A huge contingent from the Cowichan Valley Athletic Club and nearly the entire bantam AAA Cowichan Valley Mustangs baseball team are leading the way as the Valley prepares to send more than 60 athletes to the B.C. Summer Games in Abbotsford on July 21-24.
Nine CVAC Jaguars will be representing the Vancouver Island-Central Coast at the games: Jessica Castle, Oliver Castle, Matthew Day, Jaden Dewit, Tony Else, Dredyn Fontana, Madelynn Pollock, Hugh Rimmer and Campbell Woike. Joining them on the Island track and field team are Valley athletes Reece Fougner-Rukus and Danae Gendall.
Almost every player from the bantam AAA Mustangs made one of the two Island baseball teams. Team 1 will include Mustangs Morley Scott, Josh Hill, Gavin Pringle, Billy Ramwell, Hayden Plester and Marcus Steen, while Team 2 will include Connor Caskenette, Mateo Iorio, Owen Ketch, Jackson Stephen and Brody Deverill.
Seven Valley swimmers will head to Abbotsford, including Cailine Keirstead, Dylan Kruger, Malia Prystupa, Brielle Woodruff, para-swimmer Tiegan McDevitt, and Special Olympics swimmers Mikyla and Dakota Carlow.
In box lacrosse, Cowichan Thunder players Brody Black, Nathan Clark, Hunter Hieta, Colin Jeffrey, Brady Williams and Caleb Nordstrom will play for the Island team, while Denton MacDonald of the Mid Island Lightning will play on the Zone 6 field lacrosse team.
Kyle Fredrickson, Todd Heard, Tyler Leech, Tyler Lindsay and Deklon Shadlock will compete in towed water sports.
Provincial high school wrestling champion Talon Hird will be joined at the B.C. Summer Games by Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club teammates Andrea Morris, Stephanie Mould and Khaya MacKillop.
The Island zone girls rugby team will include three Duncan products: Maria Murray and Clarisse Owen, who play for Shawnigan Lake School, and Denise Roy of Brentwood College.
Two basketball players made the cut for Zone 6: Evan Menzel in 5-on-5 basketball and Clayton Bergstrom in 3-on-3.
Three more athletes will be the only Cowichan Valley representatives on their respective Island teams: Keira Martin in girls soccer, Colby Cochrane in girls softball, and Jessica De Verteuil in synchronized swimming.
Coaches from the Valley include Lorne Lafleur (baseball), Brian Bull and Stan McKinlay (girls softball), Lauren Smythies (Special Olympics swimming), Jed Leech and Jim Lindsay (towed water sports), Dale Nordstrom (field lacrosse) and Marlene Donaldson (girls rugby).