high school volleyball coach calling it a day
By Fred Sherwin
weekend will mark the end of one of the most successful
volleyball coaching careers in the National Capital Secondary
School Athletic Association (NCSSAA) as Béatrice-Desloges
senior boys coach Chantal Lefebvre guides the Bull-Dogs
in her final trip to the OFSAA provincial championships.
has been coaching boys volleyball for the past 30 years.
She began her career at Collège catholique Samuel-Genest
in 1986 and made the move to Béatrice-Desloges
when the French Catholic board high school opened in 10
Béatrice-Desloges Bull-Dogs are heading
to the OFSAA provincial championships this
weekend after placing second in the NCSSAA..
her 20 years at B-D, Lefebvre has taken a team to OFSAA
10 times. The closest she came to winning a provincial
championship was in 2008 when the Bull-Dogs lost in the
AAA semi-finals. That was the same year Lefebvre lost
her husband, Marcel Boudreau, in a car accident.
managed to make it through that difficult period in her
life, thanks in large part to the relationship she had,
and still has, with her players who she affectionatly
refers to as her petit poussins, or little
chicks in English.
sure, shes like a mother hen, says team captain
back to the year the Bull-Dogs made it to the OFSAA semi-finals,
it was her little chicks who helped her deal with the
tragic loss of her husband.
kids I can honestly say made me hang in there. After the
accident happened they really wanted to be there for me.
It was like, What can we do Madame?, Is
there anything you need. I remember one day they
even made an apple crisp. As much as I give to them they
give me back so much more, you have no idea, Lefebvre
one principle shes consistently instilled in her
players is team work and the concept that as individuals
they can only go so far, but together they can accomplish
is more than a coach. She is like our second mother,
former Bull-Dog captain André Bégin said
during their 2008 silver medal run. That sentiment is
shared by every player Lefebvre has ever coached. In fact,
a number of players still call her to see how shes
doing and even invite themselves over for a BBQ once in
tradition Levebrve started early in her high school coaching
career and has continued all through the years is to have
her players over for Christmas dinner.
never been as close to a coach in my life, says
Gaerke who has played for Lefebrve for the past three
2016 Bull-Dogs may not be as athletically blessed as some
of Lefebvres past teams, but what they lack in natural
ability they make up for through sheer hard work.
not always about numbers, says Lefebvre. Its
about team bonding... its about team spirit.. its
about working hard and learning good values. These guys
have been working really, really hard to get to where
they are now.
years OFSAA provincial champ-ionships are being
played in Windsor with action getting underway on Nov.
Bull-Dogs earned their spot in the tournament by virtue
of the fact that the city champions from Franco-Cité
are also the defending provincial champions which gave
the NCSSAA an extra berth at OFSAA.
is realistic about her teams chances heading into
think the podium maybe out of reach as far as this team
goes. But OFSAA is not always about medals. Its
about living the OFSAA experience to the fullest. The
banquet. The team bonding. Its a special time for
for what the future holds, Lefebrve says she plans to
do a lot of travelling and go backpacking, but she will
miss the joy and satisfaction that coaching brought to
guys. Theyre magic. Theyre special. Thats
what Ill miss, says Lefebvre. That special
comraderie. That special bond we get to enjoy as coaches.
Thats what Ill miss the most.
the players will miss you too Madame Lefebvre.
9 p.m., Nov. 21)
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