It’s a Christmas reunion. Time for some alumni volleyball, reminiscing and a chance to raise some money for the Seaton Sonics gym revitalization project and KidSport.
An all-girls match was played last year but the second annual Alumni Game, Saturday, will also feature some boys entries from years and even decades past.
“The alumni valued their experiences through the sport of volleyball and want to make it possible for others to have similar experiences,” said Craig Howard, a member of powerful 1993-94 Sonic teams and now a science teacher at Seaton.
“Part of the proceeds going to KidSport, which helps deserving students pay their athletic costs to give them the opportunity to play in spite of financial needs. We encourage other alumni to sign up via Facebook, if they would like to play, or come to watch the game to support athletics in Vernon.”
Former longtime senior boys coach Doug Kozak has confirmed he will be playing, while current coach Adam Tishenko, who was on the 2010 B.C. winning team and was named the provincial MVP will also dress. Jeremy Kler was a UBC Thunderbird standout, while Jason Richards and Howard played for OUC before it became UBCO. Another alumni—turned-coach is Jeff Englehart.All four ex-Sonics have registered.
“Several locals are playing with varying amounts of volleyball after Seaton and there are some out of towner’s back for the holidays too,” added Howard, who has coached at Seaton for two decades.
Sonic grad Lindsay Page says adding the boys was a no-brainer.
“Lots of players alumni have come forward to participate and help raise money,” said Page. “The ladies have some injuries, pregnancies and new babies so we will mix the girls’ team and play a scrimmage. The men’s team, however, are coming out strong with some ‘oldies’ like Seaton teachers Doug Kozak and Craig Howard. The event starts at 6 p.m. with some fun activities for the fans in between the girls’ and men’s games. Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. It’s really nice to be able to host an event where we can reconnect with other alumni players and classmates. Last year, I ran into friends and teachers I haven’t seen in years. Now, I look forward to this event to see them again.”
Page’s sister, Britt, who retired as captain of the national women’s team in 2012, will return for another year.
“We are super happy to see the success of both of the current men’s and women’s (second in B.C. last year) programs and hope to keep this event going annually,” said Lindsay.
“We wanted to give back to the school that started off many successful volleyball careers and lifelong friendships. My sister will be playing and I know people are excited to see Britt play since she has had such a successful career professionally and with Team Canada.”
Britt joined the national team in 2009, playing in two worlds, seven Pan American Cups and more than 100 international matches.