Seventh heaven for Bateman girls rugby team

This was supposed to be a rebuilding season for the senior girls rugby team at Robert Bateman Secondary, but the Timberwolves are simply refusing to conform to those expectations.

Bateman’s Lauren Kerr hangs on for dear life in an effort to slow down Tiffany Picketts of Abby Collegiate during the senior girls sevens final on Friday at Yale Secondary.

Bateman’s Lauren Kerr hangs on for dear life in an effort to slow down Tiffany Picketts of Abby Collegiate during the senior girls sevens final on Friday at Yale Secondary.

This was supposed to be a rebuilding season for the senior girls rugby team at Robert Bateman Secondary, but the Timberwolves are simply refusing to conform to those expectations.

On Friday, the T-Wolves extended their incredible run of success at the Abbotsford city sevens tournament, winning a seventh consecutive title.

The achievement is all the more remarkable considering Bateman graduated 13 players from last year’s provincial AA championship squad. More than half the current roster is comprised of Grade 9 athletes.

“I don’t know how we seem to do it,” mused Madi Blakeburn, who starred for Bateman’s B.C. championship team last year and now serves as the T-Wolves’ coach.

“This season, I was actually a little bit nervous. I’m thinking, ‘My goodness, we all graduated.'”

What the T-Wolves lack in experience, they make up for in grit. In Friday’s final, they rallied from an early deficit to beat Abbotsford Collegiate 12-5.

“Even though we’re young, we’re coming together. The players really feed off each other,” noted Blakeburn, whose team is ranked No. 6 among AA teams in the province. “That’s what I like most about the team – the amount of heart they have at such a young age.”

In other city sevens action, the Yale Secondary boys program had a day to remember. The seniors beat W.J. Mouat 29-17 in their final, while the juniors blanked Bateman 12-0 to clinch the crown.

Eugene Reimer Middle School dominated the Grade 8 division. The Ravens finished atop both the boys and girls draws, defeating the W.A. Fraser Falcons in the final both times.

The tournament also featured a fastest runner contest, and MVPs were selected for each team. A complete list is as follows:

Fastest runners

Grade 8 girls – Jaylene Soegard, W.A. Fraser

Grade 8 boys – Grayson Marquardt, Abby Middle

Junior boys – Ryan Barclay, Yale

Senior girls – Jayden McPherson, Bateman

Senior boys – Steven Martinez, Hansen

Team MVPs

Grade 8 boys

Abby – Michael Spicer

Betty Gilbert – Cory Reid

Clayburn – Matt Keis

Fraser Black – Nic Ponak

Fraser Red – Thomas Rennie

Reimer – Daniel Sercel

Grade 8 girls

Abby – Amara Lowney

Clayburn – Sophia Bolsher

Fraser Black – Katrina Moorthy

Fraser Gold – Jaylene Soegard

Howe – Hannah Woodcock

Reimer – Hannah Gill

Junior boys

Abby – Carter Williams

Bateman – Trenton Chard

Hansen – Armann Judge

Mouat – Austin Batra

Sardis – Brandon Johnson

Yale – Spencer Miller

Senior girls

Abby – Lauren Arthur

Aldergrove – Ginger Broatch

Bateman – Madison Borrows

Bateman B – Abigael Kibarita

Hansen – Tayler Moran

Yale – Erica Van Ginkel

Senior boys

Abby – Dallas Yassinsky

Bateman – Jorden Best

Hansen – Daniel McCutcheon

Mouat – Dylan Pollit

Sardis – Kroyden Todhunter

Yale – Akash Deo