Royals shoot to bring home banner

RSS senior girls field hockey team heads to provincials ranked fourth in B.C.

After completing another successful season, the Rossland Secondary School’s senior girls field hockey team is once again returning to the B.C. High School AA field hockey championships this  week with high expectations

The RSS Royals lost only two games this season to go along with 14 wins and four ties. They soundly beat Stanley Humphries in the West Kootneay final and finished second-place at the Kelowna Secondary School Invitational last week.

The team also ran an undefeated 7-0 record to take the championship at the University of Calgary High School tournament earlier in the year so the squad, comprised of 14 of Rossland’s best Grades 9-12 field hockey players, look for good results.

“Our team won an unexpected bronze medal at last years provincials, so our hopes are to medal again this year,” said coach Donna Hebert.

This year’s team is young, carrying only four Grade-12 players and three Grade-11s with the rest of the squad effectively filled-out by Grades-9 and -10 but Taylor McKinnon, one of the few senior members, is not concerned.

“It’s a great group of girls, we’re all dedicated and we’re all very athletic,” said McKinnon.

“The team that’s ranked third, we tied them so we compare to them.”

But more than that, McKinnon attributes the success of the team to coach Hebert.

The RSS phys-ed teacher has coached the field hockey team since 1993, winning two bronze, two silver and one provincial championship in 2000, an incredible success story for the size of the school.

RSS is ranked fourth in the province even though it is categorized as a single-A school with less than 86 female students in Grade 11 and 12, yet they compete in the double-A provincials against larger schools.

In last year’s bronze medal match, McKinnon scored one of three shootout goals to help the team beat Glenlyon Norfolk in an exciting 2-1 win.

“They’re going to medal again and actually they hope to bring home the banner,” said RSS athletic director Rick McKinnon who is also Taylor’s father.

The 12-team provincial tournament is hosted by Glenlyon Norfolk School in Burnaby.

Collingwood School from West Vancouver has won the past three B.C. championships beating Little Flower Academy all three times.

The Royals will try to prevent Collingwood from four-peating as they play their first game today in one of three pools.

RSS goes against Southridge at 10:30 a.m. and Rockridge at 3 p.m.

They’ll play Crofton House Thursday at 8:45 a.m before heading to the championship draw.