Airdrie volleyball player rounds out club career with national title
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:13 am
For Airdrie’s Jared Lee, it was the perfect ending to a five-year career with the Calgary Canuck Dinos volleyball program.
Lee, an 18-year-old Grade 12 student at St. Martin de Porres High School, helped the Canuck Dinos U18 boys’ team win the national championship in Edmonton on May 11, as it defeated Edmonton’s Fog Black team in two straight sets (25-23 and 25-19).
“It felt amazing to win that title, as this is something that me and the rest of the guys had all been working towards,” Lee said.
“We’ve had a core group of guys who have been with the team for a span of three to five years, and our main goal was to win a national title,” he added.
“We put everything that we had together in order to do that, and it paid off.”
Having already won the Best of the West Tournament and the Alberta Provincial titles in the weeks leading up to the nationals, the Canuck Dinos kept up the momentum to become the first Calgary team to win a national men’s U18 club title since 2005.
“We started peaking at the right time as a team, and we just kept that up at the nationals,” Lee said.
“We did a really good job of working as a team to move the ball around, and we were able to break down the other team’s systems and forced them to make errors.”
“On a personal level, I thought that I was able to help the team with my serving,” he added.
“I did really well with that, and I was really happy to help the team out that way.”
According to Canuck Dinos Head Coach Kerry MacDonald, Lee’s time spent playing with both the U18 club team in Calgary and the St. Martin de Porres High School team in Airdrie has made him into a well-rounded player.
“He’s a guy that we can call upon to play any position and he is someone we can turn to in the clutch,” MacDonald, who coached Lee during the last two seasons, said.
“He’s not a one-dimensional athlete, and he has a great all-around skill set,” he added.
“I truly think he can make that next step to play at a post-secondary level.”
When it comes to playing for a college or university, Lee has yet to decide if he will be competing at the next level, as he is trying to find the right fit between his studies and his athletics.
“I’m planning to study Power Engineering, and a lot of institutions don’t allow their athletes to take a course like that and try to play competitive sports at the same time,” Lee explained.
“I’ve had some offers from schools, but right now I’m weighing the pros and cons before deciding what I want to do,” he added.