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Sports Score Big with Wood Buffalo Locals

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A love of sports is alive and well in Wood Buffalo, evident by the support from the community during the ACAC men’s volleyball and men’s basketball championships, presented by FINNING and hosted by Keyano College at the end of February.

The stands were packed for every game during both championships. The loud cheers echoed throughout the field house, as each fan cheered on their favorite players while sporting Huskies gear and blue and white painted faces.

The continuous support from the community pushed the Wood Buffalo teams to find success. After playing hard throughout the tournament, the Keyano College Huskies volleyball team was able to snag a bronze medal, defeating the Briercrest Clippers 3-0 in their final game of the tournament. This is the first volleyball medal for the Huskies in their 23-year history.

Alwyn Piche, captain of the men’s volleyball team, had a record breaking season, setting the ACAC record for total points scored in a career (aces, blocks & kills). During the championship banquet, Piche was also named the 2012-2013 ACAC All Canadian Player of the Year. Combined with his previous record of being the 2008-2009 Canadian College Athletic Association Male Volleyball Player of the Year, Piche is wrapping up his last season in the ACAC with more than a few honours to his name.

The success of the volleyball championships set the bar high for the Huskies men’s basketball championships and they didn’t disappoint.

In the basketball semi-finals, the Huskies beat the Briercrest Clippers (who were the top ranked team in the country before that game) 108-85 to earn a place in the gold medal game. The last game of the tournament saw the Huskies lose 88-85 against the Red Deer Kings. Finishing second not only gave the men’s basketball team a silver medal, but also awarded them a trip to Nationals.

Basketball was represented by Louis Barham (Palmdale, CA, USA), who was in his final season of playing in the ACAC. He led the team in blocks and rebounds and was second in total points. Yonas Berhe (Toronto, ON) was named ACAC All Conference first team All-Star North Division during the opening banquet, and Lance Wesolowski (Chestermere, AB) was named ACAC Men’s Basketball Tournament All-Star.

The Huskies made their way to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, PQ for the CCAA Nationals. They placed eighth in the tournament, which is a great accomplishment considering they have only been in the ACAC league for three seasons.

In other Huskies action, the men’s futsal team placed first in the championships with the women’s team following close behind with a bronze medal. Local soccer product Connor Brady, in his first year as coach of the men’s futsal team, was named ACAC 2013 Men’s Futsal Coach of the Year.

All teams appreciate the support of the community and are already planning for the 2013-2014 seasons.