Athletics Week in Review: November 3

Junior Boys Soccer

First term sport featured the usual array of games, and the first hints of winter sports began.

Basketball

At the Middle School level, several basketball campaigns got underway. The Grade 8 Boys, led by Dani P., enjoyed comprehensive wins over Royal Oak and Gordon Head, while the Grade 8 Girls and Grade 6-7 Girls were also successful against Spencer Middle School and Pacific Christian School respectively. The time investment by coaches and players over the past months is clearly paying dividends.

Cross Country

Also at the Middle School, some 40 athletes participated on a blustery day in the King/Queen of the Hill on Mount Tolmie. Congratulations to race division winners Clara P., Alex M., Kyla W., Josh H., Mya B. and Parker S.

At the Senior School level, cross country runners are completing their preparations for the November 6 provincial races at Jericho Beach in Vancouver, with Tion McLeish a very real contender in the Senior Boys division.

Field Hockey

While the Senior Girls Field Hockey team eagerly awaited the November 1-3 BC AA championships at UVic, the Development Field Hockey team completed its season at the Island level. Led by Alana Norie, Yukina Hashimoto and Amya Naimi, the team, though falling to top Cowichan, played some outstanding defence in closing with draws versus Brentwood College and Claremont.

Rugby

The Grade 9 Rugby team moved towards the conclusion of its season, traveling to Brentwood. In a 50-41 thriller, both teams overcame pouring rain and a heavy field to run in multiple tries. Ewan Webber-Smith, Zaki Pelyhe and Henry Scudamore each turned in strong games. Next up is a lunchtime kick-off on November 4 versus visiting Collingwood.

Soccer

The Junior Boys, at somewhat long odds the regular league champions, duly reached the City playoff final after a 3-1 semi-final victory over Royal Bay. This resulted in the Blue Jags again taking on arch-rival Oak Bay, with local bragging rights at stake.

A very entertaining contest, in front of a boisterous crowd, was not settled until six minutes from full time, when waves of Oak Bay pressure finally produced a successful penalty shot. The Bays then added a clinching goal in the dying seconds to prevail 2-0.

Despite the narrow defeat, in which goalkeeper Camilo Libreros Rios and fullback Nick Gordon played extremely well, SMUS moves on as the South No. 2 seed to the full Island tournament.

The Senior Boys closed their regular season with a loss to Glenlyon Norfolk School, creating – but failing to finish – several excellent scoring chances. Sam Shariaty and Nathan Whalley featured prominently.

The team then entered the Colonist Shield playoffs, this time finding the net with regularity in a 4-2 quarterfinal victory over Mount Douglas. Led by Finn Klenz and Matthew Bennett, the team made light of appalling weather conditions to advance to the semi-final versus either Pacific Christian or Belmont. SMUS also looks forward to the full Island championships in Campbell River November 8-9.

Volleyball

The Senior Girls moved smoothly through the first rounds of AA playoffs with wins over Parkland and St. Andrew’s. Then, in arguably their best performance of the season, SMUS, behind the strong serving of Ava Gillespie and acrobatic defence from Delaney Arkell, took out BC AAA No. 6 Dover Bay in the opening round of the Belmont Invitational.

Day 2, in terms of wins and losses, proved to be less successful, given narrow defeats to Brentwood, Belmont and Dover Bay. Nonetheless, there was plenty of encouraging play, with Makena Anderson named to the tournament All-Star team based on her strong left-side attack and leadership as team captain.

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