Athletics Review: Alumni Games

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Pictures by Rob Ducharme, Susanne Walker-Curry and Darin Steinkey


Cricket
by Graham Lily

With the departure of a number of cricketers last year, the cricket squad is in a rebuilding phase. However, early indications show that it will not take long; new students are picking up the technicalities of the game very quickly. Mr. Cordle and I have been most impressed with the contributions of Michael Groot and Christian Sharpe.

The local midweek league is underway and the school had a very good result against Ross Bay with Baldeep Dulku and Trenton Shultz-Franco bowling and batting very well. This promising start continued with the recent game against our alumni. Jamieson Shultz-Franco won the student player of the game award with a solid all round performance. The SMUS alumni squad was as strong as ever and it was nice to see several recent grads of the school program playing on that side. The annual game is always enjoyable, as there is a great balance of competition and sportsmanship and the weather usually cooperates!

Senior Girls Soccer
by Nikki Kaufmann

With the regular season winding down, the Senior girls soccer team had a less intensive week of games. They played their final league game at home against PCS and, as their current results stood, they needed at least a tie to secure a berth in the Island Championships.

It only took SMUS nine minutes to find the back of the net with a long shot from Abbey Piazza. As it turns out, the team was not going to just settle for a tie as they scored seven more times for an 8-0 win. Abbey Piazza, Erin Hope and Tina Yu all had two goals apiece, with singles from Flora Manson-Blair and Bairavi Murugakumar.

On Saturday, the girls suited up to play Stelly’s in a friendly as part of Alumni Weekend events. It was an evenly played game, with back and forth possession between both teams. It looked as though it would end in a scoreless draw, however with only a few minutes to play, Abbey Piazza drove in a cross and with a lucky bounce off a Stelly’s defender the ball ended up in the back of the net giving SMUS a 1-0 win.

Junior Rugby
by Ian Hyde-Lay

It was a difficult week for the Junior rugby group, who played four games and lost four with a points differential of -90. Youth and inexperience, lack of size and erratic tackling, but most of all a maddening propensity to give the ball away cheaply, all combined to make things a bit too easy for the opposition.

On May 1, as the undercard to the 1st XV Boot Game, the Junior players hosted two games against Oak Bay. The B team gave a very credible performance, conceding only one try in each half and being quite unlucky to not cross the Barbs line in a 12-0 loss. Mac Valentine earned a call-up to the A team with an all action display, while Jansen Gibbs and Noah Pryce-Baff demonstrated that some of the lessons learned on the March tour to South America were being put to good use. Likewise, newcomer Jose Basave made an impact with a few strong runs.

In the A game, any hopes for a closer scoreline than two weeks ago were dashed early, with SMUS giving away two soft tries in the opening minutes to begin the game on the back foot. A well-drilled Oak Bay team then put the hammer down to win quite easily 38-14. For whatever reason, many of the SMUS players were very jittery, making unusual turnovers and forcing passes. Zach Kahn and Abe Karaghani scored consolation tries, but it was too little too late.

On May 4, with the start of alumni weekend, the B team matched up again versus Claremont. A closely contested first half, with the teams notching two tries apiece, became a runaway after the intermission, with the visitors scoring six more times without reply. Gus Catto, at fly half, had some neat passes, while Alex Carrion featured strongly on attack.

Saturday saw the arrival of Brentwood. The A team, unfortunately down three key players to outside commitments, was always going to be badly underpowered up front. And so it proved. A gallant rearguard action kept the damage to 13-11 at halftime, but the second stanza was one-way traffic, with Brentwood dominating the tackle area and the forward exchanges on the way to a deserved 33-11 win. SMUS tried to attack from everywhere on the field, but resulting turnovers ensured a lot of time on defence.

Kahn scored a sensational solo try, running in from 75 meters. Graeme Hyde-Lay, in addition to tackling bravely in the close channels, kicked two penalty goals. Flanker Emiliano Sedano and centre Max Pollen also ran miles and tackled well. Down 16-11, a SMUS kick through almost brought the tying points and perhaps a momentum shift, but a loose ball, lying invitingly in goal, was not recovered.

With the Grade 9 players away this week on out-trip, the squad now looks ahead to resuming practice on May 14 in preparation for the May 17 City final at Oak Bay and the May 23-25 Island Tournament a Brentwood.

Golf
by John Edgar

This past week the golf team participated in the Victoria Police tournament at Olympic View Golf Course in Metchosin. With the public school teacher job action there were serious concerns whether the tournament would have enough teams to go ahead, but in the end 20 teams competed in this excellent event.

It was a two-round affair with a mid-afternoon shotgun start on day one followed by a very early morning start on day two. Olympic View is a beautiful and scenic 18 holes of golf — which is a polite way of saying it’s tight, unforgiving and hilly. Not having played the course puts you at a distinct disadvantage and for two SMUS golfers that was the case. Nevertheless, the team put forward a solid effort with a middle of the pack result. After two days the team ended up in 10th position, shooting identical team scores both days. No one distinguished themselves with their play and all were a little disappointed with the result but, as mentioned previously, it wasn’t for lack of effort. Golf is a difficult sport. Some days you can’t miss, other days it feels like you’ve never played before!

Looking ahead, unfortunately, due to the previously mentioned job action, both the Island and Provincial Championships for golf have been cancelled. Fortunately, both are being replaced, in a sense, by invitational tournaments which we hope to participate in.

Until then, another quote from SMUS golfing legend IHL: “They say golf is like life, but don’t believe them. Golf is more complicated than that.”

Tennis
by Jamie Prsala

SMUS had a productive but challenging experience competing at the ISAs this past week. Due to exam conflicts we were unable to field a full boys team, but fortunately we had some help from two members of the SMUS Middle School: Andrew Partyka and Tony Liu. Both competed at a high level against players way above their age bracket, with each compiling a 1-1 record.

The girls team faced some stiff competition from exceptional Brentwood and Crofton squads. The highlight of the day came from an exciting tiebreaker win in the girls A doubles match against Shawnigan. Both Ariel Sorley and Emily Hooton played an excellent match, leading to the victory.

This week the team is busy with Lower Island playoffs as well as the Island Championships. They look forward to competing at Shawnigan for chance to reach provincials.

Rowing
by Susanne Walker Curry

The SMUS senior boys coxed quad had a fantastic race at this weekend’s Opening Day Regatta in Seattle. This event, which is raced along the Montlake Cut between Lake Washington and Lake Union, is by invitation only and sees hundreds (if not thousands) of yachts and sailboats line up along the racecourse to watch. Add in the thousands of fans who cram every metre of the banks and you have the making of a very exciting — and noisy — event!

Our crew of Liam Knightley, Luke Friswell, Marcus Lelewski, Liam Hyatt and Erynn Pawluk more than rose the occasion. SMUS was the only school in their race — the others being big rowing clubs — and had a brilliant start, coming into the cut and up to the bridge in first place. In a nail-biting final 250 metres, it was a fierce battle between the top three boats and impossible to tell who crossed the finish line first. When the results were finally posted at midnight, it showed only three seconds separating these three boats, with SMUS in third place. What a row!

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