'Journey is over:' Vernon Christian Royals claim provincial championship | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Journey is over:' Vernon Christian Royals claim provincial championship

November 26, 2019 - 3:30 PM

It’s the end of an era for the Vernon Christian School Royals.

Chris Bannick, co-coach of the Royals Senior Boys A Volleyball team, said the opponents posed a challenge but his No.1-ranked defending champions edged their way to victory Saturday, Nov. 23 at Selkirk College in Castlegar.

“It was pretty awesome. The top teams in our pool, we were in the power pool, they were pretty good,” said Bannick. “(But) we had more weapons and a more rounded team… They had spots we could expose.”

Bannick said the Royals beat out Terrace's Centennial Christian Seahawks 25-16, 26-24, 25-20 in the gold-medal match.

“Our boys were so nervous being the top-ranked team. They were pretty tense at the beginning,” said Bannick. “The higher the stakes, the better they got. They went out and just played.”

After one lost match early in the provincials, the team rallied and claimed only W’s throughout the remainder of the competition.

That such a small school could compete at this level consistently is not only unusual, it's remarkable. Somehow, almost the entire team of starters is over six-foot-three inches and several players are taller than that, which helps.

Vernon Christian School Royals' Levi VanderDeen goes low to save the rally against King's Christian School in Single-A level volleyball action in Lumby Saturday, Nov. 9.
Vernon Christian School Royals' Levi VanderDeen goes low to save the rally against King's Christian School in Single-A level volleyball action in Lumby Saturday, Nov. 9.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO

With four members of the team graduating, Bannick said that Saturday’s win and the end of the volleyball season marked the end of an era for the Royals. But that doesn’t mean that next season’s team won’t be a strong one.

“They all play for Team B.C. For the last three or four years, they’ve all played,” said co-coach Dwayne Remple of the four Grade 11 phenoms.

As the Vernon Christian School Royals senior boys volleyball team celebrated their victory Saturday night and the graduating boys make plans to play at the university level, Bannick said they will always have this season to look back on.

“Our journey has come to an end, especially with this group of boys. It’s sad that this part of the journey is over,” Bannick said. “We’re proud to let them move on… They have lots of stories to share.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Parker Crook or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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