April Highlights

As spring ushers in a new season for a wide range of sports, it also marks the end for some, as we take a look at provincial championship results from across the country. With the weather getting nicer everyday, the action is only going to pick up from now until the fall!

B.C. Secondary Schools’ Rugby Union (BCSSRU) Sevens Tournament

Girls Rugby

Ever since the International Olympic Committee announced in 2009 that rugby sevens would be an official Olympic sport for the first time during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, the popularity of the sport has been booming. While the British Columbia Secondary Schools’ Rugby Union (BCSSRU) has held an annual boys’ sevens tournament for several years, 2011 marked the first year for the girls sevens tournament. On April 14th, the Cowichan Thunderbirds and Shawingan Lake School Stags put on an exciting display of skill, determination and passion in the championship game of the inaugural tournament. In the end, the T-Birds came out on top with a final score of 15-7. After Cowichan jumped out to a 15-0 lead after the first half, Shawingan scored 7 points and looked poised to make a comeback, however the T-Birds defence stepped up and held on for the win. The defence of the T-Birds can be credited for not only winning the championship match, but for getting them there in the first place. In the semi-final match against the Robert Bateman Secondary Timberwolves, the T-Birds pitched a shutout en route to a convincing 46-0 victory. In total, the T-Birds exceptional defence surrendered just 17 points over a span of five games (while scoring 113). After such an impressive exhibition of exciting play, the girls’ sevens tournament is sure to be a fixture for many years to come.

Photo Courtesy: Les Bazso
Boys Rugby

On the boys’ side of the tournament, perennial powerhouses from St. George’s, Shawnigan Lake and G.P Vanier all brought their A-games and played fiercely. While the level of competition was high, it was the Shawnigan Lake Stags who rose above and came out on top in convincing fashion.

The Stags’ performance was dominant from the beginning of the tournament during pool play, as they opened with victories of 43-0 and 41-7 over West Vancouver and Robert Bateman, respectively. The Stags got through the quarter and semi-finals fairly easily with victories of 24 and 14 points. In the Cup Championship, the Stags faced a G.P. Vanier team who had also enjoyed success earlier in the tournament, outscoring their opponents by a total of 103-32. In the final, the Stags’ superiority was evident from the opening whistle, as they took home the Championship with a final score of 31-5.

Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF)

Badminton Championships

From April 15-16 high school badminton players gathered at Sackville High School to compete in the NSSAF Badminton Championships. Chris Ross from the Cobequid Educational Center was the two-time defending champion and entered the Championship as the clear favourite. Ross didn’t disappoint, as he went 3-0 in round robin play and easily defeated Colin Shipp from J.L. Isley in the semi-final.

Entering the finals against Nonthasit Singthanuprasert, an exchange student from Thailand representing Yarmouth, Ross certainly had the confidence and momentum expected from a two-time defending champion. Ross won the first set 21-12, however, it was Singthanuprasert who prevailed 22-20 in a close second set thanks to an unconventional playing method that threw Ross off his game. Prior to the finals, Ross had not dropped a set during his four-game winning streak and he was determined not to lose another. The third and final set was again a close one, but in the end, Ross’ experience playing in high pressure situations was the difference, as he won 21-18 to take home his third straight championship.

Cheerleading Championships

April 16 was a memorable day for the Riverview High Redettes, as they won their first provincial cheerleading title since 1998. The Redettes took home the top spot at the provincial championship held at Northeast Kings Education Centre while Grace Bay and Avonview won silver and bronze, respectively. The Provincial Championship title caps off an impressive season for the Redettes during which they won the high school Division A title, were named Grand Champions at the prestigious CheerExpo Grand Championship in Halifax and won the Highland Regional title just to qualify for the Provincial Championships. The victory is a testament to the hard work that each team member put in over the season but for coach Sherri Poirier, it is extra sweet, as she was a member of the 1998 Redettes team that last claimed the Provincial title.

Photo courtesy: Cape Breton Post

New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association

Badminton Championships

Ecole Samuel-de-Champlain in Saint John played host to the badminton provincial championships on April 15 and 16. In an extremely dominant display, Canterbury High school came out on top as the clear winner of both the junior and senior AA divisions. Canterbury’s senior team was simply too much for the competition, as they finished with an impressive 33 team points compared to Samuel-de-Champlain, who came second with only 7.5 points, and St. Louis de Kent, who finished in a close third place with 7 points.

Each student from Canterbury certainly enjoyed successful championship performances, but the best days belonged to junior Alysa McLaughlin and senior Jesse Bedard. McLaughlin and Bedard both achieved an impressive “Triple Crown”, winning the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles.

Photo courtesy: The Daily Gleaner

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