Skip to content

Award-winner Spence leads Cow High girls to 3A provincial rugby third

Shawnigan Lake School earns silver in 2A tournament

Cowichan rugby pillar Sherry Spence has been honoured with the 2024 British Columbia Secondary Schools Rugby Union (BCSSRU) Coaching Excellence Award.

The award was handed out during May 30 and is presented to an individual for their longstanding service and excellence in the coaching rugby union.

”I had no idea they even gave out awards,” Spence admitted. “I’ve never attend the coaches event at provincials, so it was very big shock when I got the call.

“I’m absolutely honoured to have received the recognition, but there are so many people that co-coach with me, and sit alongside me on the boards that make my job easier. It’s always a group effort to get more kids playing rugby!”

Over the years Spence has filled many roles in the rugby community. Most recently, she’s been the Cowichan Secondary school girls coach and her team just this past weekend earned provincial bronze.

Headed into the 3A 2024 Provincial Rugby XV championship tournament as the top ranked 3A team on Vancouver Island, the Cowichan side were seeded third in the province.

The T-bird girls met Rutland last Wednesday afternoon, May 29 at Abbotsford Exhibition Park stadium to open their tournament, winning 57-5 advancing to the semi-finals against Gleneagle.

“You can’t underestimate any team when it comes to provincials,” Spence said. “They had great attacking lines.”

In the semi-finals Cowichan met Yale and some bizarre weather, ultimately losing 39-3.

“Yale is a powerhouse program,” Spence noted, adding they had played earlier in the year and the score was much close.

“This game did not go our way,” she said.

Losing to Yale put Cowichan in the bronze medal game against Island rivals, GP Vanier.

“The girls played Vanier twice during the season, splitting the games. Both game were separated by just one try,” said the coach.

Cowichan went on to crush Vanier 44-5 to earn provincial bronze.

“I have not seen the girls play so hard,” Spence said. “Everyone stepped up big time for their final game of the year. This was by far the best game the girls have ever played, which as a coach you can’t ask for anything more out of your athletes.”

She credited the leadership of captain Bella Anderton-Teasdale.

“Bella’s leadership this whole season brought the girls together. She is very good at bringing the team up as well as knows when they need to take a breather.”

Forwards leader Kiki Healey, also had a dominating presence especially in that final game against Vanier, she made a lot very strong carries- and even bigger tackles, Spence added.

Meanwhile, the Shawnigan Lake School girls won their league this year to earn their spot in the 2A provincial tournament. Entering provincials seeded second, the team beat North Delta last Wednesday by a 64-17 score. The semi-finals were next and Shawnigan faced Mark Isfeld with a spot in the finals on the line. A 41-0 shutout of Mark Isfeld sent the Shawnigan girls to the finals against DW Poppy on June 1.

Despite their best efforts, the top ranked DW Poppy dominated their way to a 56-7 victory, leaving Shawnigan Lake the 2024 Provincial Rugby XV 2A girls runners-up.

The Brentwood girls eked into 2A B.C. championship, filling the eighth and final berth. They had to play the heavily favoured No. 1 seeded DW Poppy in their opening game, also last Wednesday morning, and fell 84-0. The loss dropped the team to the consolation bracket, where they met LV Rogers for the chance to move on to play for fifth overall.

After ousting LV Rogers 41-0, Brentwood met Argyle with fifth place on the line. Brentwood stepped up to beat Argyle 33-5 to earn fifth, a solid three spots above their pre-tournament seed.