Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Wildcats net gold in provincial handball

The Notre Dam Wildcats pose after winning the 2016 Alberta Handball Provincial Championshops at Lillian Osborne High School in Edmonton.
Submitted Photo

The Notre Dame Wildcats Senior Boys Handball team has been crowned the provincial high school champions after a tight 30-23 game against the Sedgewick Central High Rams to cap off a brilliant season.

“We peaked at the right time,” said head coach Daniel Dargis. “We ended up beating everyone handily, almost doubling the score against every team we played.”

The win concluded a long tournament at Lillian Osborne high school in Edmonton that played from April 28-30. This is the seventh provincial championship in high school handball held in Alberta.

This was the second meeting between the Wildcats and the Rams after the Wildcats defeated the Rams 37-17 in the round robin portion of the tournament.

“They came back with a little bit more fire in the finals but we were able to hold them off,” commented Dargis. “Our defence was outstanding all weekend, so I knew that if we could maintain the lead we could take it home.”

Dargis added that throughout the tournament he was able to take his main line of players off the court and give his younger players a chance to play.

“I really have to hand it to my goalie, Teehgann Paschinuk,” praised Dargis. “He struggled in the first game of the tournament but he turned it around for every single game after that.

“He was able to stop shots exactly the time we needed him to. He kept us in the game. Goaltending is not a fun position to play.”

The team played two tournaments earlier in the season, one also at Lillian Osborne High School, where the team placed sixth overall, and a second at Blessed Sacrament school in Wainwright where they placed second.

“We were making steps in the right direction,” noted Dargis. “We then ended up as zone champions.”
Handball is a relatively new sport in Canada but is very popular in Europe and South America.

“It’s kind of a mishmash of North American sports like soccer and basketball,” explained Dargis. “There’s a lot of movement like soccer and a lot of similar rules to basketball but it’s way more physical.

“You’re not bodychecking people but the physicality is way up there for a high school sport.”
While the season is done for this year, Dargis pointed out that the sport is growing and invited the community to join the team next spring.

“It’s definitely a growing sport, so come take a look at it,” he urged. “Every spring we host ‘zones’. Community support is huge in any sport you play, so it would be nice to see the community come out and support a new sport that the schools have taken a liking to.”

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