GLACE BAY VS. RIVERVIEW
See who won the high school girls rugby final last night.
The Glace Bay High School Panthers didn’t let a little rain and cold get in the way of their championship run on Friday.
The Panthers captured their third straight Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League championship, defeating the Riverview Rugrats 15-0 at Glace Bay High School.
With the win, the Panthers advance to this year’s Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation provincial championships, scheduled for June 2-3 at Hants East Rural High School in Milford Station, N.S.
Kaitlynn Hayes opened the scoring for the Panthers with a try just before the end of the first half. Glace Bay continued the offence in the second half with tries by Jenna C. Pittman and Emma Locke to secure the win.
Hayes was a member of the Panthers team that captured back-to-back league titles in 2015 and 2016, but this year’s championship was a little more special.
“Winning a championship in your Grade 12 year is something you never forget,” said the graduating student. “When they told us there was only one play left, my heart was beating out of my chest, I really wanted to win that third title.”
“It was a great game overall — Riverview played well and so did we,” said Hayes.
The Panthers enjoyed a successful season. The team went 6-0 in the regular season before beating Memorial High School in the league semifinals on Wednesday to advance to the championship game, where they capped off their undefeated season.
Panthers coach Marcus Cookson spoke highly of his team following the win.
“I had 24 girls that gave me everything they had for eight weeks — I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of girls,” said Cookson. “They put all their effort on the field and everything I could ask for.”
This year’s Panthers’ roster featured three graduating players, including Hayes, Carlotta Colombari and Estelle Richard.
“We have some leadership from our Grade 12 students, who are very strong players, and they helped us get through some tough moments,” said Cookson. “The kids played great; when they were down, they were still up, so overall I think the win is very special for the team, especially the graduating players.”
Hayes credits hard work and dedication to the team’s success throughout the season.
“We had lots of hard practices,” said Hayes. “Today’s win was a big team effort, it wasn’t just one player, we played as a team and it was great to be successful on our home field.”
With the provincial championships less than a week away, Cookson feels his team has a good chance at winning the provincial title.
“I think my team is the best, to tell you the truth,” said Cookson. “I feel that my girls play a simple game, they play tough, I don’t think there is any team that we can’t beat as long as we come
with the right attitude.”
“I told the girls already, whether we win or lose, as long as we’re having fun that’s all that matters.” said Cookson.
The Panthers are not the only team from Glace Bay High School to win a Cape Breton rugby title this year. The Panthers’ boy’s team captured their fourth straight championship with a 15-0 win over Riverview on Wednesday, also advancing to the provincial championships next weekend.
A schedule for the provincial championships was not available at press time.
The Glace Bay High School Panthers girl’s rugby team celebrates after winning the Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League championship game on home field in Glace Bay on Friday. The Panthers defeated the Riverview Rugrats 15-0, advancing to the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation provincial championships for the third straight year.
Makenna Norris of the Glace Bay High School Panthers breaks a tackle through four Riverview Rugrats players during the Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League championship game at Glace Bay High School on Friday. Glace Bay won the game 15-0 to advance to the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation provincial championships for the third year in a row.