Kenny Cao dives for a ball during senior boys’ volleyball practice last Thursday at Charles Hays Secondary School. Cao and teammates are looking to make it to provincials after a shortened school year has delayed practice.

Rainmakers gear up for fall play days

The CHSS fall sports schedule is out and it’s volleyball, soccer and rugby taking centre stage first for the Rainmakers in October.

With school now in full swing, the Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) fall sports schedule is out and it’s volleyball, soccer and rugby taking centre stage first for the Rainmakers in October.

Both volleyball squads are hard at work this week both before school and afterwards and it’s the young guns taking over for the veterans that have moved on  stepping up for the senior boys.

“There’s a lot more coaching that needs to happen [with more Grade 11s on the team],” said coach Stefan Delloch.

“They’re a great group of guys and really athletic.”

After the 2014 B.C. Summer Games, where Rupertite Suttira Johansen made it to Team Northwest, volleyball has grown in popularity at the school where dozens of students make it to practice on a regular basis for the senior boys’ and girls’ teams.

“It’s strange,” said senior girls’ coach Jacqueline Jackson who said the senior girls team has 15 players.

“But not strange in a bad way, it’s awesome because we hardly get very many girls for the seniors.”

Jackson and Krista Johnson are overseeing the team as they come together for their first few weeks in the shortened school year.

“We always start off going over the basics. Right now, we’re going over positioning and learning our defensive positions and offensive cover – things like that,” said Jackson.

As for the boys’ squad, captain Kevin Truong and the team were practicing spikes last Thursday, something he said is one of the group’s strengths.

“We definitely do a lot of spiking during games. Our passing is improving and blocking — we’ve got a lot of height to the team,” he said.

If the team is to make it to provincials, it won’t be an easy road. Terrace’s Caledonia high school and Smithers Secondary will be tough opponents. The Summer Games’ Northwest team’s coach, Kam Siemens, is a Terrace volleyball veteran bench boss and a formidable opponent for the Rainmakers.

On the turf, Rainmakers boys’ soccer coach Mike Cavin had the team out practicing last week, working on corner kicks and scrimmage drills in preparation for the season. Their first play day is scheduled for the Oct. 18-19 weekend at Charles Hays.

Truong and the rest of senior boys’ volleyball will head to Smithers Secondary on Oct. 18 for their first play day of the season while the senior girls’ team will play at Bulkey Valley Christian School.

The mboys then host their own tournament the next Saturday on Oct. 25.

On the junior end of volleyball, Charles Hays boys’ team is scheduled to play at Caledonia this Saturday and the girls’ squad in Hazelton for their own tournament.

All teams’ attendance is variable and subject to change for each play day.