SNHS wins first athletics gold under new name
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Sioux North High School (SNHS) made history last week when the school won its first ever Northwestern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association (NorWOSSA) ‘A’ Championship under its new name on Nov. 8, which was hosted in Kenora.
The Warriors faced the Pelican Falls First Nations High School (PFFNHS) Timberwolves in the finals, beating them in straight sets (25-15, 27-25, 25-15) to win the Junior Boys Volleyball finals.
“We had the first chance for a new Sioux North team to win a medal, so that was a motivating factor in our win. The boys were pretty determined to win that first medal under the new name,” said SNHS junior boys’ volleyball head coach John MacRae.
The second place Timberwolves clawed their way through an eventful season that saw its fair share of memorable comebacks and clutch wins. They were tested yet again when they matched up against tournament host St. Thomas Aquinas Saints in the NorWOSSA semi-finals. In front of opposing supporters, the Timberwolves managed to cement their spot in the finals with a four set win over the Saints (27-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-22). The Timberwolves even managed to win the first set despite being down 11-1 early, which was yet another comeback moment for this team.
“Ever since we made our one comeback in the Dryden tournament it was like a TSN turning point for our season. I kept referencing that moment to try and show the guys that they’ve been in those moments before and succeeded and they did a great job of pulling it out again. I wish we could’ve won it all, but we had a feeling since early in the season that Sioux North would be the team to beat, and they are a solid team,” explained PFFNHS head coach Lucas Oikonen.
The Timberwolves junior boys volleyball team are just two years removed from a season that saw them win one set all year. Now, the team is coming off of a season that saw them pick up two impressive silver medals with many exciting moments along the way.
“I don’t think I’ll ever forget playing with this group of guys. We didn’t get the gold, but we still had a good season with a lot to look back on and be proud of,” said third year junior and PFFNHS team captain Jordan Mekanak, who was on the one-set winning team two years ago.
The finals win clinches the Warriors first banner in Sioux North High School history, and the school is hoping that it will be the first of many. MacRae shared that the win definitely wasn’t easy, and he was happy that the finals featured two local teams.
“We had a feeling that we would be seeing Pelican in the finals. They had some impressive wins throughout the year against some really good teams. It was also nice to have the Sioux Lookout area high schools in the finals. We even had some of the Kenora parents mentioning that the finals should’ve been played here in Sioux Lookout,” he concluded.