This past weekend, Meadow Lake was rugby central.
The SheDevils Junior Girls Rugby team hosted a large tournament hosting female and male teams from Cold Lake, Bonnyville, Lashburn, Warman, Wilcox’s Notre Dame.
The SheDevils played their first two league games against Warman Sirens this season, and coach Rufas Crawford said it was a good weekend even though the team didn’t win every one.
“We have a lot of brand new girls and it was our first game of the year,” he said. “I’ve full confidence we’ll do better the next game. We’re really trying to get our junior girls a lot of rugby this year, and they’ve been doing really well.”
The teams played a mix of full 15-player games and ‘sevens’, a shorter version of the game. He said it was a good opportunity for the SheDevils, but also a number of teams who attended. Bonnyville’s team is new this year, and they had the chance to play a couple games over the course of the weekend. Crawford said he got great feedback from the coaches.
“They thought this was a really good tournament,” Crawford said. “They’re really happy with what we’ve accomplished in Meadow Lake. They’ve already all said they want to come back next year.”
High school SheDevils players Ashley Albert, twins Skyla and Savanna Russell, and Kelsie Lefort said they felt this tournament started the team’s season off on the right foot.
“Our team played really well, I’m really impressed,” Albert said. “We just grew a lot as a team.”
Lefort said she was impressed by the younger players.
“We have a lot of rookies this year, so they learned their positions very well.”
Skyla said the tournament was one of the first opportunities all year for the team to play as seniors and juniors together, and it helped the team gel as a unit.
“Being able to beat Lashburn with some of the juniors was incredible,” she said.
“I think it goes to show how strong our team is going to be. This was our first tournament together, and I think if we did that well, there’s good things coming,” her sister Savanna said.
They all agreed they appreciated Coach Crawford’s passion and coordination of the tournament, along with support from fans and volunteers.
The junior players play exhibition sevens games every Monday in Lloydminster, and Meadow Lake will host Lashburn for a league game on Thursday, May 17.
On Twitter @ReporterKath
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