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F.P. Walshe Flyers win 11th consecutive medal at high school girls rugby provincials

ANDREW WALMSLEY – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR

The provincial bronze medal-winning F.P. Walshe Flyers.

The provincial bronze medal-winning F.P. Walshe Flyers.

This past weekend the F.P. Walshe Flyers girls’ rugby team participated in their 11th consecutive provincial championships.
They are the only program in the province with that record, and the fact that they had medaled in all 10 of their previous provincial championships put pressure on the new crop of Flyers to keep that tradition alive.
The Flyers hobbled into the tournament, however, with several key players injured, and with only three subs and four Grade 9 players in the line-up, they knew they would have their work cut out for them.
The first game would be crucial for the Flyers success. A loss would send them to the consolation side of the draw and eliminate them from medal contention.
Their opponent would also be an unknown quantity as they were drawn against Peace Wapiti Academy from Grande Prairie.
After a tentative start, Walshe was able to punch in tries from Siena Hoff and Brooke Pansky to take a 12-0 lead into the half.
Lisa Bassett dominated the second half, however, as she scored a natural hat trick of three consecutive tries in the half.
Sofia Hoff also scored a try and added two conversions in the game, as the Flyers cruised to a relatively easy 34-7 victory.
Next up, the Flyers met up with Strathmore Composite school.
Strathmore came in highly touted and Walshe knew they were going to be in for a tough game.
It was to be a heartbreaker for the Flyers as they let a 17-10 lead slip away in the last couple minutes of the game.
Strathmore scored on the final play of the game, after Walshe was pressuring deep in the Strathmore end, to secure a 24-17 victory.
Lisa Bassett, Brooke Pansky and Erin Clarke notched tries for the Flyers, while Sofia Hoff added a conversion.
The loss sent the Flyers into Saturday’s bronze medal game against Memorial high school from Stoney Plain.
This game was never in doubt as the Flyers rolled to a convincing 51-8 victory to earn the provincial bronze medal.
Keeley Cook and Keyli Kurtz led the way for the Flyers scoring two tries apiece.
Single tries were added by Lisa Bassett, Sofia Hoff, River Chief Moon, Hayley Grier-Stewart and Grace Boutland.
Sofia Hoff added two conversions and Keeley Cook added a single conversion.
The Flyers team included Grade 12s Hayley Grier Stewart, River Chief Moon, Keyli Kurtz, Erin Clarke, Lisa Bassett, Keeley Cook and Siena Hoff; Grade 11s Brooke Pansky, Shelby Young, Sophie Holwerda and Telesha Heninger; Grade 10s Sofia Hoff, TaH’Nee Vale, and Jessie Marsh; and Grade 9s Tiegan Trotter, Grace Boutland, Manja Holwerda, and Bradi-Anne Feller.
Players travelling with the team, but unable to play due to injury were Emily Eremenko, Mikayla Bascom, Morgan Gibb and Shelby Lyke.

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