Chalmers advances to volleyball national championship

Steven Mah
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Jon Chalmers, a Waldeck native and standout with the Swift Current Comp. Colts volleyball team, will be competing at the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Men's Volleyball National Championship this weekend as a member of the Briercrest Clippers.

Jon Chalmers, a Waldeck native and standout with the Swift Current Comp. Colts volleyball team, will be competing at the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Men's Volleyball National Championship this weekend as a member of the Briercrest Clippers.

Chalmers was a starting middle hitter on the Colts' 1997 4A SHSAA silver medal team and 1998 gold medal winning team.

Chalmers, now 27, is in his fourth year of eligibility with the Clippers after coaching high school volleyball at North West Central School in Plenty for the past four years. Chalmers previously played for Briercrest College from 1999-2002.

Nationals are taking place at Humber College in Toronto from March 7-9th and feature eight teams.

Chalmers explained that his team has already met their goals for the season.

"Our team sat down at the beginning of the year and decided together that making it to Nationals was our goal. Our coach then put together an 18 kilometre walk for us from Moose Jaw to Caronport, putting on the highway all the matches we would have to play along the way to make it to our goal of nationals. He posted the Nationals sign at the front door of the gym at the end of our walk. Our team will need to re-evaluate, but our goal will be gold at Nationals. We want a second chance at Mount Royal College who beat us out in the ACAC finals. We lost each of the sets in the finals by two points. 29-27, 25-23, 27-25. We were right there and they are currently the number one ranked team in the nation."

Chalmers explained that the Clippers can hit with the top teams.

"We really try to focus on building off of our defense and convert on opportunities created by defense. We have an explosive offense that can bang balls with anyone in the league. We have the ACAC kills leader hitting right side for our team and every other player on our team has explosive abilities at the net."

At the age of 27 Chalmers is not the prototypical student-athlete.

"College ball at 27 has been an experience. I feel so blessed by God to have this chance to play again at such an elite level on such a great team. I love the rookies on our team and the energy they bring. We joke around how I am the old guy. My nickname is Papa John then we have another guy on the team who is 25 and they call him Uncle Luke."

Now a husband and father of two young children Chalmers explained his unique season of volleyball.

"Being a husband and father has added a whole new dynamic to playing. It would be impossible for me to even do this if it wasn't for the support of Amie. She has been behind this 100 per cent in the rough patches of the season and the good ones. We prayed about it and decided together this is what we were supposed to do this year. Amie has taken the guys from the team under her wing. Giving them homecooked meals and making us treats for road trips. They love it. Having kids and playing on the team has been great. Elijah and Grace love the 'volleyball boys' as they call them. They come and watch practices and love watching the games. We have had a few instances with each of them where they have ran on the court during the game...it's one of those things that is funny after. Although it can be good strategy when it's a crucial point and the other team is serving which did happen once! The kids love being around the team. This weekend we made up little Clipper shirts for them and they wore them all around the gym at Calgary showing everyone their team. It was so awesome."

Additional details on this story appear online at swbooster.com.

smah@swbooster.com

Organizations: Briercrest College, Humber College, Mount Royal College Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Men North West Central School

Geographic location: Waldeck, Toronto, Moose Jaw Caronport Calgary

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  • eric
    September 18, 2009 - 12:08

    well done chopsticks...i hope nationals went well for you. well done mr. mah for the article