The new St. Joseph’s High School in Red Deer held their first tournament in their new facilities last week.
The volleyball tournament welcomed volleyball teams throughout Alberta, including the home Falcons, and the new facilities have allowed the school to offer more than a typical tournament due to the four full-length courts available.
“With this facility, we are able to host teams and give everyone good times to play at,” Falcons’ Athletic Director Rob Blais said.
“Our tournament starts at 12 p.m. and finishes by 6 p.m. each night, which gives us to the opportunity to offer extras during our tournaments.
“We are offering mass for all the schools whether they are Catholic or not. We are also doing a skills competition. We will do a speed spike competition, a libero leap and we are doing a donation for the Central Alberta Women’s Shelter. We will donating diapers for that cause.”
Blais and his athletics staff have enjoyed the opportunity to build a new program.
“We basically have started from scratch,” he said. “That has been new—re-learning the process of what goes on and making our tournaments and teams as excellent as possible.”
Part of building a new program is creating school spirit.
“We are starting to create our culture,” Blais said.
“We have had a lot of different talks with our students in our phys-ed classes and athletics. We are a smaller school starting off but regardless of the end result, we want our kids to compete.
“We have had a lot of really excellent athletes that have chosen to come to our school. Some of them came through chance and some have come because they have heard about the programs we are going to run.”
Students at St. Joseph’s have the opportunity to excel both athletically and academically, according to Blais.
“It is huge. Our practices are all right after school from 4 to 6 p.m. All of our teams can practice right after school,” he said. “Most of our athletes are playing several sports, which is a huge time commitment.
“We don’t want that taking away from their academics. The gyms afford us the chance to focus on athletics without having it be a detriment to academics.”
He added, “I invite everyone to come and have a look at our facilities. In the future, we look forward to having a lot of bright stars and great kids that come to our school.”