Despite snow showers, Hunting Hills travelled to Stettler to play in the home team’s first exhibition game last Wednesday, April 19.
The less-than-appropriate ground conditions, however, did not deter either team as they played to their full potential with many on Stettler’s squad playing for the first time.
Speaking of the game, Head Coach Josh Elliott said, “Our exhibition game with Hunting Hills went really well, with each player having an amazing game, which just shows that this year we have another new strong class of girls.”
Stettler’s 30 girls all had some time on the field, including four from Grade 9.
Elliott is pleased with the amount of knowledge that the girls have already imbibed in such a short time.
“The amount that we’ve learned this fast was pretty impressive to see in our game,” Elliott said.
Hunting Hills is a top two in the league that had an exhibition the previous week, and has some pretty good athletes on their team, according to Elliott.
“And we looked evenly matched with them and just as organized,” Elliott added. “I was really impressed by our leadership on the field and our ability to learn on the fly. It’s a pretty promising sign for a successful season.”
Wildcats attend weekend-long Edmonton camp
This past weekend, 16 from the Wildcats rugby team travelled to McNally High School in Edmonton to do a pre-season camp along with McNally and J Percy Page High School.
The camp was a huge success for the girls as their skills and confidence has noticeably improved, according to Elliott.
“Getting to train with one of the strongest programs in Edmonton with many high calibre club players, receiving coaching from multiple provincial and national athletes, the camp was really invaluable to us,” Elliott explained. “The camp will have a huge impact on our performance this season and possibly our girls adopting rugby in the future with all the awesome role models they were around.”
Elliott also commented that they were lucky enough to get Canada women’s starting scrumhalf, two U of A Panda alumni, and other high level club players volunteering their time for the girls and showing them how welcoming rugby is.
“The girls worked very hard and it’s really exciting to see how far our girls have come in in such a short time,” Elliott emphasized. “We’re getting ready this week by practicing the rugby fundamentals that we think will help us the most this early in the season – pass and catch, getting the ball wide, defensive line and tackle fundamentals.”