The BC Summer Games are getting closer and athletes from Cranbrook and Kimberley will participate in many of the sports to represent the Kootenay region.
Many local athletes and a head coach are a part of the boys and girls volleyball teams, as two Cranbrook and two Kimberley boys are a part of the regional volleyball team, while the girls head coach hails from Cranbrook and coaches three local girls along with three Kimberley players.
Andrew Zurrin, a teacher-on-call, leads a squad of twelve girls that are pumped to get into the action at the Games, which kick off in Surrey near the end of next week.
"They're a great group of girls," Zurrin said.
Zurrin was just an observer who was thrust into taking the lead when the head coach had to bow out due to work commitments. However, Zurrin had been a part of the selection process in a tryout camp in Creston at the beginning of June and helped develop the team's skill and game plan.
Zurrin's girls hail from a wide range of Kootenay territory such as Cranbrook, Kimberley, Jaffray, Creston, Castlegar, Fernie, and the South Slocan region.
It's hard to tell what the competition will be like until the team gets into matches over the Games, but Zurrin already knows the strengths of his team.
"We've got really strong middles so if we can get good passing, we're going to run most of our attacks up the middle," Zurrin said. "The team is composed of athletes-these are all really strong athletes."
Zurrin has coached for many years, but has only recently gotten back into the game after taking a hiatus to referee college-level volleyball games. He also coached the Mount Baker Senior Secondary girls volleyball team over the last school year.
Since the roster was chosen, the girls have been together for two weekend camps and roughly 10 practices, which included everyone but the three West Kootenay players.
"The two weekend camps were critical," Zurrin said. "We put in an offense and a defense in the first weekend camp, and the second weekend of the camp was getting good at what we put in."
Two Cranbrook athletes and two Kimberley players are a part of the boys roster who will put in their best effort in bringing home a medal for the Kootenays during the Games.
The coach, Joe Moreiera, is based out of Castlegar, but his team includes Cranbrook athlete Kurtis Seitz, who listed a few things he's looking forward to in his Summer Games experience.
"Lots of fun, meeting a lot of people and playing some good, competitive volleyball," Seitz said.
Seitz, 15, has been playing volleyball for four years as a setter, and competed with the boys Laurie Middle School squad last year.
His team struggled a bit with numbers at the tryout camp in Creston, but some recruiting efforts brought in some more players to form a roster of 11 athletes.
Serving and hitting are the two main strengths Seitz notices when he looks at the makeup of the team.
Seitz aimed for a spot on the Kootenay roster after hearing about the tryout through the East Kootenay Volleyball Club, of which he is a member.
Local players on the two teams include:
Team Kootenay-Girls Volleyball
Annie Bird Athlete Kimberley
Tessa Charlton Athlete Cranbrook
Kylie Fredrickson Athlete Cranbrook
Sydney McKinlay Athlete Kimberley
Hanna Searle Athlete Kimberley
Sarah Wimmer Athlete Cranbrook
Andrew Zurrin Head Coach Cranbrook
Team Kootenay-Boys Volleyball
Jagger Bova Athlete Kimberley
Isaiah Franklin Athlete Cranbrook
Kurtis Seitz Athlete Cranbrook
Joshua Singbeil Athlete Kimberley
Surrey is hosting the 2012 B.C. Summer Games, which takes place from July 19-22.