Brandon will be the site of one of the biggest high school volleyball tournaments in Western Canada this weekend when 60 teams from across the province converge for the annual Neelin Spartan Dig.
The massive undertaking will feature 28 varsity boys teams and 32 varsity girls teams with games running all day Friday and Saturday at Neelin, Vincent Massey, Crocus Plains, Assiniboine Community College, New Era and Earl Oxford, with some opening-day action as well at Linden Lanes and Forrest Elementary.
The tournament has developed into a perennial preview of the provincial championships that run next month.
“It’s an opportunity to have A, AA and AAA volleyball teams, and a couple of AAAA teams, come in and play one last tournament where they get to see each other at their levels, before provincials, and not a lot of tournaments allow that,” said tournament organizer Don Thomson. “So for example, we will have AA teams coming from Niverville coming here and getting to see Elton Collegiate for the first time this year and at the AAA level, a lot of the Winnipeg schools will come out and they get to see the Neelin kids. So it’s kind of a last barometer before the provincial championships.”
On the boys side, the host Neelin Spartans will be joined by Westman teams from Dauphin, Elton, MacGregor, Reston, Rivers, Roblin (Goose Lake), Russell (Major Pratt) and Virden. Meanwhile, with the Spartans varsity girls team — currently ranked second in the province — off to a AAAA tournament in Winnipeg, Neelin’s JV team will be one of a dozen Westman squads taking part this weekend. Also competing are teams from Boissevain, Dauphin, Elton, MacGregor, Rivers, Roblin, Russell, Shoal Lake, Souris, Virden and Wawanesa.
The massive tournament will wrap up with championship games slated for Neelin (varsity boys) and Crocus Plains (varsity girls) on Saturday at 6 p.m.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 25, 2012