Smithers Secondary School’s rugby team hosted a weekend of rugby action last weekend.

Smithers Secondary School’s rugby team hosted a weekend of rugby action last weekend.

Smithers hosts record number of northwest rugby teams

Smithers Secondary School’s rugby team hosted a weekend of rugby action last weekend. This year will see the highest number of schools fielding teams in recent memory, and over Friday and Saturday, boys teams from Smithers, Houston, Terrace and Prince Rupert, and girls teams from Smithers and Houston took to the field at the school under sunny skies.

Volunteer coaches Stuart Van Horn and Meic Thomas said the amount of teams this season will make for a lot less travelling for Smithers.

“We’ve always had to play in Vanderhoof and Prince George, and now we have our own zone,” said Thomas. The amount of juniors playing promises at least a few more years of strong rugby in the northwest as well.

The Smithers boys won all three of their games, including beating Terrace, who won both of their other games. Van Horn said the wins are hard-earned, since the season often starts before the team has been able to hold a proper practice.

“We play our first games most of the time before we’ve even been on our field,” he said.

Zones for the north will be in Vanderhoof this year, and the team is hoping to play their way to Provincials in Abbotsford. However, the coaches are really just glad to be able to play rugby without driving at least half a day first.

“It’s really good to have teams from the north to play again,” said Van Horn.