By Emma Glasgow
I am always proud of our small program’s impressive achievements, but often more proud of the exposure our wide-range of programming can provide. The athletic opportunities afforded to SMS student allow for exceptional personal growth on- and off- the playing field, court, pool deck and race course. This fall, a long-time parent brought to my attention that each of her three children had either found a new passion or new outlet for a long-time passion, in three very different sport experiences at St Margaret’s School (basketball, rowing and cheer). These experiences are important to highlight because they are essential to the athletic experience our school is able to provide. Of all the team’s I have coached at SMS, each team, each season, I have witnessed a novice student-athlete, fall in love with a new sport. As you make your way through our busy fall season in review, I encourage you to keep these stories in mind. I promise it will only serve to enhance the many successes of Athletics at SMS.
The start of the new school year brought hopeful growth to the St Margaret’s Athletic programming. Strong participation numbers across the board and the addition of another volleyball team made for an exciting fall season!
SMS had another fun-filled and challenging cross country season. St. Margaret's students competed with enthusiasm, determination and excellent sportsmanship in all practices and races. Thank you to all of the 35 students, from grades 3-5's, who participated in our 3 league meets, the VISAA championships and the ISEA Championships.
Here are the highlights from the VISAA Championships held at Beaver Lake. Our grades 3's had a strong team performance led by Abby Nicholson who placed 6th, followed by Bella Mattenley 8th, Mari Lloyd 9th, and Sadie Arnold 10th. In Grade 4 we also had a strong team performance, led by an outstanding run by Charlotte Bedford who won the championship race by placing 1st, and was followed by Grace Tonks 3rd, Yingfan Bai 19th, and Riley Greenfield 20th. Our grade 5 team was led by Julia Bell's strong 11th place finish, followed by Akira Vogt 19th and June Sheppard placing 20th.
Finally, the Grade 4 & 5 teams went on to compete in the ISEA Provincial Championships at Jericho Beach in Vancouver. Our Grade 4 team placed 5th out of 15 teams led by Charlotte Bedford placing an amazing 10th place out of 100 competitors in the championships. Our Grade 5 team placed a strong 6th out of 15 teams. We were led by Julia Bell placing 34th and Akira Vogt placing 37th out of 90 competitors.
Congratulations on an awesome season girls! Ms. Scott and Ms. Procyshyn enjoyed working with you all and are so proud of your personal accomplishments!
Led by Coach Jen Walton this Cross-Country season, St Margaret’s team more than doubled in size. The team competed in the local Middle School league in a handful of races. This year the Grade 6 and 7 teams also represented St Margaret’s at the ISEA meet at beautiful Jericho Beach in Vancouver. Highlights of the season include an undefeated race season by Grade 8 Jamie Harker, training on beautiful Twigg Trail and a fantastic race day at ISEA’s. Unfortunately, the final league race of the season was rained-out, bringing the local season to an unexpected end.
This fall, St Margaret’s fielded our largest Sr Cross-Country team in recent memory. Led by Coach Caroline Erickson, the team competed at many local races. For many students, this was their first competitive season as a runner, and made huge improvements as the season wore-on. St Margaret’s racers Lily Mannall-Fretwell and Colette Reimer were no strangers to the cross-country course. Each proved their racing skills and stamina were some of the best in the region at Island Championships. Both qualified for the Provincial Championship at Jericho Beach in Vancouver. Battling cold, wet conditions, both racers persevered to make St Margaret’s proud! Congratulations to all runners on a great Cross-Country Season!
This year’s middle year’s basketball squad was comprised of athletes in Grade 6-8. Thanks largely in part to St Margaret’s strong Night League program, the team was able to compete in the Grade 7/8 Girls Competitive League for the first time in recent history. Over the course of the season, the team was shaped by 11 dedicated athletes, both new and familiar to the sport.
Opening the season with two wins over Glanford and Lansdowne, it was clear this team would be competitive throughout the league. Pool play resulted in a few tough losses to strong Dunsmuir and St Michael’s squads, and a beatable Spencer team. Despite the scoreboard, this young, small team proved consistent defense and patience on offense were the key to good basketball. Each player made strides within their own individual games and was able to contribute to game-play each week.
At the beginning of the season, the team set a number of goals all of which were centered on teamwork, improvement and fun! By those measures, this team was incredibly successful in all three areas. Coach Emma is so proud of all this team accomplished and can’t wait to see everyone back on the court next year with either the MY or Jr Basketball teams!
Middle Years soccer was a whirl-wind season that began with practices in the first week of school before Outweek and playing our first game three days after our return. With many players playing soccer for the first time, there was a very steep learning curve with tremendous progress. Our more experienced players, Maya and Jools, stepped up to play in goal, in our first jamboree. We practiced hard for two weeks preparing for our second jamboree and we were ready and excited to play, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and our season came to a disappointing end.
The St. Margaret's Rowing team began their second season under the guidance of Sean Decter and Reba Kingston with support from teacher, Naomi Bar-Hanan. The team was comprised of both novice and experienced rowers this year. Rowing three times a week at Elk Lake, this dedicated group of athletes faced sunshine, wind, rain and even snow to propel themselves to City Championships.
City Championships was another exciting weekend in recent history of St Margaret's rowing. Our strongest finishes occurring in the double and quad. The double race resulted in a photo-finish between SMS and Mt Doug crews. St Margaret's narrowly missing the top-of-the-podium by 0.3 seconds. Our 2nd place and 6th place finishes will surely light the competitive fire for next season.
Returning to the water this year to defend last year's City Champion title in the Quad, was the experienced crew of Isabella Anderson, Nina Corwin, Ally Roberts, and Stephanie Wardell. Dominating the field throughout the season, this crew was favoured to win once again. The race proved exciting with two St Margaret's crews in the finals and resulted in a 1st and 6th place finish respectively. City Champions once again!
Our recent successes over the past two years have put SMS Rowing back-on-the-map. We continue to grow in numbers and strength every year, with a number of athletes pursuing their passion for the sport year round. The future of rowing looks very bright for St Margaret's small, but mighty crew.
The addition of a Junior Volleyball team was necessary when sign-ups for our 9-12 team saw over 30 interested students. Thus, a very green junior team was formed. With Coach Krystal St Germain at the helm, this enthusiastic group of athletes quickly learned and loved the game! Of the 15 athletes, only 3 had volleyball game-experience. Each athlete saw progress in their individual skills, and contributed to team play every game-day. More importantly, this young group of students became a team. The team came together to form new friendships and support one another along their learning experience. This was a pleasure to watch and true testament to the power of sport. Though many of the athletes will be leaving SMS at the end of this year, we hope their new found love of volleyball will continue with them on their journey. Coach St Germain and Coach Emma are so proud of all this team accomplished throughout the season!
Season highlights include:
The Sr Volleyball team was comprised of mainly veteran players this year. Led once again by Coach Ron Mutch, the team had a good season this year including many wins and losses. The season culminated in a victory in our last league game of the season against Glenlyon Norfolk School. There were many highlights to the season but going to the ISA Championship tournament in West Vancouver at Collingwood School was a blast. The team represented St Margaret’s with pride in every game they played. As only the Sr team knows, “Pandas eat red meat!” Congratulations on another fantastic season and a big thank you to all the graduating players for their dedication to the Senior Volleyball team over the last 4 years!