Local volleyball standout to compete at nationals
If points in a volleyball match were given for amount of time spent on court, there would be no competition to face 17-year-old Jill Snow.
© Danielle Shugarue photo
Leo Burke Academy student and volleyball player Jill Snow has had a busy season in the sport, but will finish with a trip to nationals in May with a team based out of Corner Brook. Snow was recently part of the team that won bronze at the Husky Cup in Halifax.
Along with being a veteran player for the Leo Burke Academy senior girls volleyball team, where she won a 3A championship, the Grade 11 student is an assistant coach with the junior girls team, helps out with the Grade 8 girls team, is head coach of Grade 8 boys team, spent Christmas break training with the Memorial University Sea-Hawks and travels to Corner Brook every Sunday to train with the team she will help to represent the province at nationals. "This has probably been the busiest year ever (volleyball-wise)," said Snow. "I rarely have a weekend home - I'm either gone to Corner Brook or St. John's or playing in a tournament with school or just training. I love volleyball, so as much time as I can spend in the gym as possible; I'm going to do it."
Snow recently returned from Halifax with the Corner Brook team from competing in the Husky Cup, where they captured bronze. The tournament served as a warm-up for nationals being held May 12 in Abbotsford, BC.
"The Husky Cup went really well. It was stiff competition, but we played really well," said Snow. "I think it was a good start to go off to nationals, especially for me. All of the other girls from Corner Brook have been on trips like this before to Montreal and BC last year, but this is my first big tournament and nationals are going to be amazing."
Snow said she is feeling a little bit of every emotion from nervous to excited as she prepares for her nationals debut.
"I'm so excited to go and play and show everybody what I have, but there is still a lot of nervousness to know that there is a lot of people there. Everybody is counting on everybody else on the team."
Snow will still have another year in her high school career, so to compete at nationals is truly an honour.
"For me this means everything in the world. To know that there are people wanting you to play on their team and I know that some of the young girls around look up to me, I have been told that before and that means a lot to me. Just to know that I have respect being so young (is amazing)."
LBA volleyball coach Chad Richards knows exactly what the Corner Brook team saw in Snow and the intangibles she brings to the court.
"She is a great athlete. She has a lot of smarts for the game and she adapts fast to different situations," he said. "Within the school she is a positive role model, she gives back to the volleyball game itself - coaching the younger boys and girls. They look up to her and watch her play they see how the game is played."
For the past five years, Snow has been learning from her current high school coach Richards, who introduced her to the sport and has been an influence ever since.
"Everything that I know (about volleyball) I owe to Mr. Richards," said Snow. "He started me out when I first went to Leo Burke. I was a new addition to the team and he worked with me from day one. I guess he knew I could go further with volleyball and he knew that I loved it so much."
"I would like to see her go play varsity, I think she has that potential, and who knows beyond that," said Richards. "I think she will continue to play wherever she is - whether it is city league or recreationally."
Her time spent training with the Sea-Hawks over the Christmas holidays was quick glimpse into a possible future in volleyball.
"Hopefully I'll get to play university ball in a couple years," said Snow. "(Volleyball) is something that I love to do, so if that could help me get where I want to go that would be great."