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Rudy Norman
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King's Point girls dominate provincial competitions

A group of girls from King's Point have done what some felt was the impossible.
Coming from a school where the Kindergarten through Grade 12 population is less than 150 students, the female athletics department at Valmont Academy has a small roster of potential student-athletes to take part in the school sport competitions across the province.

"The athletes who do take part have to be well-rounded in all the sports, because we're not like a bigger school that has a lot of people to draw from for each sport," said Valmont's vice-principal, Greg Flynn.

Flynn was also the coach of the school's girls' basketball team this year, and eventually became one of the coaches that helped lead Valmont into the record books.

In the past year, the Valmont girls have brought home School Sport Newfoundland and Labrador titles in four different sports - dominating competition and doing what no one can remember any other team doing in recent memory.

"We actually went back and tried to find out if this had been accomplished before, but we couldn't find anything," says Flynn. Altogether, Valmont brought home provincial banners in girls' AA slo-pitch, AA soccer, A basketball and AA ball hockey at various competitions throughout the year.

The girls won the soccer championship without even having a soccer field in their community to properly practice on. A feat, Flynn pointed out, displays the pure talent and determination by the team.

Perhaps most remarkable, though, is that all provincial banners were won by a combined pool of just a dozen or so players, with six of these bringing home all four banners as part of each winning team.

"I think it shows the dedication and the talent of these girls," said Flynn. "They just love what they do, and love the competition, and have fun doing it."

While the competitions are for senior high school, because of lack of numbers a couple of junior high school students have also been part of the winning teams.

"It's great because it's raising up the future athletes," Flynn explained. "We're going to be losing a couple of players this year because of graduation, but we've already got some great athletes coming up in elementary school, which is great."

In addition to Flynn coaching basketball, the girls also had coaches Adam Matthews and Tanya Warford for ball hockey, coaches Stephen Earle and Warford for soccer, and Warford returned once again for slo-pitch.

Needless to say the excitement for the small school in the past months have reached a new level.

"It's amazing what it's done for the school, and even what it's done for the community," said Flynn. The entire student body has come together to support the girls in their efforts throughout the year, and the community of King's Point have rallied around to help financially with fundraisers and hosted a community parade after each title win.

Natalie Burt has been either a captain or co-captain on every winning team this year.

When reflecting on the past few months the young Grade 12 student gets visibly emotional, recalling all she and her teams have accomplished.

"These girls have become my sisters - we're family now," she said. "I'm so proud of everyone because we all worked so hard, and it paid off."

Burt also pays tribute to their coaches and other volunteers who made the wins possible. She said they wouldn't have been able to do it without them, and the coaches have "taught us so much."

As for Flynn, he said he knows that the domination this year has set a high bar for competitions next year and the years following.

"We're probably going to be the team everyone wants to beat now," he said. "But I think that's good - it keeps us on our toes and it gets us motivated to keep doing better."

As for whether he thinks the girls are up for it again next year, there's no hesitation.

"Oh, absolutely," he said.

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