and floor boards
were culminating in one final push to our ultimate goal.
The team was completely ready for the challenge. We all
believed it was ours.
We are forever Sabres. Even
though miles may separate some of us now - and those who
could not attend tonight are truly missed - we are forever
team mates and friends. I am so proud of what we fought for
and accomplished together.
“ Good, better, best, never
let it rest. Until the good is better and until the
Congratulations team, and
thank you for this honour.
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