They played some entertaining volleyball and raised money for two worthwhile causes Saturday night at Seaton Secondary.
The Seaton women alumni beat the senior Sonics 2-0 in a close and energetic match, while the men alumni won 3-0 over the senior boys team who played hard with just seven players.
“We played three men’s games because we ended up with about 16 alumni men coming out,” said organizer Lindsay Page, of the second annual event. “We raised $900 split between KidSport Vernon and the Seaton gym revitalization project.”
Longtime Seaton teacher/coach Doug Kozak, a former University of Manitoba Bison volleyball player, and his two sons Conner and Tanner were all playing on the alumni side together.
Both of the Kozak sons went on to play post-secondary sports with the UBC Thunderbirds. Tanner (grad 2007) played volleyball and Conner (grad 2011) golfed.
Craig Howard, a 1994 alum and current Seaton science teacher, school and club volleyball coach and OUC volleyball alumni, had a great game and plans on icing his shoulder for a few days to be ready to play again next year. Howard helped organize the men’s alumni team along with the Seaton Booster club led by Paula Harned and Nathan Lee, Seaton’s athletic director.
Adam Tishenko (grad 2011), Seaton’s junior boys coach and alumni of the 2011 undefeated Senior boys team that won provincials, also played.
Recent grad and last year’s silver medalist team’s power hitter, Sam Scott (2017), had her flight delayed and was able to play before she jumped on a plane back to the Island where she plays college volleyball for Camosun Chargers.
“My sister (Brittney, former national team captain) and I were talking on the ride back to Kelowna that a lot of really great volleyball players have come out of Seaton over the years so it was really exciting to get everyone playing again and giving back to the school that started it all for us,” said Lindsay, a freelance digital marketer in Kelowna.
Another notable player, Jossann Drolet (MacKenzie) (grad 1998), went on to win two national championships with the U of Alberta Pandas and played pro in Sweden.
“She has a two-month-old baby and came out and set for us,” said Page. “She’s a scrappy and experienced player who is fun to watch and play with. When I was younger, I really looked up to her as a leader on the court. It’s so awesome to see her every year. The friendships you make on these teams never really go away. An alumni event like this just nurtures the friendships that were built, I think we have started something really special here.
“We are already talking about next year and hosting it right after Christmas when the out of towners are still around and hosting a co-ed all-day tournament,” said Page, who watched on crutches due to a rec league injury. “The goal is to raise money but also give the old timers lots of court time to enjoy themselves. It’s really about the alumni and building on that sense of community. We want to make it a fun event where they want to come back and play every year. The men’s game was definitely a great addition as they brought a ton of big hits and blocks.”
Said Brittney Page (class of 2002): “The annual alumni game is turning into a special event. For me, it’s really cool to come back and play where it all started. Seaton has a very rich volleyball culture, not just students but the faculty as well.”