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Sports in review – part one

Year in Review
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Photo illustration by Valerie Durnin

Looking back at the year in sports.


• The Pender Harbour junior girls opened the second half of their basketball season with their first win ever in the North Shore Secondary Schools’ Athletic Association, beating Carson Graham 34-32 on a last second three-pointer at their home gym in Pender Harbour.

• Elphi wrestlers Alysha Monk and Alex Ratcliff, along with former Elphi wrestler Brandi Perry, were all named to an all-star team that will compete in a dual meet against competitors from Ontario. This was the first opportunity for the Elphi wrestlers to compete on a provincial team.

• The Peewee Blues C2 checking team attended a Christmas tournament at Canlan Ice Sports in North Vancouver where they won first place in their pool. However after six games in three days they just couldn't hold off the hard playing North Vancouver team and lost their last game 2-1, placing them fourth.

• The Kevin Penonzek rink from the Royal City Curling Club used a little previous home ice advantage to their advantage capturing the A-event final at the men’s bonspiel at the Gibsons Curling Club.

• The Elphinstone junior boys continued to roll right along moving to 5-1 in North Shore league play after a 69-55 home court win over Handsworth.

The Cougars came up with a balanced scoring attack against the Royals with consistent scoring from TJ Turenne, Nate Haglund, Nolan LeWarne and Kevin Ravina. Haden Bush also played a strong game both offensively and defensively.

• The snow, wind and cold didn’t damper the spirit and enthusiasm of 55 eager youngsters as they took to the slopes of Dakota Ridge for their first training session in the Jackrabbit cross-country ski program. The program is now in its third season and continues to grow in popularity thanks to great community support, business partnerships and volunteers.

• The way minor hockey will be played on the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland will be changing in a big way come next season.

At a meeting of the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association (PCAHA) delegates from the 42 member associations, including the Sunshine Coast Minor Hockey Association (SCMHA) voted 123-39 in favour of eliminating body checking at “C” hockey levels, effective the 2012/13 season, which starts in August/September.


• The Atop Rep Blues solidified their third place standing following a thrilling 2-2 home ice tie against the North Shore Winter Club in Gibsons.

The Blues sat with a record of 12-4-2, (behind Seafair and Richmond), with nine sportsmanship points, In Atom ‘A’ one sportsmanship point is awarded in a game with three or fewer minor penalties.

• The Special Olympic athlete’s oath is “Let me win, but if I can not win, let me be brave in the attempt.” At Elphinstone Secondary School, eight teams played in a round robin basketball tournament that truly exemplified the athlete’s oath. Sunshine Coast Special Olympics hosted the tournament.

• While the New York Giants were securing their second World Championship in four years on Super Bowl Sunday in Indianapolis, the Bantam Rep Blues were securing a championship of their own in Gibsons.

The Blues captured the league banner with an impressive 9-1 thrashing of Cloverdale at the Gibsons and Area Community Centre.

• The Rob Rempel rink from the Royal City Curling Club toppled the Richard rink from the Lower Mainland in the ‘A’ event final of the annual mixed curling bonspiel in Gibsons.

• The Sunshine Coast was home to a new boxing champion after Gibsons George Vourtsis scored a fourth round TKO over Josh VanRhyn to claim the City Boxing Welterweight Championship belt at the Richmond Sports Club.

• The drive for five was alive for Kyla Richey and the UBC Thunderbirds.

The Roberts Creek native was seeking her fifth straight national women’s volleyball championship with the T-birds and started that quest by helping UBC clinch first place in the Canada West conference — fittingly enough on senior’s night whe she was honoured for her brilliant UBC career after the match along with fellow fifth-year Rayel Quiring.

• The Elphi Cougars junior boys defeated the Sutherland Sabres 42-33 at Suthlerland’s home in North Vancouver to claim its first league championship since the school started competing in 1957. The Cougars were then bounced from the Vancouver and Dsitrict playdows 57-55 by New West to end their season and hopes of a trip to the provincials.

• Sogo Active was challenging youth on the Coast to be more active by awarding the Sunshine Coast Skating Club with $500 in grants to help fund two families with financial barriers allowing two children to participate in the club’s spring learn-to-skate program.

• The U13 boys Scorpions rep soccer team earned a trip to the provincial championships following a convincing win over the West Vancouver Spuraways in the North Shore U13 Gold Cup final.


• Roberts Creek’s Kyla Richey was named Canada West conference MVP as she helped lead the UBC Thunderbirds to the conference regular season title and a fifth straight trip to the national women’s volleyball championships, where UBC was seeking its fifth straight title.

• The drive for five arrived for Richey and the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The Roberts Creek native capped off her stellar university career at McMaster University in Hamilton helping to lead UBC to its fifth straight national women’s volleyball championship with a thrilling five set win over the Alberta Pandas (25-19, 15-25, 19-25, 25-20, 15-12).

• The Sunshine Coast Scorpions, continued to battle flu and injury, and went into their last league game with a depleted roster of only 12. Their determination paid of however as they won their final league game 5-1 over the West Vancouver Spuraways to clinch the league title.

• Forget about last year. Ryan Dempster has. He's not dwelling on last April or last year or the fact this is the last year of his contract.

The Chicago Cubs right-hander and Gibsons native was preparing in earnest for the upcoming season at spring training in Arizona.

• BMO Bank of Montreal is excited to sponsor the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's run. Now in its 35th year, this marks the inaugural year for BMO as the title sponsor of the very popular annual half marathon for walkers and runners on or near April Fool’s Day.

• Three female wrestlers from Elphinstone Secondary School capped off their season on a high note with strong performances at the provincial championships in Penticton. Cougars Alycia Schwindt, Alex Ratcliff and Alysha Monk represented Elphi with Alysha winning a silver medal, Alex a bronze medal and as a team, finished fifth overall.

• Shaun Stephens-Whale from Roberts Creek finished in eighth place and, at 22, was the youngest competitor in the field at the 2012 World Snowshoe Championships in Foret Montmorency, Que.

• An instant classic — that was the best way to describe the championship final of the Sunshine Coast Minor Hockey Association’s Atom spring break tournament in Gibsons. The Sunshine Coast Oilers edged their rival Sunshine Coast Ducks 3-2 in an overtime thriller that had the crowd in the stands on its feet cheering from start to finish.


• Race organizers, volunteers and runners must have felt like the victims of an April Fool’s Day prank when they woke up and saw snow covering the ground. But what started out as a winter day turned into the nicest day yet in 2012 with warm sunshine to greet the racers at the finish in Davis Bay.

A flurry of late sign-ups brought the registration total to 585, the third highest turnout to date for the 35th annual BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run.

• Coast Progressive United (CPU) are the kings of the local soccer pitch after a thrilling 1-0 win over Wolves in the tournament final at Kinnikinnick Park.

• Mayhem put it all together when in counted knocking off Source for Sports 3-0 for the women’s soccer championship.

• The fastest game on two feet returned as the Sunshine Coast Rapids Lacrosse Association opened up its eighth season. The association saw a huge spike in its numbers this year seeing six teams, up from three last year, taking the floor this season.

• The U13 boys’ Scorpions clinched a berth in the Coastal Cup final in Richmond and a berth in the provincial finals in Aldergrove with an impressive 2-0 win over the Saanich Fusion in the Coastal Cup semifinal game in Sechelt.

• Sunshine Coast Volleyball Club U13's represented the Coast well finishing seventh at the provincial volleyball championships.

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