Froese returns, joins RDC Kings

Coming out of high school, Darcee Froese thought about attending RDC to play volleyball, but in the end didn’t feel it was the right time.

Coming out of high school, Darcee Froese thought about attending RDC to play volleyball, but in the end didn’t feel it was the right time.

Instead the Lindsay Thurber grad decided to attend university in Michigan and possibly try out for the hockey team.

“(RDC Kings head coach Aaron) Schulha talked to me coming out of high school, but Evan Whitecotton was coming back and they’d have two setters, so I decided to take a year off from volleyball and go to the States,” explained Froese. “I thought I’d try something different. I always played hockey as a youngster, but once I got there I decided not to try out and just concentrate on my schooling.”

The Michigan university was only a division III program, but Froese hadn’t played any competitive hockey outside of the men’s league for several years.

“I didn’t have time for competitive hockey as club volleyball took a lot of time,” he said.

After a year in the States, Froese returned home and joined the Kings, despite the fact Whitecotton was still around.

“After a year off it took me a bit to get back into setting,” he said.

Froese spent most of the season as a backup setter, but did see some action on the right side during a trip to California and impressed Schulha.

The 20-year-old Froese was expected to start at setter this season with the Kings, but the addition of former Australian junior national team setter Nick Bell changed all that. The six-foot-three Froese found himself playing both the right side and left side.

“Nick does a great job, so I’ll play wherever they need me,” he said. “And its been fun.”

But it’s also been a learning experience.

“I’ve never played the outside before, although I’ve played a lot of beach (volleyball), which helps when it comes to hitting,” he said. “But it’s a whole new position with a lot of difference from setting, including defence.”

He also has to serve receive.

“That’s a big learning curve. It was a challenge at first but it’s starting to be easier.”

Froese was outstanding in leading the Kings to a weekend doubleheader sweep over Grande Prairie and looked comfortable with all aspects of his game. He was named the Boston Pizza RDC male athlete of the week for his efforts.

“He’s a great athlete and just needs the reps (so it comes natural),” said Schulha. “It’s been nice to be able to slide him in to pass and as a hitter when someone else may be struggling a bit.”

Froese took a year of engineering in Michigan and is working on a business diploma at RDC. He’ll finish this year and attend either the University of Alberta or Calgary next season.

As for playing volleyball that’s up in the air.

“I’m not sure, we’ll just have to see what happens,” he concluded.

The volleyball teams have the weekend off and return to action, Nov. 26-27 at Lakeland College in Lloydminster. They’re back home Dec. 4 against SAIT prior to the Christmas break.

l RDC outstanding cross-country runner, Jodi Sanguin, was named the female athlete of the week.

Sanguin finished second in the Canadian college championships despite finishing in a dead heat in the final with Fiona Benson of Grande Prairie. Sanquin also helped the RDC women’s team to a bronze medal.

Sanquin and the team will be honoured between the women’s and men’s basketball games against Camrose Augustana Friday at RDC.

The women tip off at 6 p.m. with the men to follow.

The basketball teams travel to Edmonton Saturday to face Concordia University College.

l The hockey Queens return to action as they face SAIT in a home-and-home series — Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Arena and Saturday at SAIT.

l The badminton team will compete in a meet at NAIT Saturday and Sunday.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com