The Betty Gilbert Middle School Raptors saw action twice this past week. On Tuesday the Grade 8 boys finished regular season play against Abbotsford Middle School at home. Only 15 players showed for the contest, so there were no substitutes available for what turned out to be a very difficult match.
The visitors from Abbotsford were a very physical, hard-running group. This, coupled with the lack of intensity and poor tackling exhibited by the Raptors, allowed them to score early and often in the first half, eventually running up a total of 22 points in the first half.
After regrouping at half time, and despite some knocks and bruises, the Raptors showed a bit more heart. No longer fearing the hard running of the visitors, the Betty Gilbert boys were able to hold Abbotsford off the score sheet and eventually punched in two of their own, one of which was converted for a final score of 22-12 in favour of Abbotsford Middle. Josh Thiel accounted for all of the Raptors’ scoring.
Friday was another opportunity for the Raptors to try their collective hand at the shortened version of the game at the Abbotsford City Sevens Tournament at Yale Secondary.
The tournament opened with a 15-10 victory over W.A. Fraser Middle “A”. A slow start allowed Fraser to score twice quickly, but a timely change in strategy allowed the Raptors to move the ball more effectively and put the pressure on.
Good field vision allowed Corey Reid to pick twice from scrums and dash to the goal to put 10 points on the board, while some good ball movement saw Gurshaan Jhaj outpace the defence to score the final try.
The second game of the day saw Sang Nguyen and Corey Reid both put tries down, but the Clayburn Cougars simply had too much pace and were able to outrun the Raptors’ defensive line and put 20 points up to the Raptors’ 10. Although all three teams in Betty Gilbert’s pool finished the round robin at 1-1, a poor point differential meant that the Raptors were relegated to play for 5th and 6th place. In the playoff, the Betty Gilbert boys were able to come away with a convincing victory over W.A. Fraser Middle “B”.
The Betty Gilbert Raptors sevens team was Josh Thiel, Jake Thiel, Tom Sandberg, Colin Hopes, Jordan Spaan, Gurshaan Jhaj, Sang Nguyen, Nathan Dahl, Quinn McKitrick, Josh Desrosiers, Ash Hotti, and MVP Corey Reid.