SMUS hosted the Island Senior Badminton Championships on May 8, 2014. In the first round, the Blue Jags played extremely well, knocking off a tough Claremont team six games to five. With the contest on dead-even terms entering the final match, the pairing of Kyle Tang and Hank Wei, playing together for the first time, came through under pressure to secure the victory.
After coasting by Dover Bay 11-0 in a lopsided semi-final, SMUS then met Mt. Douglas for the title. The team came out with guns blazing, winning 8-3 in one of the best performances of the season. The title was SMUS’s tenth in the past 15 years.
The team now moves on to the provincial tournament May 29-31 in Richmond.
Middle School Rugby
On May 7 and 9, SMUS hosted the Lower Island 7-aside Rugby Jamborees at the Grade 6, 7 and 8 level.
The Grade 6 team, led on the day by Ben Shaw, Adam Roberts and Sahaj Grewal, found the going tough against bigger and more physical opposition, but nonetheless played some enterprising rugby. The team will have one more opportunity to consolidate the gains made this season when it travels to Vancouver to compete in the ISEA tournament on May 13.
At the Grade 7 level, 13 teams from 12 schools took part. SMUS, seeded 8th to start the day, exceeded expectations in beating Arbutus, Gordon Head and Collingwood B to top its pool. While playoff round opponents Cedar Hill and Collingwood A then proved just a little too strong, the group, thanks to resilient defence, determination and teamwork, continued its solid development. In particular, Lucas Bosley, Lucas Galloway, Connor Chan and Grade 6 students Max Nishima and Will Kinihan performed with distinction.
The Grade 8 jamboree event began in cloudy and windy conditions, with the weather fortunately brightening up later in the day. SMUS fielded A and B sides, with the latter group showing the way by winning two and drawing one of its four games. The A side also played extremely well in its morning games against Dunsmuir, Monterey B and North Saanich, but understood more physical challenges awaited in the afternoon vs Bayside and Spencer. In the end, superior skill and organization – allied with some brave tackling – held sway and the squad went on to capture the Kuklinski Trophy for the fourth year in a row. Between the two teams, any number played extremely well, with Matthew Hagkull, Ephraim Hsu, Ethan Hersant, Finn Goodyear, Ethan Ko and Connor Way standing out.
Track & Field
On May 7, the track and field team took part in the Lower Island Finals, the seventh meet of the season. Standouts included Laura Woods, who won the Senior Girls 800m and finished second in the 400m. Chrissy Robillard also reached the podium twice, claiming 3rd in the 400m and a silver medal in the 400m hurdles.
In addition, Woods and Robillard joined forces with Beta Willeboordse and Jayne Leggatt to edge out Oak Bay in an exciting 4 x 400m relay.
Good luck to all SMUS athletes competing in the Island Championships May 14-15 in a quest to qualify for provincials.
Junior Boys Rugby
Rugby at the Senior School also had a busy week. The Grade 9-10 team performed extremely well versus city top seed Oak Bay in the Alumni Weekend game, upsetting the form chart to lead 19-10 at half-time. Hooker John Cook, lock Pablo Fernandez and flanker Myles Duncan tackled ferociously, while flyhalf Jasper Bosley directed the attack very effectively.
While a slowish start to the second-half saw the Barbarians score twice to lead 22-19, SMUS had one last chance to snatch victory. Unfortunately, a scoring pass from Felix Butterfield to Hari Ikonomou was ruled fractionally forward and so the chance was lost.
Midweek, the team took on Claremont in the city semi-final. Torrential rain and strong winds made for extremely difficult playing conditions, with ball handling a lottery. In the end, after regulation ended with the score tied 14-14, the Spartans advanced thanks to a sudden death penalty kick. SMUS did welcome back Lucas de Vries and Josh Graffi to the team, with both making a very positive impact.
After these two tough losses, SMUS then bounced back, beating Brentwood 34-24 in a wide open, exciting affair. All six Blue Jag tries were the product of good ball movement, a good omen in advance of the Island tournament in 10 days time.
Senior Boys Rugby
The 1st XV started badly in its own Alumni Day encounter with Oak Bay, putting down several passes early in the game and conceding two tallies. Then, down 12-0, the team played extremely well for the better part of thirty minutes, with Michael Baart’s try, conversion and two penalty goals edging SMUS in front 13-12. However, though one long breakout by Mitchell Newman almost produced what might have been the match-winning score, the hosts ended up starved of possession and trapped deep in their own end for most of the final quarter. Oak Bay took advantage of this position to register three penalty goals en route to a deserved 21-13 victory.
On May 10, more erratic handling proved costly, as SMUS played to a 17-17 draw with Brentwood. Locks Matt Rud and Jacob Wilson-Potter led a solid forward effort, while Newman and Angus Catto, making his debut at fullback, ran effectively.
SMUS now moves on to local AA playoffs, with games against Esquimalt on May 12 and then likely GNS on May 15. The team should advance and so move on to the BC Tournament, most likely as the #3 seed.
The rowing team completed its penultimate competition May 9-11, with some 50 athletes taking part in the annual Shawnigan Regatta. While strong winds resulted in a number of delays, and, as a result, some 7am starts, the entire race program was completed.
Congratulations to the Junior A JV Women’s 8+, Junior A JV Women’s 4+ and Junior B JV Women’s 4 crews, all of whom captured gold medals.
Also on the podium, following second place finishes, were the Junior B Women’s 4+, Junior A JV Men’s 2X and Junior B Novice Men’s 4X+. Finally, the Junior A JV Men’s 8 and Jr A Women’s 8+ captured bronze medals.
Congratulations to the entire SMUS squad. In addition, best of luck to the thirty who will continue training in preparation for the June 3-9 Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association championships in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Alumni Rugby News
In alumni news, congratulations are in order for Joe Erlic ’12, a member of the Canada U20 team at the recent World Trophy tournament played in Hong Kong. Also, Mike Fuailefau ’08 has been a member of the Canada 7s team that has made such a dynamic impression on the iRB circuit the past ten months. And, most significantly, Gareth Rees ’85 has just been named to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Induction will take place this October, with the SMUS grad the first-ever rugby player to receive the honour.