By Tina Comeau
Considering that rugby was only re-introduced to YCMHS last year after an absence that spanned decades, those who are coaching teams this year are very excited by the interest in the sport.
“I am beyond thrilled to have had such a great turnout this season,” says Vanessa Gallant, who points out last year they only had nine boys playing, whereas this year they have 23 girls, enough for two teams, and 15 boys involved.
“It really says something about the sport of rugby and how inclusive it is,” she says.
As was the case last year, the teams play Rugby 7s, which involves seven players on the field playing two seven-minute halves.
The hope locally is for the sport to grow in the Tri-County area so that schools here could compete in the NSSAF championships that involve teams of 15 players.
Gallant says the girls, all of whom are new to rugby this year, have been catching on to the sport quickly.
“Having 23 girls who have never even touched, let alone seen, a rugby ball before was quite a challenge,” she says. “They were very excited to be learning something new and have been very committed to practices, which has helped them pick things up very quickly.”
Gallant, a teacher at the Yarmouth high school, knows her rugby. She began playing the sport when she was in Grade 11 and continued to play at St. Mary’s and St. FX universities. She’s also played provincial and club rugby.
Asked what is the most challenging concept of rugby to learn, she says it is passing backwards and always being behind the ball.
While the girls are all new to the sport, the boys team has five returning players. The boys are coached by Marius Gerber.
The YCMHS boys and girls teams are hosting a tournament at the field behind the old Yarmouth high school on Parade Street on Saturday, May 10. The event goes ahead rain or shine. Teams from Yarmouth, Barrington and Shelburne will be playing with games starting at noon and run to 5 p.m.
Barrington has one female team, while Shelburne has a female team and two male teams.
The following is the schedule for the May 10 games. Games consist of two, seven-minute halves and a five-minute half time:
12:00 - 12:30 p.m. YCMHS Boys v SRHS Boys A
12:30 - 1:00 p.m. YCMHS Girls A v SRHS Girls
1:00 - 1:30 p.m. YCMHS Girls B v BMHS Girls
1:30 - 2:00 p.m. YCMHS Boys v SRHS Boys B
2:00 - 2:30 p.m. BMHS Girls v SHRS Girls
2:30 - 3:00 p.m. YCMHS Girls Inter-squad
3:00 - 3:30 p.m. SRHS Boys Inter-squad
3:30 - 4:00 p.m. SRHS Girls v YCMHS Girls B
4:00 - 4:30 p.m. BMHS Girls v YCMHS Girls A