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Earl Marriott athletes shine on the rugby pitch

Grade 8 boys Mariners team is undefeated this season

It’s been a great season so far for the Earl Marriott Grade 8 boys rugby team.

The Mariners squad is undefeated at 5-0 this season, after logging two wins on Tuesday (April 4) against L.A. Matheson (31-19) and Lord Tweedsmuir (55-14).

“We’re pretty fortunate because we’ve got so many players – having the numbers really helps,” said Grade 8 boys rugby coach Bryn Johnson, noting the numbers allow him to split up the team.

“The Grade 8s are playing 13 aside this year, and I’ve got 36 kids registered and practising right now.”

He’s pleased to see so much enthusiasm for the sport, especially after the COVID pandemic squashed team sports for more than two years.

READ ALSO: Trio of former Earl Marriott rugby stars to suit up for Canada

Rugby at Earl Marriott has always been fairly popular for boys and girls, Johnson said, but the program took a hit with the COVID pandemic.

“For us right now, it’s just about rebuilding the program back up and getting the numbers back up,” he said.

“I’m super pleased with their efforts! I’m really happy with the amount of boys that’ve come out and given rugby a try and really seem to be enjoying it – that’s more the bigger win – the final score is one thing, but just promoting rugby and getting these boys out playing for the school is the bigger piece to it,” said Johnson.

In Grade 8 rugby, it’s more about introducing the sport and some of the aspects of rugby, including the sportsmanship and the values, he noted.

“They’ve received it very well. They wear shirts and ties to school on game days and that’s not always easy for a Grade 8 to do, but it’s a pretty good rugby culture in the school and I think amongst the grades they all sort of encourage each other,” he said.

The next games were scheduled to be played prior to press deadline, at Grandview Heights Secondary, on Tuesday (April 11).

Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’m a lifelong writer, and worked as a journalist in community newspapers for more than a decade, from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey, from 2001-2012
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