Twelve teams and 140 athletes have converged on Sylvan Lake for some of the best volleyball games the Town has seen.
The best teams from across the province took part in an opening ceremony at H.J. Cody Thursday morning to kick of the start of the provincial tournament.
Along with the H.J. Cody Lakers, teams from Eagle Butte High, Edmonton Christian, St. Joseph Catholic, Strathmore High, Barrhead Composite, Camrose Composite, Cochrane High School, Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, Peace Wapiti Academy and St. Paul Regional High are all playing for the gold.
Each of the players, coaches and parents have worked hard throughout the season to make it to the provincial championships, winning in their league and zone to make it to the toughest competition in the province.
Speaking at the ceremony, and welcoming all the teams to town, Mayor Sean McIntyre noted how far the school has come since he played for the Lakers.
“Back then our gym was the Stephenson Performing Arts Centre, so you can actually see how far we have come,” said McIntyre.
After each team entered the gym to the applause of the school and visitors, they were congratulated on making it to the provincial games.
The players were told they are here because they are some of “the best players in the entire province” by Mike Garrow, principal at H.J. Cody School.
Following the speeches made by the school’s principal, Garrow, the mayor and a representative from the Chinook’s Edge School Board, H.J. Cody student Ainsley Elisa sang her rendition of Alecia Keys; “Girl on Fire” to a standing ovation.
Before the games could begin at 11 a.m. on Nov. 23, the athletes oath was said, which commits all athletes to play fair and at their best.
The Lakers play five games over the course of the weekend, with the hopes of making to the gold medal game Saturday evening.