In the fall of 1966, there was no provincial volleyball team so it was decided to hold a qualifying tournament at CFB Stadacona in Halifax. The MRHS volleyball coach, Bob Piers, decided to enter his team in the tournament despite the fact they would be competing against stronger and more experienced players. The age limit had been set at those under the age of 21 allowing university teams to enter as well.
At the qualifying tournament, the young team from MRHS soon came up against a problem. Volleying a serve was now considered to be a “two hit” violation and only bumping was allowed to receive the serve. The boys from Middleton had to learn this skill (the “bump pass”) immediately after their first match. They learned it well enough to go on and take first place in the tournament. They were headed for Quebec City for the First Winter Games in early February.
Although the team was in awe of their surroundings at the Games, they soon found themselves starting to relax for their first match. However, they also found that volleyball was undergoing something of a transition in the west and were faced with more rule changes. One was the use of the “roundhouse serve” where a player could stand with his back to the court and serve the ball with a great deal more power. Under Coach Piers’ directions, the team was able to add this new skill to their repertoire as well. They even won a couple of games against western university teams.
The team from MRHS did not capture any medals at the Games but they reveled in the fact that they had played as a team, had overcome several obstacles along the way and had represented their home province admirably.
Upon their return to Middleton, teachers, students and parents gathered in the MRHS gym to welcome them home with a huge reception. The members of the 1966-67 Middleton Regional High School Volleyball Team will always be proud of their accomplishments, and rightly so.