The team was comprised of players from Invermere, Kimberley, Cranbrook, Nelson, Castlegar, Trail and Grand Forks. Photo by Tamara Morgan

Kootenay rugby team wins gold at provincial championships

The Kootenay team won the Tier 2 division at BC Rugby High School Girls’ Provincial XV championships

Seven cities from the Kootenays were represented by 36 girls who competed as a team at the BC Rugby High School Girls’ Provincial XV championships on Vancouver Island.

Not only did they show the skill that comes from the area, but they took home first place in Tier 2 after defeating D.W. Poppy Secondary School 30-0. The team was coached by Scott Cormie and Sean Sinclair.

“The girls responded really well,” said Sinclair. “We knew we had a really big strong runner in their forwards and a really strong backline. We just said ‘you have to defend,’ and they did that. We got really lucky with a couple of bounces and scored every five-10 minutes.”

For many of the girls on the team, they had not played together before.

“For such a big group, they came together relatively quickly, but I think we built it throughout the tournament. By the time we got to that gold medal game, that was our best game because we were gelling as we went along,” explained Cormie. “Every kid individually, I’m so proud of. It’s humbling for me that we can take these kids from other schools that have different coaches … and they really buy in.”

Cormie and Sinclair stressed to the team throughout the tournament to have the girls get together and know each other.

“It was a really strong performance, and I’m super pleased with how the girls came together because it was a mix and you are trying to get people to just play a simple system … by Saturday they were all doing it and they were all bought in. To see it, it was great,” said Sinclair.

In the championship game, nine of the starting 15 players came from Nelson.

“That just made me so proud of them, that they worked really hard to be in that frontline group, and played big minutes,” said Cormie.

The Kootenay team was comprised of girls from Invermere, Kimberley, Cranbrook, Nelson, Castlegar, Trail and Grand Forks, which Emma Damm, Grade 12, Mount Baker Secondary School, says helped them be successful.

“It was seven cities strong, and we all got to know each other. I still don’t know half the girls’ names, but we played like we were family,” she explained.

The teams played the final game on a wet field, while it was actively raining, but that didn’t stop the Kootenay team from bringing all they had.

“It was so cold,” said Skylar Bell, Grade 12, Mount Baker Secondary School. Even though the weather made it tough, Bell said she was excited for what the team accomplished.

“Kootenays has never really placed in any kind of tournament like that,” she said. “It was the last tournament I would be playing with that group, and I was honoured to be there.”

RELATED: Mount Baker Wild host rugby play day

Starting off the tournament the team won 43-17 against Alberni District Secondary School and then continued their dominance 34-7 against Hugh McRoberts Secondary School to head to the championship game.

Player of the tournament, was none other than Mount Baker’s Summer Blackmore.

“It went really well,” she said about the tournament. “It was a little rocky, but then we really started to gel a little bit more and got along really well. Everybody had so much fun together.”

Seeing the team come together and be able to win big, was nothing short of spectacular for Sinclair.

“For me, it was emotional because you guys are playing above where you started. So many of those girls stepped up in a way that you didn’t expect,” he said.

Winning gold at the provincial championships was an amazing feeling for Blackmore.

“Especially because we didn’t really expect too much going into it We were going to do our best and try, then we just really gelled and it turned out really well,” she said.

Blackmore described the team as being close, even having only been together for a couple of days.

“Even though we were thrown together it was close-knit and it was just for that one moment, it was quite special,” she said.

Cormie described the team as young, noting a majority of the players were in Grade 10.

“That bodes well for their future because they have already had a win and a big success,” he said.

With the team’s success, Sinclair says he hopes within the next year or two every school in the Kootenay zone will have their own 20-player roster and can go as individuals schools.



jessica.dempsey@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nelson woman celebrated for achievement in literacy

Paulina Mason was honoured by the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy

Eleven communities to attract newcomers to support middle-class jobs

The program includes unspecified West Kootenay communities

Nelson blogger and Chinatown historian dies

Claus Schunke was a fierce critic of Nelson City Council

Mural designed by Grade 5 student painted at credit union

L’Ècole Sentiers-Alpins’ Emily Horn and local artist Isabelle Houde finished the mural last week

PHOTOS: L.V. Rogers sends off its grad class

Check out our pictures of the festivities

Raptors announcer credited with calming massive crowd after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Sexting teens at risk of harms including depression, substance use: study

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of B.C. inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused B.C. cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Most Read