Anne-Marie Purdy of the Notre Dame Cougars Senior Girls Handball team fires a shot on net during the Central Alberta Schools Athletic Association zone handball championship last year. (File Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

High School Handball Provincials set to hit the court in Red Deer

Central Alberta is set to play host to a pair of high school provincials championships this weekend.

Starting Thursday at St. Joseph High School, the Tier I Alberta Schools Athletic Association Handball Championships get underway and Friday the Tier II tournament starts in Lacombe.

Representing Central Alberta on the boys side in Tier I play are the four-time zone champion Notre Dame Cougars. They’ll be in tough against some strong competition from Edmonton and Calgary, but coach Dale Henderson thinks his group is ready.

“Really excited. Our guys have played really good handball this year,” he said.

“Competed with the Edmonton teams really well. All the teams coming to provincials, we’ve played most of them and we’ve had very competitive games with everybody.”

Henderson added those trips to provincials in the past few years helped and he believes with this group there are a few differences this time around.

“I think we have a good mix of experience and youth. Our depth is solid enough that we should have a good chance to compete,” he said.

“We’ve always had solid defensive teams. Our offence, that’s the one area where the Edmonton teams are a little bit ahead of us. We need to be able to be more consistent on offence.”

The Notre Dame girls are also competing at provincials again and hit the floor for their first game at 9 a.m. Friday against Salisbury.

For the host school despite home court advantage, there is a lot to learn. Falcons coach Darcy McQuillan said they’re excited to host, but he understands that for a second-year school, there will be some bumps along the road.

“They’re all definitely learning. Half the boys and girls team are rookies,” McQuillan said.

“We’ve got kids that have a steep learning curve but we did put on a tournament here a couple of weekends ago and they did see most of these teams so they know there’s going to be some stiff competition. We’re hoping they rise to the challenge and put in a good effort.”

Either way, it is an exciting opportunity for the school to show off the Kinsmen Fieldhouse, which is home to one of the only full-size handball courts in Central Alberta.

“We’ve got one of the largest courts in Alberta. Full-sized 40 meters by 20 metres, so it’s kinda nice to be able to show that facility off,” McQuillan added.

As host, they will take on Harry Ainlay on the boys side and Lillian Osborne on the girls Friday, starting at 10:20 and 11:40 a.m. respectively.

Action continues throughout the day Friday and into Saturday. Finals will be played Saturday night, with the girls game at 7 p.m. and the boys game to follow.

On the boys side, Harry Ainlay, Bishop O’Byrne, St. Joseph, Lillian Osborne, St. Peter the Apostle and Notre Dame will compete. On the girls side, Salisbury, Lillian Osborne, St. Peter the Apostle, along with the two Central Alberta entries in Notre Dame and St. Joseph will compete.

Tier II provincials will be hosted by the Bentley Panthers in Lacombe. Play starts Friday at Lacombe Composite High School, with the Panthers boys and girls competing, as well as the Central Alberta Christian High School Knights. The girls gold medal game is Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at LCHS and the boys final is at 5:45 p.m.

For further schedule details check out www.asaa.ca/championships/list/team-handball.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trudeau says Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades a critical moment for country

First Nations leaders suggest it may be time to peacefully end the blockades

Four people charged in drug trafficking investigation

Rocky Mountain House RCMP execute search warrant

Drive-by shooting in Wetaskiwin on Sunday

Two people injured in shooting

Trudeau caught in middle of clash over energy, environment, Indigenous demands

OTTAWA — The competing demands of natural resource development, environmental protection and… Continue reading

A rare miss for Walmart to end the year

NEW YORK — Walmart reported disappointing fourth-quarter profits and sales after a… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

New highway to B.C. proposed

The Howse Pass shortcut to British Columbia is worth taking another look… Continue reading

N.L. Premier Dwight Ball denies he’s walking away as going gets tough

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — As he prepares to step down as premier… Continue reading

County waiting on response to Buffalo Lake RV plan

The County of Stettler was expecting to receive a decision by last… Continue reading

Supreme Court grants Alberta woman new trial in husband’s shooting death

OTTAWA — An Alberta woman sentenced to life in prison for fatally… Continue reading

Red Deer flag raising to mark 100 years of Kin Clubs

Mayor Tara Veer and the Kin Clubs of Red Deer will gather… Continue reading

Red Deerians will walk Saturday in bid to end poverty

Red Deerians will brave the chill to raise funds for The Mustard… Continue reading

Reader’s opinion: Here’s how Premier Kenney can build a stronger Alberta

Apparently, the UPC government has decided that most seniors should pay more… Continue reading

Most Read