Up, up, and away


Jamie Wilkins’ time is over with the U of R men’s volleyball team

Autumn McDowell
Sports Editor

Jamie Wilkins has walked off the volleyball court as a member of the Green and Gold for the last time.

The University of Regina men’s volleyball season officially came to an end last Saturday, as did the CIS playing careers of Wilkins, Brody Waddell, Joel Colter and Drew Smith.

While the four fifth-year players had more wins this season than in any of their past seasons with the Cougars, Wilkins admits that it doesn’t make saying goodbye to the team that much easier.

“[I have] mixed feelings; I’m going to miss it, but at the same time I feel like this program has taken a huge step forward and I have been able to be a part of that,” he said. “It feels good to leave the team having accomplished something with them.While Wilkins has stuck with the team through its ups and downs over the past five years, he feels that one word sums up his experience with the Cougars quite nicely.

“The word that I use is ‘transition,’ because I have gone from hitting right side, hitting left side, hitting middle – just last year is when I started hitting more left side so it has been a transition for me,” he said. “I think that I have learned new skills every year and the guys have certainly helped me do that; they have really helped me a lot.”

Although Wilkins may not be able to walk away from the team with a national title or with his name engraved on a plaque, the memories he has shared with the team are a consolation prize he will gladly accept.

“Really anything that goes on in the team room is my favourite [memory], I think,” he said with a laugh.

As for the future of U of R volleyball, Wilkins has no doubts that the program will use the momentum that it has gained from this year and continue to get better.

“Well, they are going to keep improving their record, I have no doubt in that,” Wilkins said. “They have got a good core group of guys right now and I know that some of the guys that they have coming in are great athletes, great talent, so I only see the team getting better.”

Wilkins is set to finish up a degree in kinesiology and health studies and will then leave the U of R to join the work force, but staying away from volleyball completely just isn’t an option.

“I am always for the boys here, so I am going to stick around the team,” Wilkins said. “I have to start work soon, but I am definitely going to stay around the volleyball team. I do stuff around the community for volleyball and I think I might be coming back next year as an athletic trainer.”

The Cougars finished off the season with 4-16 record, good enough for ninth place in the conference, and the best finish for the team since Waddell, Colter, Smith and Wilkins first stepped onto the court.

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