The Rossland Secondary School Royals return to the AA provincial field hockey championships this week in Burnaby looking for a medal.
Rossland finished fourth last year after capturing a bronze medal in 2010.
However, the road to glory is a rocky one as the Royals faceoff against Crofton House today at 11 a.m. – the team that beat them out for bronze in last year’s tournament – and then take on defending champion Shawnigan Lake in their second match today at 3 p.m.
RSS winds up round-robin play with a game against Okanagan Mission Secondary at the Burnaby Sports Complex at 10:15 a.m. Thursday.
In last year’s bronze-medal game RSS came close, but lost in the end to Crofton House 2-1.
This year’s team is a young squad made up of players from Grades 8 to 12 and is coached by Donna Hebert and Jaclyn Haines.
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.
Haines is an Ohio State University alumni, and RSS grad who played on the 2000 provincial championship field hockey team.
The Royals were ranked seventh in the province even though RSS is categorized as a single-A school with less than 86 female students in Grade 11 and 12, yet competes in the double-A provincials against larger schools.
They faced Fraser Valley in Kelowna last week, and came away with a 3-1 victory.
The Bombers open the tournament with a game against Collingwood, 11 a.m., and South Ridge, 1 p.m., today, and Mark R. Isfeld Thursday at 10:15 a.m.
The playoff round gets underway Thursday afternoon culminating in the High School AA final on Friday at 2:45 p.m.