Injuries and personal commitments have derailed the Pen High Lakers girls rugby season.
Lakers coach Mike Bevan said they were forced to forfeit their Okanagan Valley 3A playoff game in Kamloops Wednesday.
“It was unfortunate,” said Bevan. “I thought we had a pretty good chance.”
The Lakers won once, tied a match and lost three games, but Bevan was happy with what had been accomplished. He was excited about a season led by a strong core of six, graduating players.
During the season, some players, veterans to the game and rookies, drew inspiration from personal connections, but also from watching the Summer Olympics in Brazil.
Lenaic Madevon looks up to Jen Kish, captain of Canada’s women’s sevens rugby side. Madevon loves the power and speed the Olympian plays with.
“She is the perfect player. That’s who you want to be when you’re a rugby player,” said Madevon, who strives to play the same way.
The passion of the players also had an impact on Madevon, who played with emotion with the Lakers this season. What Madevon loves about playing is winning and playing for her team.
“They are basically my family,” she said. “Playing for my coaches, my parents. Making everyone proud.”
German exchange student Pia Hocke loved her first game.
“It was great. It was like give all of your energy to your team,” she said. “I really like team sports.”
Hocke watched the Olympic match between Fiji and Great Britain. Her excitement from the match created an interest to play.
Hocke loved the speed the game was played in at the Olympics and the team work. Teammate Lexi Picton was also impressed by the quickness. For Tayedra Koppe, watching the Olympics was a special moment.
“I never really saw it live before,” said Koppe. “I was absolutely blown away by how people were tackled, how they got up. How they went for that ball.”