The Handsworth Royals successfully repeated their gold medal victory at the 2018 AAA Provincial High School Championships. The tournament hosted by Clayton Heights Secondary took place from November 14-16, 2018 at Tamanawis Park, Surrey.
“I was thoroughly impressed with the level of play of all these athletes,” said BC High School Field Hockey Commissioner, Alanna Martin. “Not only were they highly skilled and physically fit, they also demonstrated good sportsmanship. It is obvious to me that their coaches have committed a lot of time to their program to make it successful and that the athletes have benefited from this and from their community programs.”
After the 5th ranked South Delta Sun Devils defeated Oak Bay in their quarter final match-up, the South Delta team was set to face off against the top ranked Handsworth Royals in the first semi-final. Despite an outstanding defensive effort from the Sun Devils, Handsworth took a 1-0 victory to clinch their position in the gold medal game and the opportunity to defend their Provincial title.
The second semi-final featured a showdown between Cowichan and Kelowna, both coming into the game undefeated in the tournament. Cowichan came out on top by a 3-1 margin to send them to their first final since 2016.
“With the top teams in the province competing in this tournament, every team will be challenged, therefore, everyone will grow individually as an athlete and collectively as a team,” Martin explained.
The bronze medal game was a thriller between South Delta and Kelowna. Kelowna took an early lead, but South Delta answered back to make it a 1-1 game. With the two teams still tied at the end of regulation, the game went to a shootout where South Delta prevailed to claim their first podium finish since 2014.
In the gold medal game, Handsworth jumped out to an early lead with a goal from senior forward, Tara Hamilton. Handsworth added a second goal to give them a 2-0 lead going into halftime. Despite a strong offensive push from Cowichan in the second half, Handsworth held on to take their second Provincial gold medal in as many years.
“Passion is the what I think of when I look back at the tournament,” Martin reflected. “Athletes who played with passion and rebounded with grace in the face of defeat. The organizing committee worked passionately and tirelessly to ensure that all the details were attended to in order for the tournament to be a success. Passion from the coaching staff who volunteer countless hours because they love the sport. It was a great event to be a part of.”
For a full list of tournament results, visit the AAA Provincial Championship website. Congratulations to all participating teams for an outstanding weekend of hockey!