Lac La Croix brothers Henry and Brandon Geyshick helped lead the Fort Frances High School senior boys volleyball team to an 8-0 season record and the NorWOSSA championship.
“It was pretty exciting — they pretty much dominated from start to finish,” says Fort Frances High School vice principal Dan Bird about the NorWOSSA (Northwestern Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association) tournament. “They had a good crowd with Fort (Frances) High being the host. They were the last gold medal match of the day, so there was a good crowd on hand.”
Unfortunately, the volleyball team was not able to travel to Thunder Bay for their first game in the NWOSSAA (Northern Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association) championships and had to forfeit the game. They made it to the second game but lost to Sir Winston Churchill High School, who moved on to the OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) championships in Kenora.
Although the brothers didn’t make it to the OFSAA championships this year, they did play in the OFSAA championships last year.
“With Dryden (High School) hosting OFSAA last year, even though we got second in NorWOSSA, we still got a chance to play in NWOSSAA and we placed first,” Henry says. “It was the first time in 15 years that the (Fort Frances) Muskies made it to OFSAA. Everyone was stoked about it.”
The brothers helped the volleyball team to a 7-1 record last year, after the team finished with a 1-7 record the year before.
Henry says he and Brandon have different strengths: he excels at hitting and Brandon excels at passing.
“Our coach made (Brandon) libero for the team and that was a great advantage,” Henry says. “For me it was my hitting. I was one of the go to guys when it came to desperate points in the game.”
The libero is a defensive player who does not rotate as the other players do, but remains in the back row usually in the middle position.
“I’m probably one of the stronger passers on the team right now,” Brandon says. “I always practice it every day. It just got easier and easier to read the hitters. You just have to be standing in the right place, you can’t be behind the blocks. You have to find the openings.”
The brothers received support from their family and other relatives throughout the two volleyball seasons.
“They liked watching us play,” Brandon says. “Whenever they get the chance they drive us. My mom drives everywhere to watch us play. She took us to the North American Indigenous Games in Regina last summer. She was at OFSAA, NWOSSAA, NorWOSSA. She’s a big supporter.”
Henry says the team is a “fun group of guys.” He is one of two returning Grade 12 players on this year’s team, while Brandon and the rest of the team are all Grade 12 players.
“Everybody is having fun,” Henry says. “All the players played either junior ball when they were in Grade 9 or 10 or they played last year on the team with us.”
Before last year, the brothers went to school in Lac La Croix. They plan to attend college and university after high school.
“We love the extra-curricular activities out here,” Henry says. “We wanted to finish school with a good education and hopefully get into college right away.”
Henry is also looking into the opportunity to play for a university volleyball team after his coach suggested the possibility.
“Hopefully things will work out, but if not I am going to go with Plan B, which is heavy machinery,” Henry says.
Brandon is interested in a career in aviation.
“My dad is a guide, so he does fly-outs and every now and then he takes me with him,” Brandon says. “I get to sit on the front and watch how the pilot works the plane.”
The brothers learned how to play volleyball from an early age by watching their parents and sisters on the volleyball court.
“They used to take us to the gym every night,” Henry says. “And we kind of grew up to love the sport.”