Athlete remembers tournament that went wrong

By Reg Froese
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

It was a day I don't want to remember, but I know I'll never forget.

After a season filled with personal injuries - a broken finger, a twisted ankle, another twisted ankle - our volleyball team was about to make school history, bringing home the first boys provincial volleyball banner. We were the Number One team in the province and unbeatable under full strength, which we finally were.

Consistent playing, communication on the floor, and the noisiest bench at the tournament got us into the final four of this ten-team tournament.

The semi-finals were against Westwood, the only team in AAA that had ever beat us and they had only done that when we were not in full strength. I couldn't wait to start the game.

But, that never happened. As we were hitting, in the warm up, I tossed my ball to the setter, called out "seven" to indicate that I wanted a middle shoot set, approached, jumped, made contact, and landed on the foot of our other setter who was setting the power side.

I immediately fell to the ground. I didn't realize the extent of my injury until after I was carried to the bench and was watching (instead of playing in) the most exciting and important game of the season. I lay there with my leg up on the end of the bench and ice on my ankle watching my teammates lose a close match to our opponents, the eventual AAA provincial champions.

Not playing hurt more than my throbbing ankle, along with letting down a lot of senior students who had their hearts set on winning this rare white banner.

Not a lot of time goes by that I don't think of this exciting day that went terribly wrong. But with each passing day the memory does fade and I realize that life still does go on.