After a couple of no shows by Rocky Mountain House, Stettler Wildcats were declared third-place winners in their rugby league this year.
“We would have loved to have played a full game against Rocky but they were unable to play due to injuries and low numbers,” said Head Coach Josh Elliott. “I think we had a very successful season.”
According to Elliott, the girls placed third out of nine teams, which is a feat of sorts, because at the beginning of the year they had set their target on the fourth-place in the league.
“We were not only able to accomplish what we set out to do, but we surpassed our target, which is a pretty big accomplishment considering we are still in our second year of existence and placed higher than big name programs such as Notre Dame and Lindsay Thurber,” Elliott added. “We are also pretty happy about our regular season, finishing 3-0 and getting some large margin victories against teams that consistently beat us last year.”
Elliott stated that playoff and regular season success aside, the team had a good run this year in terms of the overall program growth.
“We had the largest enrolment of any team in Central Alberta, beginning the season with 30 high school girls plus six Grade 9s, and by the end of the season we had about 28 regulars,” Elliott said, quite pleased. “That in itself I think was a huge success and made wins and losses a nice reward to getting that many people involved in a rugby environment.”
On Wednesday, May 31, Stettler played Rimbey for provincial qualifiers, but faced a crushing defeat of 50-0.
Elliott said that despite their loss, he was proud of how the girls played.
“Considering we finished the season in third place, and we lost to a second-place team Hunting Hills by two tries, am quite pleased, because Rimbey who finished first is on another level,” Elliott commented.
This week Stettler will be hosting Hanna on Thursday, June 8 at 5:30 p.m. for a ‘mini 7 festival.’
“We’ll play some games of 7 versus 7 rugby on the full pitch and rotate the teams, and we’re hoping to get another school involved also,” Elliott said.