U17 Provincial Champions for the 3rd time
They say hard work brings success. This is undoubtedly true. What they fail to acknowledge, however, is that success brings arrogance. And with arrogance comes failure. In the world of amateur sports, this is a truism. What separates the true champions from the rest of the pack is an uncanny ability to stay hungry and continue to strive to get better.
This past month, Pakmen’s under-17 mens volleyball team won the Ontario Provincial Championships for an unprecedented third time. The players on the roster have changed throughout the years, but the focus on consistent hard work has remained a key fixture for the team. With many of the players beginning their Pakmen careers in middle school, the 2014 Provincial Championships were another opportunity to do what they’ve known how to do since the age of 13: dominate.
Pakmen came into the season ranked first after winning the under-16 Provincial Championships the year before. With injuries to integral members of the team, new players joining, and an addition to the coaching staff the season was an uphill battle. With the changes, the team failed to win a regular season tournament, but managed to place as high as second place. Despite not playing up to their potential during the season, the players and coaches remained confident.
“It was a year like no other, we had a new coach on board, new players added to the Pakmen family, and bad injuries to key players”, said Pakmen Libero Sahil Punni. “At the beginning of the year we felt confident enough in our squad to create 2 common goals; win provincials and nationals.”
At Waterloo’s RIM Park, Pakmen was adamant to accomplish the first component of their team goals. The team played out of their minds, not dropping a single set in the playoffs. They matched up against the rival Niagara Rapids in the finals, and handily defeated them 25-18 and 25-17.
Punni credits the team’s mentality of hard work for the win. “Through hard work and dedication from all the players and coaching staff we have met one of our goals winning the provincial championships.”
Pakmen will travel west to Edmonton, Alberta to take on Canada’s best at the Under-17 National Championships. As the defending national champions for the past two years, the players will have a chip on their shoulders to stay on top, and the confidence to do so.
“Next on our list is 3 peating and bringing home another National championship for Pakmen.”
Good luck team! The Pakmen family is rooting for you every step of the way!