By Woodard, Dale on February 13, 2020.
The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s rugby team has once again tapped the Chinook High School pipeline.
The Horns unveiled Teagan Viney as their newest recruit at a press conference Wednesday at the 1st Choice Savings Centre.
As the team continues to gear up for the 2020 Canada West season, the Pronghorns once again did a little shopping on the westside, bringing in the Chinook graduate who will join her sister Payton on this year’s roster.
In addition to the sister combo, fellow Chinook grads Jill Tataryn and Hailey Driscoll also found success in a Pronghorn jersey. Driscoll was named a Canada West all-star and second team all-Canadian this season in her final year as a Pronghorn.
“I’m super excited,” said Viney. “It has always been a goal of mine to play at the highest level that I possibly can. So I think playing at the University of Lethbridge will be a really good opportunity for me, especially going onto a team that my sister is on and I am familiar with is really nice.”
A 5-foot-9 prop, Viney was a team captain in Grade 11 with the Coyotes and will look to build on her stellar season last year that saw her lead the Coyotes in tries.
Viney is also a three-year provincial team member, playing with both the U16 (2017, 2018) and U18 (2019) Wolfpack, where she was part of a national bronze medal in 2017 and a Western Canadian Championship gold medal in 2019.
She is also a member of the newly formed Jr. Horns Academy that has run throughout the fall and winter and coached by former Pronghorn standout Shannon Court.
Viney said those programs were important in her development.
“I’m very lucky that I got the opportunity to play on those teams and that we started a program in Lethbridge that I was able to be a part of as a Junior Pronghorn. I definitely learned a lot through playing on those higher-level teams with the Wolfpack and the Junior Horns.”
What’s better, Pronghorns head coach Neil Langevin knows exactly what he’s getting.
“I’ve known her as a student since kindergarten and she is a family friend as well,” he said. “So I’ve known her her whole life. She is such an incredible leader and just a great person. She has worked hard in her rugby, playing on provincial teams for the last three summers and we think the ceiling is really high for her.”
Langevin said Viney will likely line up at prop in her rookie season at the university.
“She’s a very strong ball carrier and her decision making is very good. Her hands are very good, especially for a player of that physicality. She brings a great feeling around her about being calm and excited that she can get the job done.”
Of course, there’s the glowing Chinook endorsement.
“We were really trying to get back to our roots of recruiting locally,” said Langevin. “We think we have such a good talent pool down south and we are so excited we get another and that our first recruit this year is a local. We are really excited to do that.”
As she heads into her senior year with Coyotes, Viney not only looks to build on her Grade 11 season, but get ready to make the jump to Canada West as well.
“I definitely think I’m going to have to work really hard,” she said. “I’m used to being a busy person and working really hard on stuff like that, playing high school sports and being in school. But I think university is just going to be another step up in my progress.”
Follow @DWoodardHerald on Twitter