Defending OFSAA champion Ross takes aim at D10 first

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – The Ross Royals aren’t thinking about repeating as OFSAA provincial high school AAA girls’ rugby champions. They’re not looking that far ahead.

For the Royals, keeping the local District 4/10 title is their first order of business.

“My goal, without pressure, is to defend D10,” Ross coach Mark Yanchus said. “I think we can all agree that we can and maybe should and maybe would make it to CWOSSA, but right now I’m not worried about saying anything out of turn. I think we’re good enough to compete and defend a D10 championship and I want the girls to know that I have that confidence in them. But I’m looking at D10 and we’ll move from there.”

The Royals are confident as this year’s lineup is almost identical to last year’s lineup with only prop Catie Terrey and No. 8 Jordie Neumann gone. One graduated, the other decided to skip rugby to concentrate on her schoolwork.

“I’ve argued that (last year) was the best team I’ve coached at John F. Ross in the women’s division so far,” Yanchus said. “I’ve looked at the roster and who we’re missing and I’m going ‘OK.’ Everyone’s a year older. They’re bigger, stronger. Some of them have eaten better. Some of them have trained just for this. Some of them have come back for this. I’ve looked at a bigger picture plan. I said to them we’re starting with Game 1 and OFSAA gold, if we’re privileged enough to be there, would be Game 15. We’re going to go with the same philosophy.”

The D4/10 league has one entry in the CWOSSA AAA tournament at Cambridge May 23 where they’ll be joined by five other schools, likely all from either Kitchener-Waterloo or Brantford.

“Beating Brantford and Kitchener schools is always a colossal thing,” Yanchus said. “Anything can happen there sow e fine tune, we practice and we work hard to that. That’s our goal and then after that we start believing some of our hype and thinking we’ve got a shot.”

Ross entered the season third in the province’s high school girls’ rugby rankings by Rugby Ontario behind top-ranked Oakville Trafalgar and second-ranked Bayside of Belleville, a AA school.

No other CWOSSA school is ranked in the top 10, but Brantford CI, Kitchener CI and Erin are among 15 schools listed as honourable mentions.

“If out there in the world we’re not respected as defending champs to be No. 1, that’s good for us,” Yanchus said.

The Royals are to play Oakville Trafalgar and fifth-ranked Uxbridge in a tournament Friday at Oakville.

“I’m playing everybody,” Yanchus said. “The girls were all nervous but I said I don’t feel an ounce of pressure. People who have been there a lot have the pressure so I’ve decided that D10 is our goal.

“Modesty and grace, that’s our motto. We’ll play with modesty. If we’re lucky enough and we’re skilled enough and we’re privileged enough, we’ll be D10 champs again. I think it’s a reasonable bet, but anything can happen. There’s been a big improvement with a few teams in the district.”

The Royals began their D4/10 season Wednesday with a pair of wins as they defeated the Orangeville Bears 53-0 and they also downed the Centennial Spartans 50-0.

Jasmine Ing scored four tries and kicked three converts for the Royals in the win over Orangeville while Aliesha Lewis had two tries. Scoring one try apiece were Maddy Gundy, Emily Frasson, Lillian Markovinovic and Kennedy Queen.

Ing led the Royals with 20 points against Centennial while Ruth Agyemang, Michelle Hopkins, Emily Frasson, Paisley Frasson, Aniela Breen and Cassidy Gordon each had one try.

The Guelph CVI Green Gaels also had a pair of wins as they defeated Centennial and the Centre Wellington Falcons while Orangeville downed Centre Wellington in the regular season-opening mini-tournament’s other match.


Guelph CVI 12 Centennial 0

Leksi Dawes and Caitlin Kroetsch scored the tries for GCVI while Sarah Ramage converted both.


Guelph CVI 15 Centre Wellington 5

Louane Meloche had two tries for GCVI while Kiara Allcock had the other one.

Jodi Richards scored the try for Centre Wellington.


Orangeville 33 Centre Wellington 5

Orangeville received tries from six players — Sydney Trewartha, Emiliee Stevens, Eryn Bonney-Brookman, Leah Visser, Sara Foulong and Emma Langshore. Trewartha also kicked three converts.

Jodi Beardsmore scored a try for Orangeville.