Despite living in the shadow of their senior counterparts, members of the R.D. Parker Collegiate junior volleyball teams still managed to distinguish themselves throughout the 2018 sports season.
Emma Tomchuk and Evan Alcock are living proof of that sentiment, since the Trojans coaching staff selected this pair of Grade 10 students to represent RDPC’s top athletes for the month of November.
For those in the know, Tomchuk’s selection probably won’t come as a surprise. During her first year of high school athletics she proved herself as a capable athlete in volleyball, basketball and soccer, having won RDPC’s Spirit of Sport award back in June of 2018.
Despite getting sidelined during their 2018 Zone 11 tournament due to an injury, junior girls’ volleyball coach Karl Paterson said Tomchuk’s quality as a team leader still shone through, since she continued to cheer on her teammates from the bench.
“She had a way of bringing the team together when they were starting to get down,” said Paterson. “She was a really good presence to have on the court.”
Meanwhile, junior boys’ coach Stan Wong said Alcock boasted similar leadership qualities during their first place finish at zones and the team’s run at provincials in Brandon, where they finished fourth in their pool with a 1−3 record.
“He has great leadership on helping his teammates on and off the court, second to none work ethic and he just has a huge passion for the game of volleyball,” Wong wrote in an email to the Thompson Citizen. “Overall he is one of the players who puts his team ahead of himself. He is simply the young man we like to see more of.”
Despite this praise, Alcock said there’s still plenty of room to improve his ability when he tries out for the senior volleyball team next year, including “being consistent with everything, not getting intimidated by the other team ... and maybe working on my hitting too.”
Even though the junior girls had a disappointing season due to a losing effort at zones, Tomchuk said she is looking forward to bringing her talent to the RDPC’s senior volleyball team next year and is confident that the juniors will land on their feet without her.
“I feel like it was a more rebuilding year for the team, so we have to work on a lot more rotations and skills,” she said. “But next year is going to be a good year for juniors.”
Moving into 2019, Tomchuk and Alcock aren’t done with RDPC athletics just yet, since they will be spending the rest of the school year playing Trojans basketball and badminton, respectively.