With Spring seemingly around the corner, it’s time for the Charles Hays Secondary (CHSS) Hurricanes rugby 15s to get a jump on their Northwest competition with some tough practices.
The team, led by coach Andy Enns, has taken to the pitch during the past few months in preparation for their season after the sevens squad fell to the Smithers Secondary Gryphons during Northwest zones.
A majority of the team will return for 15s, including Cody Schaeffer, captain Tanner Pretulac and three CHSS exchange students: Roberto Stelstra, Alexander Lindenthal and Mathis Chaniol.
“We have not had any games yet but we’ve been doing lots of practices,” said Enns.
“[We’ve been working on] lots and lots of rucking. Lots of mauling and ball-handling skills and, again, our exchange students were really driving the team forward.”
The challenge for Enns, as it always is for school-related teams, is getting everyone out on a consistent basis at the same time. Due to other extra-curricular activities or part-time job duties, the athletes are are all tough to gather together.
Adding to the boys’ team is a brand new girls’ rugby squad this year, built on the pioneering interests of a few students last semester.
“The girls’ team is getting lots and lots of girls out, just as many as the boys, and that [interest] has really spring-boarded the group into a full blown team this season, which is a good thing,” said Enns.
Lindsey Brise and Amanda Barty are coaching the team through their introductory stages at the moment as the basketball and hockey seasons wind down for the winter.
The boys’ team is holding a fundraiser and each player has been given a package of frozen meats, prepared foods and fruit from Centennial Foods to sell for their upcoming trip to Kamloops for a play day on April 10.
The CHSS girls’ squad will host a fun sevens play day this Friday and the boys’ schedule is to be released soon.