The Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds and their guest coaches celebrate their impressive shield win at the Tier 2 provincial sevens earlier this month. (Submitted)

The Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds and their guest coaches celebrate their impressive shield win at the Tier 2 provincial sevens earlier this month. (Submitted)

Cow High’s Super Six surprise at sevens

Shorthanded squad wins shield

After playing with the Cowichan Valley Lumberjacks — a team with representation from all of School District 79’s high schools — a handful of Cowichan Secondary rugby players finally got to represent their school in the Provincial Tier 2 sevens tournament at Brentwood College School on June 8 and 9.

Despite carrying just six players, the Thunderbirds stepped up and outplayed many teams with full rosters to take home the shield championship.

“They could have forfeited, but decided they would play a man down for all three games, showing tremendous Cowichan heart, determination, spirit, and toughness,” coach Tom Fogarty said. “I will be referring to them as the Super Six from here on out.”

Unable to attend the tournament himself, Fogarty entrusted the team to young Cowichan Piggies stars Colten Smith and Peyton Eagar for the event.

The T-Birds sevens team was made up entirely of Grade 10 and 11 players, with no Grade 12s to be seen. More than half of Cowichan’s points at the tournament were scored by Grade 10 standout Justin Marinier, who earned himself an invitation to try out for Team BC. Rounding out the roster were Aydan Crawford-Starter, Dominic Gurzinski, Nick Gurzinski, Cameron Tuck and Eric Von Buch.