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Local volleyballers digging the sport

Published on

Barry Wright

Every Monday through the winter you’ll find volleyball players of all skill levels and walks of life at the St. Clair Secondary gym competing in one of this area’s longest-running recreational leagues.

And the one common thread is their love of the sport.

“A lot of guys have been playing for years and years,” said Monday Night Volleyball League spokesperson Mark Pretty.

“There’s a wide range of ages from teenagers to guys in their 60s.”

Some players come out weekly to stay in shape and hone their skills, while others just want to continue enjoying the sports after high school or college careers, added Pretty.

“Of all the leagues I know of in town, this is the most competitive,” he said. “The guys are right into it.”

The team aspect is what keeps players come back, he added.

“When you have to keep the ball in the air and everybody has got to touch it at some point or another, it’s very much a team game.”

The league has been a staple in the area the past 40 plus years. It’s comprised largely of men from this side of the border, but a handful of women take part and some U.S. residents make the trek across the bridge to play as well. In fact, an all-star team from the league made up of Canadian and U.S. players won a national title at the U.S. Adult Volleyball Championships in Detroit last May.

“They had been knocking on the door (at the U.S. Nationals) for years and finally won it last year,” said Pretty.

The league also gives back by making donations each year to the volleyball programs at St. Clair and Northern.

Pretty, a former coach with the Northern Vikings, also teamed with several others league members to help coach the fledgling boys U13 team with the Twin Bridges Volleyball program this season.

The potential consolidation of students from SCITS and St. Clair at SCITS while renovations are done at St. Clair has also forced the league to begin looking for a new home, at least in the short term.

“We’re looking for a gym for next year and possibly two years,” said Pretty. “And we’re always looking for more teams and more players,” he added.

For more on the league visit www.mikemeadows.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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