The Abbotsford Youth Teams have had a fantastic season, finishing with three of three boys teams in the BC Finals at Lucas Fields in North Vancouver on Sunday, November 30, 2008. The Abbotsford U-15, U-16 and U-17 Boys all competed in the finals for provincial prowess and managed to secure two BC Championships at the U-16 and U-17 levels and a sliver at the U-15 level.
The U-15 team started the games off at 10am against the strong Capilano team from the North Shore and hoped to maintain their undefeated season.
The team opened the game with hard hitting action and dynamic runs led by rep players Justin Douglas, Jordan Best, JD Paul and captain Darren Levasseur. Play in the first half bounced back and forth with scoring opportunities for both teams, including a long, pacey run by Abbotsford's Justin Douglas who was stopped on the goal line. The Capilanos led 5-0 at the half on an early score.
The second half saw the strong Capilano team dominate rucks and take advantage of Abbotsford mistakes. Abbotsford knocked on the Capilano goal line on several occasions, but were unable to find the endzone. The Capilano boys scored 4 tries in the second half to leave the final score 31-0 in favour of the Capilano team.
The U-16 game followed at 11:15 and again Abbotsford was paired up against the Capilanos. The powerful Abbotsford squad began the game with a strong physical presence and agressive running. However, the Capilano team managed to score first off a confusing free kick inside the Abbotsford 22m. The Caps scored again in the first half off after multiple phase play and converted to make the score 12-0. Abbotsford answered with a try from Jordan Puckrin who found his way across the goal line for the score. The half-time tally was 12-5 in favour of the Caps.
The second half saw a shift in momentum in Abbotsford's favor as center Christian Styles punched in a try on a dynamic run. Connor Hunter slotted the convert to tie the score at 12-12. The Capilano team answered with patient, recycled ball to move ahead 17-12 with 10 minutes left in the game. Abbotsford was not done and answered back with a try of their own as center Mike Brodowski managed to find a hole in the Capilano defense and went for a blazing run down the sidelines to score an unconverted try that tied the game again at 17-17, where it stayed until the whistle went to end regulation time.
In overtime, Abbotsford kept rolling with the momentum and Christian Styles managed to pick up an errant Capilano pass and dashed across the goal line for what turned out to be the winning score, converted by Connor Hunter. Abbotsford defended well for the final 5 minutes of the overtime period and secured the 24-17 victory and a BC Championship!
Abbotsford U-17 players took the field following the U-16 game where they faced the Meraloma side from Vancouver. The physical teams found themselves fairly evenly matched until excellent Abbotsford ball movement released Jared Douglas on the wing to score down the sideline. This scoring pattern was very similar to the previous weekend where Douglas scored two tries in Abbotsford's nailbiter 23-22 win over the Caps. The unconverted try in this game put Abbotsford up 5-0 in the early part of the game. Late in the first half, Mark McCutcheon carried multiple defenders as he plowed over the line for the second score of the game, making it 10-0 for Abbotsford at the half.
In the second half, Allan Dicks came into the game on the wing, and soon after found himself breaking a tackle on the outside and racing 40 meters for the third score of the game, extending the lead to 15-0. The Meraloma team did not give up and after multiple phase paly, managed to find an opening in the Abbotsford defense, scoring an unconverted try. This narrowed the score to 15-5 with 10 minutes to go. The Lomas tried to gather momentum from the scoring drive, but Allan Dicks quashed that notion as he again found space outside the Loma defense and scored his second try of the game, converted by Jordan Tait-Comis. Abbotsford held on for the 22-5 win and secured the second BC Championship of the day for Abbotsford. Congratulations to our Provincial Championship winners!
In U-19 action, the Abbotsford Tier 1 team played Saturday, Nov 29 in the Mainland Semi-final against the Rowers. Conditions were dismal and both teams had issues handling the ball in the wet weather. Abbotsford got on the scoreboard first when Corey Sheremeto picked up a loose ball in the Rowers' end and found his way into the endzone. Carlos Martinez slotted the convert to put Abby up 7-0 in the early portion of the game. Abbotsford dominated the first half, but were unable to widen the score by the half-time whistle.
In the second half, the Abbotsford team continued to pressure in the Rowers' end, and were rewarded when Matts Batryn bashed across the line on tight, multiple-phase ball. The unconverted try put Abbotsford up 12-0. At this point, the Rowers managed to consolidate their play and began recycling the ball well. Abbotsford defended tenaciously, but saw an interesting call in their end as a whistled knock-on in the endzone was changed into a try by the ref. The Rowers converted to make the score 12-7 with 2 minutes left.
Abbotsford kicked deep and pressured, but saw a heart pounding ending to the game as the Rowers were rewarded with a scrum in their own end. With no time left, the Rowers ran a blind play off the back of their scrum, and their wing managed to avoid a tackle and go for an 80 meter burn down the sideline. Fortunately, Abbotsford center Robbie Mackenzie cross-covered to make the tackle inside the 22 and drove play out of bounds to sound the final whistle. The Abbotsford U-19 team will now face Surrey at Ex Park on Dec 6 in the mainland final (Surrey beat the Caps 29-0 in other semi-final) . Surrey beat Abbotsford 21-19 earlier in the year in regular season play. The winner of the mainland final will play the winner of the island final on Dec 13.
Congratulations to all of our athletes and coaches on their outstanding work this season!
2008 U16 BC Champions
2008 U17 BC Champions