New athletic director building up sport programs in Innisfail

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School’s volleyball season ends and basketball begins

INNISFAIL – Like the old Bob Dylan song, the times are “a-changin'” in St. at Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School.

That’s in the sporting sense.

New athletic director Christian Damgaard is already reshaping several of the school’s athletic programs to make them more competitive against other schools and to give young athletes more opportunities to experience athletics outside of the community.

“Yes, without question. Basically, for them to go out and represent our school”, said Damgaard. “And beyond the participation framework that we’re offering just one team, and the opportunity for a few kids to play and get into a place where we have a program that’s nurtured year after year.”

His first mission in this quest was the school’s volleyball program, which ended its current season last month.

“Right now, we have kids in the gym playing volleyball at lunch, so that’s the future of the program and we’re moving forward,” Damgaard said.

Before her arrival, in previous years there was only one senior group for boys and one for girls in the school, which goes from Kindergarten to 9th grade. This year it doubled with four teams; junior and senior team for both girls and boys.

Damgaard said his two senior volleyball teams played in the Chinook’s Edge North League, with the boys placing fourth and the girls third, which he said was an impressive result because the players are young and inexperienced, being “heavy 7th and 8th graders.” .

In fact, the girls qualified for the CWAJHAA (Central Western Alberta Junior High Athletic Association) in Bentley.

“It was definitely an experience for them, a little bit higher with the age gap, especially since they were playing in 9th grade,” said Damgaard, whose two junior teams at the school played in the Red Deer Catholic Middle School League this season. “For the girls team, which was 5th grade heavy, it was a year of building experience for them.

“But the boys team finished second, which was pretty good against the giant schools. That was pretty awesome. We are quite proud of them”, he added. “And then it all goes into next year, because we’re going to have a bunch of 9th graders playing and we’re hoping to turn this into a volleyball program, something where we’re a volleyball school, and its ongoing; not just like other schools that have club players like we rely on good athletes. to play against some”.

Damgaard noted that there are only a few young athletes at the school who play in after-school clubs.

And now he has begun to reshape the school’s basketball program. The tests are over and training for the new season has begun.

The senior boys and girls teams are playing league this season, and the juniors will see development action.

“There is one for each gender, but they are not playing in a league. They are so young. Level 5 and 6 are quite heavy, so they would be crushed,” Damgaard said. “We are developing development teams. They will play in a series of tournament and exhibition games that change throughout the year.

“When it comes to basketball in our region, we have to get to the point where we don’t have 5th graders on the team, on a team that isn’t big enough or developed enough,” he said, stressing that building the school’s basketball is also one. high priority “We think we can give the kids a chance to train twice a week and play some games and get better.”

The senior boys and girls basketball regular season began last week.

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