Another high school volleyball season, another year where the Vauxhall Queens girls volleyball team is making its presence felt on the 2A athletics landscape across the province.
Check out the Vauxhall High School athletic history books in recent seasons for the Vauxhall Queens girls volleyball team, and you will see a War and Peace-long report of tournament titles, zone banners and provincial appearances. Throw in some jaw-dropping streaks of not surrendering a set and one is amazed at the pipeline of players the small rural town generates.
Having only the ability to draw from areas like Vauxhall, Hays and Enchant, you would think at some point there would be a lull on the compete level the Queens program is able to muster.
But no, the program keeps churning out team after team of zone and provincial contenders in 2A athletics.
Having a mainstay at the helm like Scott Reiling for years certainly helps with the stability of the program with one set of coaching styles and expectations. Having girls volleyball as a mainstay in the small rural areas where kids are attending camps and also participating in club teams makes it a sport whose interest can be seen as year long, and helps with the Queens program.
But what one does not always see past the numerous successes powerhouse high school sports teams achieve in their chosen arena, are the successes student athletes see in the area of academia.
Numerous recent studies have shown that results are sharp and immediate of positive associations between school-based physical education and indicators of academic success.
Whatever the win-loss record of a particular school-based team may be, being on a team commonly shows its athletes earning the ‘W’ in the classroom with good or improved grades.
Team sports teaches time management, teamwork in a group setting, and mental sharpness in battling through adversity at times. Skills easily transferred to the classroom.
Having a fit body also helps with a fit mind for the classroom with optimal energy levels.
School athletic programs are also a godsend to small rural areas like Vauxhall, Hays and Enchant who do not offer children many extra-curricular activities to enjoy.
As they say about idle hands, be it sports, fine arts or whatever, these activities help kids keep out of trouble.
So while it is easy to cheer on a team like the Queens on the court as the match wins mount, school athletics impacts are so much more.
Be it volleyball, baseball, basketball or whatever, a tip of the hat should be given to all the people that make school athletics possible.
From school administrators, to coaches, to parents shuttling their kids around southern Alberta, to referees, and game volunteers — all play an important role for athletic options for children in smaller rural areas.
Quite often you see leaders in the sports arena both as players and coaches emerge as leaders in their respective communities.
So as the fall school sports season heads into high gear, it will soon make its way to winter and spring.
Whatever the season, find a reason to give thanks to all the people who help make sports extra curricular activities possible for children.
The impact is felt far past the gymnasium floor in the end.