Athletics Review: Skills to Pay the Bills

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This week we encounter the Zen Master and Mad Skillz in squash, suggest that you try out sailing (no experience required) and offer opportunities to cheer on SMUS teams as the various seasons begin.

Squash
by Chris Hanebury, coach
SMUS was well represented at the Shawnigan Lake Junior Squash tournament from September 14-16. Ten members of our competitive team participated, all exemplifying fair play and competitive spirit. The quality of the competition was impressive for this early in the season and a number of SMUS players had exceptional performances.

Jason Yoo won the silver division without dropping a single game. Jason’s exquisite display of shot making, composure, focus and calm demeanour earned him the title of the Zen Master.

“I feel that all of the challenging things I did this year showed that I improved,” said the Zen Master after dominating the finals.

Our newest member, Gavin Maxwell, finished third in the gold division. Gavin beat two higher ranked competitors en route and is climbing his way to the top of the junior rankings.

In the girls division, Janel Gaube led the way with a fourth place finish. Janel came up short of narrowly defeating the eventual champion and seems poised to have a fantastic season. Arden Mollenhauer and Noelle “Mad Skillz” Skillings both had great results finishing in the top eight. All of our girls are quickly rising up the provincial ranks.

With a few good weeks of practice ahead, our team aims to build on our strong performance at Shawnigan Lake. The next events include the Vancouver Island Open in Victoria from October 11-14, with some of the events to take place in the Monkman Pavillion. It will be a great opportunity to watch the team.

Following the Vancouver Island Open is the Evergreen Junior Tournament in Vancouver and the Alberta Junior Jesters in Calgary.

Sailing
by David Kerr
What a fantastic start to the inaugural Sailing League! Our goal is to encourage as many students from the Middle and Senior schools to try out sailing for nine weeks, culminating in two regattas at the end of October and in mid-November against other schools in the area.

The younger grades (up to about Grade 8) will usually sail solo in the ever-popular small, but highly functional, Optimists. Older grades will pair-up in Club 420s with two sails and excellent racing credentials.

The first session was on Saturday at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. We were treated to absolutely perfect sailing conditions – a gentle breeze, smooth waters and warm, sunny weather. Many other sailing dinghies were on the water, many of which are club regulars racing around buoys. It was an ideal environment for the newcomers to see “real” sailing and practice their steering, tacking and avoiding manoeuvres.

The highlight was probably Kai Newman and Stanley Du who managed to capsize their 420 while completing a Light Air Olympics exercise of walking around the front of their mast. They managed to “turtle” their boat (go completely upside down), and spent an entertaining few minutes righting the dinghy. Although they were wet, they enjoyed themselves, and the water was actually not too cold for this time of year.

For more information or to join the SMUS sailing league, please contact Mr. David Kerr.

Senior Boys Soccer
by Evan Fryer, assistant coach
The Senior boys soccer team trained hard every day this week in anticipation of their first match of the season, Tuesday versus Reynolds at Braefoot. Their home opener is Thursday, as they play host to Belmont. Come on out to the field after school and support your Jags!

The team will then travel to Shawnigan Lake School for the Independent Schools Association tournament this Friday and Saturday.

Although the boys will spend a lot of time on the pitch this week, nobody will complain about the gorgeous weather this mid-September has offered us. The boys would love to see lots of fans on the sidelines to support them in their home opener on Thursday!

Senior Cross-Country
by Jeff Hunt, coach
Participation has been excellent thus far at the cross-country tryouts. With strength in both the girls and the boys, the team aims to qualify for the provincial championships. Senior members Gabe Lunn and Jackie McKay have been impressive thus far, and have clearly done solid training in the off-season. This is the final week of training before the first race at Lambrick Park on Thursday after school.

Field Hockey
by David Kerr, coach
The first week was jam-packed for field hockey players as the rosters were sorted out, the first practices held, and the Senior A team participated in the annual jamboree friendly at the University of Victoria.

As coaches, we were mightily impressed to see almost 45 girls show up for the tryouts on Monday – the highest number for quite some time. Although the numbers presented a few logistical problems, it is very exciting that there is so much interest at SMUS.

The coaches formed two large groups: the A team and the Development Team. The latter is a mix of returning players and some who had never played the game before. There is a wide range of grades on both squads.

The A team practiced Tuesday and began the the jamboree on Wednesday. They played a very strong game against Mt. Doug on the water turf and prevailed 3-0. In their next match, the girls tied Claremont 0-0 on the new, but heavy, rubber-based turf.

Jenna Dhillon, Ethel Kiggundu and Erin Hope all scored against Mt Doug, and, given it was the first game of the season and the Grade 10 students were on out-trips, it was a highly satisfactory start. It really pays to have plenty of experience with the returning players, and the coaches slotted in four Grade 9 players — Aveen Glen, Chloe Keeler-Young, Melanie Ashton and Rebecca Thomson — with considerable ease.

The game against Claremont was much slower due to the turf, but there were several opportunities for the “E-line”, a forward line with Ethel, Erin and Emma Donald. The defence looked strong, particularly with Shinai Sorensen in goal (two shutouts already!) and Rebecca Thomson as sweeper, who is a great addition from a rival school.

Overall, it was a good first week, and many of us feel that this is the strongest squad that SMUS has had for a few years. We will welcome the Grade 10 students back with league matches beginning on Monday.

Graham Lily and Raechel Marchand’s Developmental Squad has had a promising start and we know there is depth to cover the A-team roster through the season.

Rock on SMUS field hockey!

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