Our SEASAC Teams returned Sunday evening from a brutal weekend of marathon games, physical and mental challenges and with stories of epic victories.
We can be very proud of the way our Timberwolves played in matches that are at the elite level of competition.
Three out of four teams went into the Sunday playoffs with everything on the line.
Our Girls Football team had earned the pleasure of a recovery day on Sunday, after securing 5th place in the Div 1 Football competition. Our strong Girls team played attacking and attractive football – scoring 18 goals in 6 games – and in the process and recording great victories over RIS and GIS. They also fought back from 0-3 down in pool play to draw 3-3 with eventual champions TTS. This gives a great indication of the closeness and competitiveness of the competition. Finishing pool play in 5th place meant just missing out on the SEASAC semi-finals and the chance to medal, but on the plus side, it also meant that the girls did not have to worry about the dreaded relegation game. This team has the potential to do big things in SEASAC over the next 2-3 years. We were the only school at SEASAC to have Grade 8s in our team and we have plenty to look forward to and build toward for SEASAC ’18.
Our Boys Football team had an epic first day of competition playing 3 competitive matches and being in contention in every game. Most games were decided by one or two moments in the game and unlike the same tournament last year, we were not on the winning side of these moments. This meant a resetting of goals and strategic planning. Coach Wah’s was able to give the whole squad game time on Saturday, partly to build experience at this level but mainly to ensure we had fresh legs for the crucial relegation game on Sunday morning. This proved to be a strategic masterstroke as the 6th/7th playoff game was an extreme battle. CDNIS came back from 2-3 down late in the game to equalise and force the match into extra time. Two Periods of Golden goal, after 6 matches in the Bangkok heat was a test of the team’s grit and resilience as much as it was a test of fitness. We can be very proud that we were able to step up to these challenges and in the last minutes of the game, Jonny Simpson was fouled in the box and converted the penalty that gave the TWolves the win and confirmed CDNIS’ place in the elite level of SEASAC for 2018.
The tale of play was remarkably similar in Singapore at the SEASAC Volleyball tournament. This time the Girls VB team – previous finalists at SEASAC for the last 3 years – had the fight of their life to stay in Division 1. In pool play on Friday alone, they played 14 sets! Considering an average Wednesday night competition game in HK is 2-3 sets, this was again a test of both their physical and mental strength. The team bounced back from a heartbreaking 5 set loss to BPS – going down 14-16 in the fifth set, to record a strong victory over UWC East on Saturday morning. To stay in Division one they had to repeat the performance on Sunday. After losing the first set of the playoff, the girls displayed their fighting characteristics to come back to win 3-1 and finish the tournament on a high. They won their 25th and final set of the tournament 28-26. Very rarely is 5th place better than 4th, but on Sunday 5th November it certainly felt like it. Congratulations girls for being courageous and determined and committed to ensuring the Timberwolves stayed in Div 1.
Our Boys Volleyball powered through Day 1 of SEASAC undefeated and really untroubled. They disposed of last years runners-up, ISY, in 3 sets and in their coaches words “had found their rhythm”. On Saturday morning they continued their march toward back to back SEASAC gold before costly errors on their own serve lead to a slip up against host UWC East. Still finishing tied top after pool play gave the Boys confidence leading into their Saturday night semi-final. In pool play, the team had comfortably beaten BPS but in the semi-final, BPS raised their game and before the Twolves team could react we had lost the semi-final and the chance to defend our title. However, they had to recover and refocus as we did have the chance to add a red banner to the CDNIS Gym wall on Sunday. And the team brought their ‘A game’ to clinch SEASAC Bronze. The Boys sportsmanship was also acknowledged as they were awarded the prestigious SEASAC Sportsmanship Trophy. Congratulations Boys for not just your results but how you achieved them.
If you feel exhausted reading about these battles in Bangkok and slugfests Singapore, please spare a thought for our 8 committed, passionate and talented SEASAC Coaches. These coaches had to experience the challenges vicariously through their players and they will return to Hong Kong today absolutely exhausted after three days of epic games and having the responsibility of guiding the players – tactically, physically and emotionally – through the SEASAC experience. Thank you Coaches Dave Perry, Kerri Coombs, Coaches Justin Wah and Ching Chun, Coaches Kat Clouthier and Vicky Chung and Coaches Marc Steiner and Jessy Po and to AT Ngan Chung. I know you each gave your teams absolutely everything this weekend and you can be proud of their achievements.
All four 4 Teams all still in Division One of SEASAC; this means we have 363 days to start planning for SEASAC 2018!