With local help, B.C. is best in west

Cowichan players help provincial teams to top spots in U16 rugby

B.C. teams, including some players from the Cowichan Valley, dominated play at the 2019 U16 Western Canadian Championships in Kelowna last weekend.

Teams from the host province took the top two spots out of six in the U16 girls division, and the top three spots out of seven in the U16 boys division.

Shawnigan Lake School’s Shannon Atkins coached the favoured BC U16 Girls XV, which included Shawnigan player Gerry Atkins, to first place in their competition, one spot ahead of the BC U15 Girls XV, which included Shawnigan Lake resident Phoenix Skailes. The U15 girls team finished ahead of two U16 teams from Alberta and one each from Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The U16 boys competition was won by BC Blue, followed by the BC Gold team that included Duncan’s Clayton Bergstrom and Shawnigan Lake’s Owen Plater and Ryan Smith. In third place was the BC U15 Boys XV, which featured Duncan’s Oliver Clarke. Both the Blue and U15 Boys teams held BC Gold to a single try in their respective games against the eventual champions. Again, all three B.C. teams finished ahead of two squads from Alberta and one each from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The U18 Western Canadian Championships take place this weekend in Regina, where even more Cowichan Valley athletes will be in the mix, including five on the BC U17 girls team, one on the U18 girls team, three on the U17 boys team, and three on the U18 boys Blue team.

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