By Darryl G. Smart
This is a season unlike any other for Brody Balasz and his Delhi Raiders teammates.
There’s the obvious, wearing masks on the bench, and adhering to COVID-19 protocols. But for the Grade 12 student, that’s all normal compared to the senior boys volleyball schedule.
“It was a little different playing a team like Cayuga,” Balasz said Tuesday after the Raiders swept the Cayuga Warriors in three-straight games. “But it was nice to play someone different. Although it wouldn’t have mattered who we played. We were all just happy to get out on the floor and do our thing.”
The Raiders made quick work of their new Athletic Association of Brant Haldimand Norfolk District 9 Division rivals, winning 3-0 (25-12, 25-8, 25-19).
“It was a lot of fun out there,” Balasz said. “We’ve got a pretty good team and this was a gerat start for us.”
He said the secret to this unit, despite only practicing for a week or two, is the way they mesh together.
“This team has great team chemistry,” Balasz said. “We have a lot of fun out there and everyone has each other’s backs.”
As for the new division format, Raiders coach Ryan Gaertner explained that the eight teams from Haldimand and Norfolk are split into an east and west. Cayuga, Dunnville and Hagersville secondary schools join Waterford District High School in the east, while Valley Height Secondary School, simcoe Composite School, Delhi District Secondary School, and Holy Trinity High School are in the west.
“Today’s games were supposed to be our one crossover day,” Gaertner said.
The Raiders were also supposed to play the Dunnville Panthers. But that game was cancelled and the Raiders got two points because of the forfeit.
“Now that the crossover is done, we now play the teams in the west home and away,” Gaertner said. “It’s nice to be playing other schools. I think the kids really liked it. The only downfall is not being able to play Waterford this season. We will play against them next year during the crossover.”
Gaertner said he really liked what he saw from his team.
“We looked good,” Gaertner said. “We were really looking forward to the team we were supposed to have last year. But we have a great core group from that team, along with some younger players. I like the way they competed.”
In other action today, the Hagersville Hurricanes hosted crossover action against the Simcoe Sabres and Holy Trinity Titans. The scores of those games are available by CLICKING HERE.
The junior tilt between the Raiders and Warriors was a back and forth battle. The Raiders edged out the Warriors 3-2 (25-20, 14-25, 27-25, 15-25, 16-14).
The AABHN season got underway Monday. In senior District 9 action, the Simcoe Sabres beat the Hagersville Hurricanes 43-10, and then beat the Waterford Wolves 35-8.