There have been many iterations of rugby at North Peace Secondary, but through them all, no team had ever won a league championship.
That all changed this year when the boys went to Grande Prairie on May 29 to play St. Joseph’s, and came out with a 31-24 win and the Peace Country High School Rugby Championship.
NPSS lost to St. Joseph’s in the season opener 34-17.
“We’ve come a long way since last year, and to avenge our only loss this year was a great win for us,” said Tim Zimmer, who had two trys in the game.
Other scorers were Kennth Peters, Kalem Bigfoot and Jack Mackenzie with a try each, and Quinlan Snider, who added three converts.
“We’ve been to the finals before but never gotten over the hump. This year’s team was so committed that it really allowed us to practice hard and be the best we could be,” said head coach Clayton Woodruff.
Woodruff was aided this year by Matt Lorenz, and newcomer Josh Cullen, who brought youth and new ideas to the coaching staff. In fact, rugby in Fort St. John was reinvigorated this year all around, as the girls had their first ever full rugby 15s team, and had plenty of success in their first season.
“People are seeing that even though they don’t know how to play at first, they can pick it up quickly and really enjoy it,” said Zimmer.
Woodruff will have a bit of a challenge next year as most of his players are graduating this year, but he’s confident the new team will pick it up quickly.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.