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

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Central Albertans come together to end MS

Red Deer’s Bre Fitzpatrick has MS. The medication the 34-year-old is on… Continue reading

WATCH: Cars, airplanes, motorcyles on display at Red Deer Airport

Cars, motorcycle and airplane enthusiasts united at the Red Deer Airport Sunday… Continue reading

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Crews battling an enormous wildfire just outside the… Continue reading

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

OTTAWA — While most Canadians firmly back the Charter of Rights and… Continue reading

Red Deer stamp-collecting event a hit, local club expected to start in fall

Postage stamp-loving Red Deerians can expect to have a place to gather… Continue reading

WATCH: Sunnybrook Farm Museum in Red Deer welcomes spring

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating spring in Red Deer. On Saturday, the… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Bid to get D-Day beaches added to list of UN World Heritage Sites in limbo

OTTAWA — The beaches of Normandy, where the Allies stormed ashore to… Continue reading

Could this 20-year-old Montreal polyglot be Canada’s most multilingual student?

MONTREAL — Georges Awaad answers the phone with a polite “Hello,” but… Continue reading

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have laid out their proposal for rules… Continue reading

Trump’s trophy day of sumo, golf and cheeseburgers in Japan

TOKYO — President Donald Trump presented a special U.S.-made trophy to the… Continue reading

Two dead, one seriously injured, following explosion in Calgary home’s garage

CALGARY — Police in Calgary say they believe a house fire where… Continue reading

Raptors fans spill onto the streets ahead of potentially historic game

Cars honked, exhilarated fans chanted and long lines formed outside bars and… Continue reading

Most Read