School Reach “Reaches for the Top”

What is the name for the blank page at the beginning or end of a book? Questions like these have been asked and answered every Tuesday and Thursday at lunch all year by staff and students alike. This year, we had spirited Senior (Gr. 11/12) and Junior (Gr. 8-10) Reach For The Top teams made up of 10-15 girls each with two teacher sponsors: Mr. Noble Kelly (Senior) and Ms. Robin Friesen (Junior). Both teams played valiantly at league games throughout the season as well as at Provincials.

The 2017 Senior Provincial School Reach tournament was hosted by York House and organized by Mr. Kelly and myself, Tammy, Gr. 12. On March 29th, 26 teams (including our own) came from Vancouver Island and all over the lower mainland to YHS to compete for a spot at Nationals, held in Toronto this year. At the tournament, the team was split in two so one half could scorekeep games while the other half played on behalf of our school, switching halfway through the night. Although they did not make it to the top 16 round after Round Robin pool play, the girls were rushing around all night scorekeeping, setting up and cleaning up, in addition to playing their own games. I am incredibly proud of everyone’s willingness to step up and support wherever needed with no shortage of enthusiasm.

The Junior team captain for this year was Devon, Gr. 10. The team, represented by Jadyn, Sabrina, Isobel, Parisa, Grace, and Stephanie (all in Gr. 10), and supervised by Ms. Robin, ranked 11th at their Provincial tournament, which was hosted by Saint George’s. They played hard fought games against Saint George’s and Burnaby North (two highly competitive teams), both of which they only lost to by 1 point. The team played and practised diligently all year and they should be commended for their motivation and consistent effort.

Ciara, Gr. 11 and I were honoured to be this year’s Senior team captains. The team, represented by Andrea, Cici, Yvonne, Ketty, Mackenzie, Jacqueline, Ciara, Kennedy, Elsa, Michelle, Olivia (all in Gr. 11) and Fiona, Gr. 12, supervised by Mr. Kelly and Mr. Gordon Thrift (a previous YHS teacher sponsor), ranked 23rd at their Provincial tournament.

I have been involved with the Reach teams since Grade 8 and from year-to-year, I’ve seen the team grow and change. It truly is a great example of the sentiment “it is what you make of it”. The team’s makeup and teacher sponsors change but Reach adapts to suit the team’s goals. It’s versatility is such that some years are more laid back and some are more intense or competitive depending on what the students and teachers hope to gain from the club. I bring this up because I’ve heard many times from people that they “don’t know anything” or “are really bad at it” and my response is two-fold. Firstly, you know more than you think you do. Reach is full of random facts that you may have learned in class or just from watching a TV show. Secondly, the main goal of our Reach team is rarely to win – although it does feel great to win once in awhile – but more often to have fun and make friends in different grades through a mutual feeling of “not knowing anything.” Reach is everyone’s game and the more the merrier so whether you’ve played for four years or none, I would highly recommend joining next year!

Finally, a huge thank you to our coaches Mr. Kelly and Ms. Robin, who did a wonderful job of coaching in their first year at YHS, as well as everyone who made hosting the tournament possible.

Grade 12