Many student-athletes flock to Lloydminster to showcase their volleyball skills in memory of William Gow. This weekend, The J. William Gow Memorial Volleyball Tournament saw 32 teams participate from both Alberta and Saskatchewan schools.
The early-season tournament ran for three years as the “Border Battle” before being renamed by the LPSD after Gow passed away in 2017. Lloydminster Public School Division Athletic Director Ryan Sklapsky says the core values that William and his wife Diane instilled in themselves and their kids will also be passed on to future students of the game.
“We hope to continue the legacy that he started. One thing that he always said to kids was ‘make sure you do something for someone else’ and that was the motto that he had, not only with volleyball but with his Mcdonalds business as well.”
The tournament kicked off at schools in the Border City on Friday before finishing at the Servus Sports Centre on Saturday. Each team was given six games in the early season tournament to put what they’ve practised into play.
“It’s nice for a lot of these schools to see schools they normally don’t see in during their tournament schedule,” says Sklapsky. “[The travelling teams] want to see some of these teams compete, and it’s a good early season test to see where they stack up against some of the competition they see later in the year.”
Many volleyballs programs from both provinces travelled to participate in the tournament including La Loche, Marwayne and St.Paul. The renaming of the school after Gow is apropos as Sklapsky says he wanted to work as many players as possible, no matter what school they were from.
“He coached a lot of volleyball in Lloydminster at Bishop Lloyd but also helped out at the [Lakeland] Rustlers volleyball team. His impact was not only felt in the public school system but students in other systems within Buffalo Trail, Northwest School Division, Lloydminster Catholic School Division were impacted by his skill set.”
This weekends tournament saw Tier 1 champions in the Bishop Lloyd boys and the North Battleford Comp girls. E.S Laird took home Tier 2 gold for the boys and Glenavon from St.Paul for the girls.