Former CHS athlete returns to coach boys volleyball
by Phil Ambroziak
The Carpenter High School (CHS) Spartan boys volleyball team is ready to take to the court for another season, but this time they’ve got a little extra inspiration on the bench to help guide them to victory.
New CHS teacher Cheyne Dallyn is assisting head coach Trevor Gerwing this year, only six years removed from his days as a student at the school and from helping his team win provincial volleyball gold during the 2007-2008 season.
“I started playing volleyball at a young age,” Dallyn explained. “Both my parents were heavily involved with the sport and my dad coached volleyball for 30 years. I was always in the gym with him since I was young. I have a lot of experience with the game. I’ve really come to love it and knew, once I had my teaching degree, this is a sport I wanted to coach too.”
Dallyn, who earned his teaching degree at the University of Saskatchewan, worked at Jonas Samson Junior High School in Meadow Lake for a short time last school year. CHS, where he teaches English and physical education, is his first full-time assignment. Aside from his duties in the classroom, Dallyn hopes he can impart his knowledge of volleyball on this year’s Spartan boys, whose season officially kicked off with practice sessions last week.
“I hope to impart on them the fact volleyball is a team sport and we have to give it our all – we have to work together as a team if we want to accomplish great things,” he remarked.
While the CHS volleyball team has experienced a great deal of success in recent years, the school has yet to secure gold in volleyball since Dallyn and his teammates’ championship year.
“Since then, there’s been a lot of top three finishes, but we’re still looking for that elusive gold,” Dallyn said.
The team’s first tournament of the 2013 season takes place next weekend in Prince Albert with a home tournament set for Sept. 27-28.
“We’ve got an interesting mix of players this year – students from Grades 9-12,” Gerwing said. “We have a high level of talent, but we’re also very thin. We’ll have to stay healthy because we only have eight guys. If we can do that, I think we’ll be able to compete with the other teams in the 5A category and still hope for a medal.”
Last year, the CHS boys placed fourth in Saskatchewan, losing the provincial bronze medal game. Gerwing said the goal is always to earn a medal, and is optimistic that will happen this year.
“This is a good group of guys,” he said.
As for returning to his former high school, this time as a teacher, Dallyn said the experience thus far has been nothing short of amazing.
“Knowing the system and the people here has really helped me jump right into things a lot easier,” he said. “It’s still a surreal feeling to walk into the same school I attended years ago, the same gymnasium where I used to play but now where I coach. I look forward to this new opportunity.”
On the girls side of things, coach Dion Petz said the team is very large, consisting of a number of new Grade 10 players and several returning Grade 12 players.
“We feel we have a lot more depth than we used to,” Petz said. “Last year, we were fourth in the province and we believe we can at least attain that again or do even better.”
The girls team was in North Battleford this past weekend where they were successful in round-robin play before losing to Carlton Comprehensive High School from Prince Albert in the finals.
The girls are on the road again this weekend and for the next several weeks before hosting a tournament at CHS the weekend after Thanksgiving.
“It’s going to be an exciting season,” Petz said.