1979-1980 St. Theresa’s Crusaders Senior Boys Volleyball

Back-to-back All Ontario Champions

It is almost inconceivable to consider that a small-town Catholic high school of only 180 students could produce a provincial volleyball champion. In 1979, the Crusaders became the first St. Theresa’s tean-, to win an all-Ontario championship by claiming the OFSSA senior boys’ “A” title. Incredibly, they duplicated that feat the following year, becoming the first and only St. Theresa’s team to win back-to-back Ontario titles. In 1981, the Crusaders were semi-finalists in the “AAA” division. They also won the York University Invitational Tournament in 1980. Team members included Keith Duval, Lee Crowe, John Quilty, Gerry Crowley, Jeff Dunn, Dean Wood, Pierre Belanger, Paul Duval, Paul Cox, Pat Brodeur, Mark McInerney, Chris Weissflog, with coach Rick Presse and trainer Good Burtch. Coach Rick Presse revealed his secrets a few years back in a newspaper interview: “We’ve been able to develop consistency in all facets. Our coaching is consistent with Bruce Finlayson, Sister Marlene Kelly and myself, our training is consistent, and so is our discipline.” During this time, the Crusaders routinely defeated teams from schools with 10 times the enrollment of St. Theresa’s. The team’s legacy was to create a standard of excellence for future St. Theresa’s teams, showing that even in sports, David can defeat Goliath – sometimes three years in a row!