Four North Okanagan high school squads will compete this week at scaled down, delayed versions of the annual B.C. high school senior girls and boys volleyball championships.
BC School Sports sent a note out Nov. 24 that its board met and made the decision to postpone the seven volleyball championships originally scheduled from Dec. 1-4 for one week.
The championships are now going this week, Dec. 8-11. The intent of the delay, said BCSS, was “to provide the greatest likelihood that our volleyball championships can be contested in their traditional format.”
The decision was made as the province was, and still is, dealing with the effects of the severe weather event in November.
BCSS staff and host schools contacted qualified teams to assess the impact of these changes to the teams.
The B.C. A senior girls championships is among the hardest hit.
There were 14 teams qualified for the tournament in Castlegar (hosted by Mt. Sentinel Secondary of South Slocan), and a 14-team draw had been made, but the tournament has been reduced to seven teams – including the Okanagan Valley runners-up, Charles Bloom Timberwolves of Lumby.
A new draw was being concocted Monday, Dec. 6.
The T-Wolves are the only local team driving to provincials. Three other schools are flying.
The Okanagan Valley silver medalists Seaton Sonics are among the 14 team entered in the B.C. AA senior boys tournament in Victoria, which begins Wednesday.
The Sonics – who, originally, were not going to attend, are ranked sixth and grouped in Pool B with the College Heights Cougars of Prince George, Revelstoke Avalanche and Pacific Academy Breakers of Surrey. Pool play will be held Wednesday.
The Okanagan champion Summerland Rockets declined to take part in the provincials.
The Vernon Panthers and Seaton Sonics will fly to Vancouver for the 14-team B.C. AAA senior girls tournament which begins Thursday.
The Panthers will play the Delta Pacers, Little Flower Academy Angels of Vancouver and the Byrne Creek Bulldogs of Burnaby in their preliminary round, while the Okanagan champion Sonics are in a three-team pool with the Duchess Park Condors of Prince George and the host Crofton House Falcons of Vancouver.
The Sonics won a fifth consecutive Okanagan Valley championship by downing the South Kamloops Titans in the final. VSS finished third. Top three teams advanced to the usual 16-team B.C. finals, but South Kam declined to take part.
Wings Vernon is helping Seaton girls wing their way to provincials.
Wings will donate a portion of every pound of chicken wings sold Wednesday, Dec. 8, to the Sonics to help with their flight expenses.
There will also be a new B.C. A senior boys champion as the two-time reigning champion Vernon Christian School Royals did not qualify for the provincials.
The Royals, who lost two weeks of practice time leading up to the Okanagan championships when the school was closed due to COVID, finished fifth at the Valleys. The top two teams advanced to provincials.