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Comets rugby program gearing up for 7s provincials and 15s zones

Posted on May 31, 2024 by admin

By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News

It’s going to be a massive week for the Raymond Comets girls rugby program.

This weekend, the Comets 7s team is off the Calgary for provincials, looking to complete a quest for a fourth straight title. Raymond, in fact, is the only high school program in Alberta to win a girls Tier 1 rugby championship, in the three years of the tournament’s existence.

Last year was the first time the Comets lost a game at the event, as Raymond dropped a contest in pool play but rebounded to win it all.

This year, the team is coming off a 35-0 win in the zone final over Medicine Hat High School, as the Comets piled up points in the quick 20-minute game.

“They did a great job,” said Comets coach Dan Bikman. “We have a great group of 7s that are really coming together nicely.”

Raymond enters provincials as the No. 1 seed but knowing many schools in the tournament will cut down their rosters and select their best players for the tournament, it’s a tough weekend to judge.

“It’s an interesting tournament because we have a lot of kids who were Grade 9s last year and now, here there are playing in senior varsity provincials,” said Bikman, who added while Raymond’s players may be a little on the small side compared to some of the older teams, it’s the Comets team speed that is a deciding factor in 7s.

And while the 7s team is battling for gold, the 15s team will start its playoff journey Monday with the zone final against Lethbridge Collegiate Institute.

Raymond is 1-1 against LCI this year, and next week’s zone final could come down to a test of wills.

“I think we need to make the sacrifices necessary to beat a really good team like LCI,” said Bikman. “All of the kids have to be willing to do the hard work of rugby. It’ll take a blue-collar effort.”

It’s a game that could go either way but for the Comets, the team has to take confidence in the fact the group defeated LCI the last time out, after an early-season defeat.

“Sports is the most enjoyable when you’re playing a game that you could win or you could lose,” said Bikman.

A win would set the Comets up nicely for provincials the following weekend in Red Deer and would earn Raymond the top seed out of the south.

As for Raymond’s JV teams, the Comets wrapped up the 2024 season with a JV festival at home, which featured seven girls teams and three boys teams.

Raymond’s two girls teams went undefeated, and beat LCI twice along the way.

“We won all of our games by an average of 30-40 points,” said Bikman. “Everyone got a ton of playing time and the Grade 9s finished on a high note.”

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