Three North Delta high school teams finished off the rugby season strong, as the boys and girls divisions came to a close on Thursday, May 24.
The Seaquam boys rugby team won the Karen Evans Memorial Cup in the Tier 2 division of the Fraser Valley Championships against Port Coquitlam’s Terry Fox Secondary.
Heading into the game with a no-loss season beneath their belts, Seahawks continued their unbeaten streak, beating the Ravens 34-17.
“It was a thrilling game and it was nice to end it off with a nice win,” said Seaquam coach John Boem. “The shoe fit really well this year, it was another repeat of two years ago when we were actually on our way to the top.”
The win marked the team’s return to the top of the Fraser Valleys after falling to sixth place in 2017. Their undefeated bounce-back season is spurring new changes in the school’s rugby program.
The team, made up of player in Grades 9 to 12, will be joining forces with Seaquam’s football team, which plays primarily in the fall, to develop more multi-sport athletes.
But for now, Boem said, the team will be looking outside high school rugby.
“We’re out of the high school season, but now it’s on to the extracurricular stuff,” Boem said.
North Delta’s girls also celebrated a successful season, as Seaquam and the Burnsview Secondary Griffins went head to head in their final game.
“It’s such a good match because we’re competitors. We see each other all the time,” said Burnsview coach Geraldine (Ged) Griffiths.
The Griffins took third place in the high school developmental league thanks to a 27-26 win over the Seahawks girls.
“The difference in their quality of play, from last year to the beginning of the season this year to the game that we just saw, is exponential,” Griffiths said. “They play as a team. We’ve got a lot of skilled athletes, not just one or two skilled athletes.
“After we were down two tries, I was just so happy to see how hungry they were to keep playing and score,” she continued. “You could see how much they wanted it.”
Griffiths expects the Burnsview girls to move out of the developmental league and challenge for a provincial spot next year.
For Seaquam, who had lost to Burnsview during the regular season by a single point as well, the season’s end was bittersweet.
“Burnsview had some girls that really played a lot of rugby,” coach Scott Campbell said, laughing a little. “Someone on the sideline caught me and said, ‘I thought you guys were supposed to win.’
“I said, ‘Well, it’s rugby. You never know.’”