C squad takes league championship
After winning 13 league games and the playoffs, the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies bantam C girls’ team went undefeated this season.
That is a feat in its own, but the team’s accomplishments don’t end there. Four of its league games were shutouts and the sole goalie of the team, Caitlan Rice, had never been in net before this season.
Throughout the season the Grizzlies scored a whopping 96 goals and only let 23 in its net. The Grizzlies scored more goals than any other team in the league. The No. 2 ranked team for goals was about 20 behind the Grizzlies.
The girls were awarded with two banners at the end of the season, one for winning the most league games in the season and the other for being the league champions.
“I think we did really good. We even have 12-year-olds on our team,”Ali Knight, 15, of Langford who played right defence. “We are just really good. We practise hard.”
The team was short players in the beginning of the season and coach Tony Preziuso had to bring up players from peewee teams. The team had four 12-year-olds playing with girls typcially around 15 years old.
“The senior girls helped the junior rookie girls,” Preziuso said.
Even with the new additions, the Grizzlies only had 11 skaters and one goalie, giving them less time for breaks in the games.
“We have the best defense on the Island, from goal tending to defense players,” Preziuso said. “I think that’s what won us the championship.”
“We have speed, and we work as a team,” Knight said, who started out a figure skater. “I wanted to play a sport you can share with other people. I wanted to be on a team.”
While one undefeated season would be remarkable for any player, this is the second consecutive time it’s happened for Raye Yesaki, 12, from Colwood. The left wing played for the JDF Grizzlies peewee boys team last season. “The girls are nicer I think,” Yesaki remarked.