Athletics Review: Solid Service Game Powers Teams

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Pictures by Kerry Chan


May 23
Tennis
by Jamie Prsala, tennis coach

The SMUS tennis team had an eventful past couple of weeks. After defeating GNS and Esquimalt in the Lower Island Playoffs to take the number one seed for the third year in a row, SMUS had to compete in a challenging Island Tennis Championship.

In the first match of the Islands, a short-handed SMUS team played well against a strong Shawnigan squad, ultimately losing 7-4. Ronnie Tsai and Eamon Flanagan turned in an exceptional performance winning their mixed doubles set 6-4 against a heavily favoured Shawnigan duo.

The next match, against Lambrick Park, was to decide the final provincial berth from the Island and SMUS dominated the boys side, winning 6/6 sets and leading the team to an 8-3 victory. With a trip to provincials locked up, the SMUS team dug deep and fought hard in a rematch against Shawnigan for second place, ultimately falling just short, losing 6-5 in a tightly contested match. Victor Shang won a marathon singles match in an 11-9 tiebreaker.

The team is now looking forward to improve upon last year’s eighth place finish at the provincial championships in Vancouver.

Athletics Council
by Richard Primrose, Acting Director of Athletics

The idea of service is central to much of what we do at SMUS. It is embedded in our vision, and stands strong as one of our Pillars of Leadership. While the school has been sending students on different service trips and activities for a long time, this year the Athletics Department undertook an initiative to send teams on service activities.

Over the course of the year, teams have set out on a diverse offering of activities, including environmental clean-ups, serving dinner to those in need, and working with at risk youth — just to name a few. The feedback from coaches and athletes alike was exceedingly positive. In addition to coming together for a good cause, there are many other benefits for the teams, including strengthening team bonds and creating a more cohesive unit.

“It was well worth the day off training to do service as a group. It was a great opportunity for team building off of the pitch, and it made us stronger as a group,” says Senior girls soccer coach Nikki Kaufmann.

Orla Glen, of the Senior girls soccer team, writes:

“The Extreme Outreach Society reaches out on a daily basis to families in need throughout the Victoria community. Having played on numerous sport teams I have been to Hot Dog Wednesday on several occasions, each one as worthwhile as the last. On May 8th, the Senior girls soccer team had the opportunity to serve hot dogs to the families that live in and around Blanchard Court. While some worked the grill, prepared buns and hot chocolate, many of us got the chance to play with the kids. We jumped rope, drew with chalk and, of course, played soccer. The chance to be together as a team (off the field) while giving back to the community was a great experience and not one we will likely forget.”

Service is an integral part of the culture at SMUS, and the SMUS Athletics Department is proud to have its teams involved in service. We often talk about the large role sport has in developing young athletes’ character, and these experiences promise to help develop the types of athletic leaders we aspire to. Vivat!

Junior Rugby
by Ian Hyde-Lay

In easily their most complete performance of the season, the Junior boys squad upset the form chart en route to a stunning 40-15 victory over Oak Bay in the City final.

On a beautiful day behind the Tweed Curtain, on a perfect pitch, and in a game refereed splendidly by Mr. John de Goede, SMUS reversed 44-26 and 38-14 losses to the same opponent earlier in the term to romp home in convincing fashion.

All six tries scored were the product of inventive, multi-phase play, with one length of the field counterattack full of slick handling and then capped by a superb, open field switch pass from Mitch Newman to Max Pollen.

Mike Baart, in addition to crossing the whitewash himself, added five conversions.

The foundation for the win was based on an all action display by the pack, for whom prop Abe Kharaghangi and captain and No. 8 Zack Kahn were in tremendous form. Grade 9s Noah Pryce-Baff and Jansen Gibbs more than punched their weight, while hooker Dante Morandin, lock Matt Rud and flankers Emiliano Sedano and David Boroto matched their much heavier counterparts.

Behind the scrum, halfbacks Carson Smith, Simon Gray and Graeme Hyde-Lay took all the correct options, clearing the ball quickly and switching play when appropriate. Mac Valentine enjoyed a fine debut on left wing with the opening score, while fullback Owen Sudul was both sound and inventive.

The team now moves on to the Island tournament and an opening game May 24 vs Brentwood.

1 COMMENT

  1. I don’t know much about rugby, but one thing I have learned since my son began to play the sport last year, is that this game is likely one of the most team oriented sports I have spectated. The long list of players that coach Ian Hyde-Lay mentions in his description of the game victory over Oak Bay High at the City Championships illustrates thisand that playing together and trusting your team mates can reap big rewards. Thanks go out to the coaches and volunteers for a successful season.

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