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Cranston setting up volleyball future

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Blain Cranston (#11) braces to block an attack during the 2012 Boys AAA High School Volleyball Provincials in Kelowna which ran Nov. 28 to Dec. 1.

Coming from a volleyball-orientated family, the fact Blain Cranston has been scouted by Grande Prairie Regional College to play for their men’s team isn’t all that surprising.

Cranston, who’s in his senior year at North Peace Secondary School, was invited GPRC’s High School All-Star Game on Thursday, Dec. 6 for the second year in a row.

The All-Star Game has four teams, two girls, two boys, made up of the region’s best high school volleyball players. Cranston was the only male player from Fort St. John selected while NPSS’ Robyn Devalenila was invited to play for the girls’ teams, but was unable to attend.

“This is the second year that I’d went and I’d been in contact with them before that,” Cranston said, who’s both team captain and setter for the NPSS senior boys volleyball team. “It’s a good way for coaches from Grande Prairie to see you play.”

“Being captain this season with [NPSS], we were small, and I really think that helped me with my leadership skills and helped me become more of a natural leader. I think that crosses over onto the teams I play for now.”

The coaches at GPRC definitely noticed his on-court skills and leadership as well. Cranston was selected as Player of the Game for his team (Team Red). Team Red defeated Team Black in two straight sets on Thursday 25-23 and 25-18. Cranston alternated between playing setter and right side positions.

“I had a strong game and I bring a lot of energy to the court, I think that really helped me,” Cranston said.

“When you’re setting you run the offence so you have to take control of the game, and I think I did that well during the All-Star Game.”

Cranston also revealed that he and the GPRC coaches have made a verbal agreement for the NPSS senior to play for the college next year like his older sister Barb Cranston.

“I think it’s a good start for me,” he said. “They’re a young squad and they have a ton of potential. I’m looking forward to playing with them next year.”

“I’m going to take things step-by-step, but I think eventually my goal is to be able to play CIS, university ball.”

Cranston said that someday he would like to play university ball in the U.S. like his oldest sister Dana who plays for Colorado State University, but added that it’s more difficult for male volleyball players to make teams south of the border.

For now he plans on joining some familiar faces in Grande Prairie next fall as he wraps up his last semester at NPSS.


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