Where are they now? Clement, Bryce

by Randy Pascal | January 6, 2015

Indigo Clement

Lockerby graduate Indigo Clement is a sophomore with the University of New Brunswick Sea Wolves women’s volleyball team. PHOTO SUPPLIED

 

Indigo Clement

Indigo Clement knew it was time for a change, even if it meant facing the inevitable challenges. The graduate of Lockerby Composite is now a sophomore with the University of New Brunswick Sea Wolves women’s volleyball team, a big part of a core group that is gradually gaining experience.

But while the post-secondary experience often provides a whole new setting for high school graduates, this one, in particular, provided more change than most.

“Just coming from a very set status with the Northern Chill (Volleyball Club), adapting to new coaching techniques was a big thing for myself,” Clement said. “They also use different balls than we use here, which probably doesn’t sound like a big thing, but you have to adjust to how you are passing, how you’re attacking the ball and serving.”

And then there is the whole issue of on-court chemistry.

“I grew up with the Chill, with pretty much the same players for seven years,” Clement said. “Adapting to this new team is kind of like starting over.”

Thankfully, it would be a common feeling shared by the majority of the Sea Wolves squad.

No less than seven new recruits dotted the lineup through either the first or second semester last year, creating a young team often times on the floor.

“It probably helped us though,” Clement said. “Because we were all new, we could learn everything together.”

The price they paid in 2013-2014 is bearing fruit this year. The latest CCAA (national collegiate rankings) show the UNB ladies holding the 15th slot in the country, something the program has not seen for a few years now.

“Last year, we pretty much started from new, learning to adapt to one another,” Clement said. “This year, we’re already steps ahead. We’ve built the foundation and can move on to more difficult situations.

“Last year, if we went to five sets, we weren’t going to win the fifth set,” she added. “Now, if it even gets that far, we can step up and win the match.”

Working on her bachelor of science, Clement is contemplating a possible switch of programs, though she fully expects to be with the Sea Wolves for a few years yet.

Now that the change is complete, from Sudburian to Maritimer, she has to give it some time.

JD Bryce

Fellow Lockerby Viking J.D. Bryce took his post-secondary baseball career to the University of St. Francis Cougars. PHOTO SUPPLIED

 

J.D. Bryce

The final year of post-secondary athletics for any varsity athlete is often filled with thoughts of one final crack at going out on top. For Sudbury pitcher J.D. Bryce, that sentiment might be stronger than most.

After undergoing labrum (shoulder) surgery on his non-throwing arm in September 2013, the Lockerby Composite left-hander struggled to find his form last spring, cleared to return to training only three weeks before the start of the season.

That background has heightened the pressure that Bryce is feeling as the University of St. Francis Cougars (Fort Wayne, Indiana) prepare to kickoff the 2015 season, facing Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi at the end of January.

“When you’re a senior, there’s a real emphasis on you being able to perform, so expectations are higher,” Bryce said. “Other than that, it’s still the same game I’ve been playing my whole life.”

With three years of working with coach Greg Roberts and his staff, Bryce is aware of what needs to be done to close on a high.

“I think the biggest thing they look for with any pitcher is having a repeatable delivery,” he said. “If you have a delivery that has a lot of motion, a lot of room for error, then you’re not as consistent. My goal for myself, and I think the coaches would like to see it as well, is to work my way into the rotation by the end of the season.”

Thankfully, the 6-2 Northern Ontario lad is coming off an outstanding fall session, noting the effects on the arsenal that he takes to the mound.

“My curve ball had kind of left me for a while,” Bryce said. “It didn’t have the same kind of break, and I didn’t have the same kind of control I had when I arrived. I was able to find that again, and worked my fastball on both sides of the plate.”

All of which has the soon-to-be graduate, who plans to remain State-side post-graduation, enjoying a much more positive mindset when the ball comes his way.

“For me, confidence comes in preparation, and that’s something that didn’t happen last year, because of the injury,” he said. “When I know that I’ve worked hard in the off-season, that I’ve done everything I can to prepare, that’s when I really feel confident.”

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