Change of schools good for volleyballer

NEW HOME, NEW HOPES: Heather Brown plans to grow into her role as leader on John Polanyi CI girls soccer and volleyball teams.

Life is going to get a little wild this September as Heather Brown trades in her Chargers uniform for a Jaguars one.

Last year’s female athlete of the year at Sir Sandford Fleming Academy is waving good-bye to her school, which is being closed, and moving with her peers to John Polanyi CI, in the larger space formerly known as Bathurst Heights Secondary School.

Naturally, ‘the Jaguars’ is the new school’s nickname. Brown beams over the phone lines when talking about the opportunities for sports.

“I’m excited because it’s bigger and there are more programs,” she said. “It’s also closer to my house, so that’s good.”

She’s been an anchor on the volleyball team in winter and the girls soccer team in the spring, thus earning her praise from phys ed heads Shannon Burnie and Barton Harvey.

The added student body will help girls volleyball, who went 1-6 last season in the North Region, and the soccer crew who was 1-3-3.

“We’re going to have more selection, so the teams will be better,” she added. “This might be enough to push us through.”

Still what Brown jumps into first during the school year is far removed from the confines of a net or grassy pitch: it’s the drama room.

“At the beginning of the year we’re involved in the Sears Festival in January,” she said, adding when volleyball starts, concessions are made. “Sometimes it gets a little hectic, but the teachers talk to each other so they manage to work out a schedule.”

Last year in the halls of Fleming, she portrayed Jude, one of the leads in the play, 73, written by one of her classmates.

“It was about these four girls who are in a therapy session and they all have issues — or people think they have issues but they actually don’t,” she said.

Though the play didn’t get past the first round, the troupe scored some positive feedback.

Away from theatre sports and back to the gym, Brown finds herself in the role of leader in her senior year.

“If there are a few younger students who need a few pointers, I’m always there to help them out,” she said.

If Brown should happen to forget her lines, Shannon Burnie is there with a cue.

“She’s been my coach and gym teacher since grade 9,” she said. “She’s taught me quite a bit.”

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