May 25th, 2024

Griffins look to resiliency and key players

By Lethbridge Herald on April 4, 2024.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Winston Churchill Griffins senior girls rugby team will look to defence and resiliency mixed in with experienced players to carry them this season.

“I think it’s going to be huge,” said coach Shannon Court, on the importance of defence and resiliency.

“We’ll be battling Chinook and CCH most likely for the Tier 2 berths to provincials and it was really close between the three of us last year. Any of us could have gone and I think that’s why our focus is kind of on being able to battle through if we’re not up right away and if we’re dealing against a tough team and just really being able to stand our own ground.”

The Griffins will lean on forward Kim Van Genderen for leadership.

“We’re looking to her to be more so our louder leader to get the team going (and) lead the team in the right direction,” said Court.

As for the backs, Aluel Deng will be expected to lead the way there.

“Just her ability to fight through on offence,” said Court.

Court sees her as the silent leader that leads by example.

The Griffins are not as experienced this year.

“Our experience is more so in our backs,” said Court.

“I think we have a bit of a stronger backline, (with) a lot returning from last year.”

Churchill are also carrying a strong forward pack that are on the younger side.

The challenge will be to stay focused on their game.

“It’s always just kind of difficult for high school players to stay focused in the game and play their game,” said Court.

It doesn’t appear to be a problem fielding rosters for this upcoming season.

“We’ve got a ton of girls out for us,” said  Court.

“We usually only roster around 45 between our JV and senior (teams) and I think we’re probably going to be around 55, which is awesome. It’s great to see girls interested in the sport. We want to grow it, so it’s great to see.”

Winston Churchill opens up the season against Raymond on Wednesday at Lethbridge Rugby Club at 5:30 p.m.

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