M.L. SheDevils rugby squad caps off season with year-end banquet

By Kathy Gallant
July 10, 2018 - 12:00pm

Rugby isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life.

This was the main theme of a celebratory dinner and awards night which took place on Monday, July 9. Members of the team and their families gathered at Sergent Hall to celebrate accomplishments and accolades over the year, led by SheDevils head coach Rufas Crawford.  

He said the team worked hard, played many games, and things are looking positive for the future.

“We played a lot of rugby this year,” Crawford said. “The Saskatchewan rugby season is only about six weeks long, but we did a lot of extracurricular things as well.”

Aside from the strong showing during games and tournaments, there were many highlights this year. Two players travelled to participate in a national tournament,  Skyla Russell went on a rugby and charity trip with the Dog River Howlers club, a few girls enrolled in the 306 Academy, and a number of players competed in the under-18 ManSask tournament this past weekend in Regina. As well, some definite interest was generated in the non-contact flag rugby program, with over 20 young boys and girls participating.

Trophies were also given out to several outstanding athletes, though Crawford took the time to point out the strengths of all players. Rookie of the Year went to Brooklyn Abbott-Ruston, Most Improved to Olivia Campbell, Top Scorer went to Skyla Russell, Best Forward went to Morgan Rolfe, Best Back went to Savanna Russell, and Most Valuable Player went to Claire Fechter.

The Larry Nelson Memorial Award, in honour of the late Jr. Forest Warden leader who helped organize fundraisers for the team, went jointly to Ashely Albert and Janel Millar. It recognizes dedication and commitment to the team, and both players attended the aforementioned 306 Academy and also took training to become referees. Albert injured her knee early in the season, so refereeing helped her stay involved the game.

Albert said coach Crawford is a huge inspiration for the entire SheDevils organization.

“Our coach dedicates so much,” she said. “He does everything for the team. He’s always thinking about rugby, I think everybody benefits from him, he’s a big part of our lives and we really appreciate him.”



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