The Junior Pilots won third place at the 18U Boys Provincial Championships last weekend. 

The team had quite a battle to earn the bronze medal at Provincials. 

They competed in the semi-final matchup against a team that had a similar skill level to them, but lost in the third set. 

They secured the bronze medal as they won their third-place game in the third set with a score of 16-14. 

Athlete Cole Koop says it’s incredible to have accomplished getting a medal at Provincials, especially considering they weren’t sure they would even have a team at the start of the year. 

“I didn't even think I was going to be playing club in December, so to be able to come in this group and have a medal and have a very successful season, it's awesome.” 

Coach Jason Peters has been alongside this group since they were in 13U. 

“We've had some high expectations along the way, had a lot of heartbreak, couple of years where we didn't do what we thought we should. There was real doubt whether we were going to build a team this year, and this group just came together.” 

The boys won a couple of tournaments in April, had multiple third place finishes, and a second place finish along the way. 

He says it was incredible to see these young men perform so well on the court, but even better to see the comradery between the athletes. 

“My assistant coach and I were able to kind of get out of the way and just let them play. It was really rewarding to see this group gel as a team and really soar past almost everyone's expectations.” 

Coach Peters says it was incredible to see the team get their heads back in the game for the bronze medal game right after losing such a close semi-final. 

“I didn't know that we had it in us. I think the team left everything on the floor in the semi-final with a chance to play for gold, and to lose by two points in the third set was heartbreaking,” he says. “But the guys licked their wounds for five minutes and moved on, and I think once that bronze medal match started, we kind of found ourselves in a battle. And our team is a scrappy bunch and that was a big rival of ours, I think that helped.” 

He was extremely impressed by the team's performance and takes none of the credit for their determination. 

“The character of our team just pulled through, and I don't think the coaches did anything to motivate the boys, I think it was just internal motivation and that's the best kind.” 

Athlete Jesse Peters says it felt fantastic to earn a medal in provincials, especially as it’s his senior season. 

“It was a great way to end my club career. The last couple of years we've had pretty good seasons, but provincials just haven't gotten the result we wanted. And this year to get that it was pretty special, and now we're excited to work for Nationals.” 

Koop says it was great to end his volleyball career on a high note. 

“After that last point was scored, I was just sitting there and I was taking it all in, letting all my teammates just get the whole vibe,” he says. “It's sad to know that I'm not going to be playing more volleyball after this, but it's great to know that it ended at that point.” 

Athlete Peters says the positivity and support surrounding the team made their success possible. 

“The team is great, the coaches are great, the parents are great. The whole environment around the team was awesome. Everybody got along great and we really didn't have any issues this year at all, and I thought that was a big key to our success.” 


With files from Dave Anthony