Truro handball team wins Acadian Games gold medal
TRURO - Ecole Acadienne de Truro's first medal at the Atlantic Acadian Games was a gold one.
The school's handball team captured the historic medal with a 24-14 victory against the Acadian Peninsula squad Saturday in Petit-Rocher, N.B. It is the first time a Nova Scotia team has won the handball event.
"We beat some pure Acadian areas of New Brunswick that have much more student population than we do," coach Guy Roy said Sunday. "For us to win this it's a tremendous feat. It's almost unbelievable."
A dozen players from the small Truro school, comprised of about 140 students, earned the right to represent Nova Scotia at the Games by winning the provincial championship at home a few weeks ago.
"This is really a big deal. This is the Olympics of the Acadian Games. It doesn't get any bigger than that," Roy said.
Truro went 3-1 in round-robin play to finish second in their pool and earn a date with the heavily favoured Restigouche team in the semifinal.
Truro led for much of the contest but in the later stages Restigouche went ahead. In the final two minutes, Truro was penalized but still was able to outscore their opponents to win the contest 22-21.
"I just couldn't believe it when we won that game. I could not believe it. The stars were aligned for us," said Roy, who has coached the team for six years. Truro had finished fourth the past two years at the Atlantic competition, making the gold medals that much sweeter.
"My whole team played well," Roy said. "Harrison Callaghan is a big reason we are where we are. This guy is an exceptional athlete ... He has brought this game to another level that kids his age aren't able to do."
Roy also credited goaltender Teya Green for her strong play during the week. "She kept us in there when it could have easily went the other way," he said.
The handball gold medal was Nova Scotia's only gold of the competition.