(submitted by Mrs. Mollenhauer)
Well, it has certainly been a busy fall on the Middle School sports scene. From U-13 boys and U-15 girls’ soccer traveling to Toronto for their respective CAIS tournaments, LIMSSA leagues in soccer and cross country, rowing, plus rugby for the grade 8s, it has been non-stop action.
The fantastic fall weather set the tone for a wonderful season of success on all fronts. Both our U-13 boys and U-15 girls enjoyed awesome trips to Toronto and played their hearts out, bringing home personal stories of success both on and off the field. Congratulations to both teams and their coaches for your strong performances. Likewise our U-13 girls demonstrated lots of heart as they battled to a third place tie in a tournament hosted by GNS in the latter part of October. The Middle Schools’ tradition of having a high percentage of our students participating on our extracurricular teams continued as we had teams for both boys and girls at all three grade levels participating in both recreational and competitive soccer leagues until the middle of October. Not to be outdone, our cross country team, under the guidance of rookie coach Jo Lunn, provided some fantastic results, both individually and as a team, during their 6 week season of racing. Bruce Kuklinski and Jerome Foenander had a small but extremely enthusiastic group of boys playing 11-aside rugby through to when the rains came in November. The development this group showed is to be commended as they pushed through sickness and injury to finish the season with a very respectful record of 4 wins and 3 losses. Sage Friswell and Nic Cunningham represented the school well on the senior rowing team this fall. Training 5-6 days of the week, through all sorts of weather conditions, these two students did an outstanding job and achieved great results in both the city and Island championships. Grade 8 student, Jenna Dhillon, was a standout for the senior girls’ field hockey team this fall as well. After training as a reserve for the BC U-14 team all summer, Jenna put her skills and fitness to the test and passed with flying colours. She will no doubt be a force for the team as she moves on to the Senior School.
As we shifted from the outdoors to the hard courts of basketball and squash, the enthusiasm and energy continued as we again had great numbers out for both of the sporting opportunities. With December quickly upon us, our basketball teams continue to vie for playoff positions and we wish them the best of luck as they conclude their season of play.
Squash will continue until the holiday break and pick up again in the New Year. Under the coaching savvy of veteran Phillip Green, all three grades have very healthy representation on the courts. We hope in the New Year to offer the students opportunities for tournament play as their skills and confidence on the court continues to grow. Phil Green is running a one day pre-Christmas tournament on Monday, December 21st at the Cedar Hill Recreation Center courts. Registration forms are available at the Middle School.
With all this rain we’ve experienced in the last couple of weeks, it can only mean one thing….time for swim club to start up. The team did some pre-season training up in Duncan recently, where an outdoor meet was held on the city streets. Unfortunately our squad couldn’t compete with the spawning salmon and headed back down the Malahat determined to improve! With Gordon Head pool being renovated, the club has been training at UVIC’s McKinnon pool. This will continue in January until the renovations are complete and Gordon Head reopens later that month.
Post Christmas, girls’ volleyball will be starting up for grade 6-8. No experience is necessary and with a terrific line up of coaches ready to go and new uniforms too, it should be a great season for the girls. On the boys’ side, we will have a grade 7 select team traveling to Hamilton, Ontario to participate in the CAIS basketball tournament February 4-6th. Tryouts for this team are taking place Monday, December 7th and Wednesday December 9th after school. Mr. Kuklinski hopes to run some fitness and conditioning sessions on a weekly basis to get the teams ready for spring rugby. Details regarding this will be available in January.
As you can see, it has indeed been a busy fall on the sporting front and we look forward to this pace continuing as we head toward 2010. On behalf of the coaching staff at the Middle School we would like to extend our warmest wishes for the upcoming holiday season. Whether you plan to settle in at home or are travelling abroad, we hope that you find time to relax and re-energize spending time with family and friends.