CORNER BROOK Saying goodbye to high school friends upon graduation can be a tough task for some people. It’s even harder to part ways with a schoolmate who happened to be one of your best teammates and friends along the journey.
Alicia Power and Danielle Walsh, two talented members of the Corner Brook Titans senior female volleyball team, will go their separate ways now that they’ve graduated from Corner Brook Regional High School. The two girls celebrated their high school life with graduation ceremonies wrapping up Thursday with the grand march.
They were a dominant force on the court throughout high school and they left their mark with a record-setting four-straight provincial 4A female high volleyball banners and a silver-medal performance at the Canadian Open in 2012. They will leave high school with a lot of memories of their time spent together both on the court and in social settings when they found some free time from their hectic training programs put in place by coach Nathan Wareham.
Power will continue to play volleyball on the college scene in September when she attends Dalhousie University in Halifax for competition in the Atlantic University Sport, while Walsh will get her first taste of college volleyball when she suits up with St. Anne’s University in Church Point, N.S. in the Alantic College Athletic Association.
While busy with preparations for her cap and gown ceremony Wednesday night, Power was getting pretty anxious to get on with the festivities as she prepares to embark on a new journey.
“It’s exciting, but it’s scary,” Power said of leaving all of her friends behind.
Walsh echoed those sentiments while scurrying around getting ready for graduation festivities.
“It’s a bit scary. Scary to leave home, but it’s something you have to face at some point,” Walsh said.
Power made her name for herself on the volleyball court with a reputation for being a heavy hitter, while Walsh proved to be one of the top setters in the game for high school females in the province. It was a relationship that has worked since Day 1 as both players committed to doing the things necessary to achieve success.
Now that another chapter is about to be written in both of their lives, it doesn’t make reality any easier on them.
“I’m kind of upset, but it’s good to see her go her own way now and experience a bigger and better opportunity for her,” Power said of the duo forging ahead without each other.
Elite players always tell stories of people who have been positive influences on them throughout their sporting lives and it’s no different for Power. According to Power, Walsh has been a great teammate who always encouraged her to be her best and always had her back in good times and bad.
“It’s been really good to have her there to push me,” she said.
Walsh, for her part, is still wrestling with the idea that the duo won’t be wearing the same colours now that the high school career is now behind them.
“It’s a bit scary knowing she’s not going to be there because she was always a person who had your back,” Walsh said. “It was good. We always knew that we were there for each other, and if I was ever down she was always there to help.”
No doubt, the two girls celebrated over the weekend, but it will be all business for them during the summer months with college volleyball awaiting them in September.
While Walsh entertained offers from Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. Mary’s University in Halifax and St. Anne’s University, Power recalls participating in a volleyball tournament at Dalhousie when she was in Grade 8 and saying at the time that she would love to attend Dalhousie when she got older.
“They have a really competitive team and they just want to keep building so it will just push me to do better to play with them,” she said of the factors in her decision. “It will be harder for me to get playing time and I will have to compete for a spot.”
Never one to shy away from hard work, Power knows she has her work cut out for her when she takes her game to the next level.
Being immersed in a bachelor of arts program at Dalhousie for the next four years with hopes of being a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police one day, Power threw a bouquet at coach Nathan Wareham for being a great influence on her volleyball life. She said her coach always encouraged her to be her best and put a lot of time and effort into grooming her into the volleyball player she is today.
“If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be going away. I probably would have stopped playing after high school,” she said.
In the meantime, Walsh is hoping to become a French teacher so the offer from St. Anne’s was really attractive. She also believes the volleyball program will be a good fit for her, so she is comfortable with the decision she has made. She has set realistic goals for her first season knowing the quality of competition will be much stronger than what she’s been accustomed to as an elite high school player.