Alberni District Secondary School girls’ rugby coach Ryan Hall has nothing but pride for the silver medal his team brought home from the provincial championships at the end of May.
The final medal game was won by home team, North Kamloops, in a well-fought match.
After winning the first game 60-10 against Smithers, they met Glen Eagles from Vancouver. Although Hall said it was a tough match, ADSS won 37-17. Winning the first two games put the team in the championship game, which has only occurred three times in the school’s history.
“It was a fantastic game but (North Kamloops) capitalized on our mistakes,” Hall said.
“I am very proud. The girls played tough and bringing home a silver in the BC’s is nothing to be ashamed of.”
In all of his 11 years of coaching, the girls’ rugby teams have qualified for the provincials.
Out of 80 teams, only 24 attend each year.
“We had some ups and downs but we kept building for the BC’s,” Hall said.
“We had some good results nears the end and losing to Cowichan on May 1 put us in a berth in the Tier 2 championships.”
It was a mix of 30 of the 43 Grade 8 – 12 girls who attended. Not all had equal time on the field, but each player experienced at least 20 minutes of play time.
“It was an amazing experience,” Hall said. “This year we have 43 girls on the roster so it’s enough for two teams.
“It is a mix of inexperienced and experienced players and throughout the year we have a lot of fun games to give them as much experience as possible.”
“Everybody would like to win gold, but it was an accomplishment to be there since many teams don’t get to go,” Hall said. “Succeeding the way we did with silver will always be a highlight for me.”
He said the team’s competitive nature has garnered the girls respect from other teams in the province.
“That is a testament to how hard the girls work,” Hall said.
Hall’s dedication recently earned him a nomination from The Province newspaper’s Coach of the Year award. Voting ended on May 26 and the winner is expected to be announced in late June.
“It is really an honour to be nominated,” he said. “I am so proud to be a part of this town and I know how much everyone rallies around and supports anyone doing great things. I have had so many words of encouragement and hope to bring the title to Port Alberni.”