Local athletes dot medal-winning B.C. rugby rosters

Team BC U16 and U18 sides finish on the podium at the National Rugby Championship Festival earlier this month.

A handful of Surrey, Cloverdale and White Rock rugby players have new medals to add to their collections after the 2013 National Championship Festival wrapped up in Vancouver earlier this month.

At the under-16 boys level, Team BC won gold, while both the province’s U18 men’s and women’s teams took home silver medals.

B.C.’s U16 boys team – which counted Keenan Houde on its roster – won the championship game 50-0 over Ontario.

“We had a really bright group of guys who weren’t afraid to make mistakes,” said U16 head coach Ken Erikson after guiding the program to back-to-back titles. “The development with this squad has been exceptional and they all played for each other.

Team BC’s U18 men’s team fell 29-21 to Ontario in the title game to finish with silver medals. Among those on the U18 side were Cali Martinez, Drew Coles, Tim Stephens, Nick Wright, Joseph Carter, Matt Gallagher, Tomasi Vataiki, Nick Collett, Christian Haldane, Andrew O’Connor,Thomas Choi and Gavin Rowell.

The U18 women’s team also lost to Ontario in the finals, 25-5. Like the men’s squad, the women’s roster was chock full of locals – Nikolina Boundy, Jade Elidoros, Alexa Martin, April Martin, Alex Mueller and Lael Ross.