One whistle from coach Lee-Al Nelson, and the girls volleyball team got right to running drills at Gidgalang Kuuyas Naay last week.
Shouts of “Nice pass!” and “Good try!” could be heard all practice as the team served, passed, blocked, and spiked the ball.
Nelson, who volunteers as a community coach, spoke highly of the dedicated group of 16 players.
Not only are they the defending North Coast Zone champions, everyone on the Grade 9 to 12 team happens to be on the school honour roll.
Debi Laughlin, GKN’s athletic director, said it is a challenge to find new and competitive teams for the girls to play.
Costs for an off-island trip start at $2,500 to $3,000 just to get to Prince Rupert, and while the islands’ two high school teams often play each other — their next game is Thursday, Oct. 27 at Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay in Masset — it’s tough to grow competitively when facing the same team all the time.
Most of the team’s travel costs are self-funded, and one of their biggest fundraisers is starting soon.
Over the next few weeks, the GKN girls will be pounding the pavement as well as the volleyball court as they take orders for Purdy’s Chocolates.
After hosting GTN on Wednesday, Nov. 2, they will travel to Prince Rupert and play Charles Hays Secondary on Nov. 4 and 5.
Finally, on Nov. 17, the team will head to Hazelton to defend the North Coast Zone Championship.