© Berisford Codd Jr.
BELIZE CITY, Tues. Feb. 12, 2019– In March 2018, news was broken that 23-year-old Bryton Codd and 27-year-old Karym Coleman were awarded scholarships to pursue college education at Briercrest College in Saskatchewan, Canada and play for the Briercrest Clippers. Briercrest, a Christian School in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC), has been a competitive program over the past fifteen years, and has been knocking on the door of the championship picture as of late. While the moment was historic for Belizean volleyball, it was unfortunate that Karym did not benefit from a full season with the team. It took high level intervention to secure Karym’s student visa, which he only received in Mid-December after several failed and frustrating attempts.
Bryton, on the other hand, benefitted from an early start that placed him in Canada from the end of August of 2018. The difference in a semester of training and team building has resulted in Bryton excelling in his new environment. He has remained steadfast in his mission to “ensure that these types of opportunities become the norm as opposed to the exception, and to use sports as a tool for development.” Heading into the final two games of the regular season, Bryton has put up monster numbers that will certainly have him on the radar for bigger programs. After 21 games, he has scored 330.5 points (avg 4.3 points per set) on 269 kills, 45 service aces and 17 blocks, a point output that is currently 4th in the ACAC. This level of output puts Bryton squarely in the race for ACAC Player of the Year and a definite lock for All-ACAC as an Outside Hitter. These numbers become even more impressive when considering that he has cleared all his classes in the first semester with a 4.0 GPA.
Karym needed to play catch-up due to the immigration problems, but has picked up his game over the past two weeks. Coming into last week’s games in 5th place and facing 3rd ranked SAIT, Coleman delivered his best performance yet for the Clippers, and secured his first Player of the Game honours with a spectacular line of 9 kills, 8 digs and 4 aces, to keep Briercrest in striking distance for the playoffs (top 4 seeds qualify). Briercrest would ride that momentum the following day to a three-set win, which sets them up nicely for a playoff bid if they can put away the lowly Ambrose Lions who are 4-18. If Briercrest is able to get past Ambrose this weekend, they will move on to the ACAC playoffs, where they will be in an 8-team knockout tournament for a chance to play for the 2019 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Championship. In 9 appearances for the Clippers, Karym has put up a respectable 61 points, which would have his point per set (2.1) in the top 50 of the ACAC if he had enough games to qualify. This type of output is not the norm for Karym, who has consistently been Belize’s top scorer in regional tournaments. We are expecting big things from Karym when he has a full training camp under his belt. His athletic talent and dedication to his craft should see him getting back to form and complementing Bryton as the dynamic twin towers Briercrest