Wednesday April 16, 2014

Local Sports

Sports briefs: Saints finish season in second

Flag squad falls short in final but records program’s best playoff result Sports Briefs
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The Whistler Saints flag football team finished second in its North Shore Football League division, which was the best playoff finish for a team from the program.

The Whistler Saints flag football team settled for a second-place finish in its North Shore Football League (NSFL) division, coming up short in Sunday’s (Nov. 25) final.

The Saints put up a good fight but ceded a 28-12 victory to the North Vancouver Seahawks. Dane Kirkegaard scored two touchdowns for Whistler, which tried to make a late charge but couldn’t hang on to momentum for long enough to make a comeback.

“We kept it close until near the end,” said coach Ralph Forsyth, who said the Saints made it a one-score game in the second half but allowed a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff return. “That kind of broke the back of our game plan … but most kids had their best games of the season.”

While the loss was disappointing, Forsyth noted that the Saints are the first team from the Sea to Sky program to reach an NSFL final, and reflecting on a successful campaign took some of the sting out of the defeat.

“We all agreed we had a really good season,” said Forsyth, as the Saints finished with a 7-2-1 record overall and sported the division’s stingiest defence.

The Sea to Sky Titans Peewee- and Minor-aged squads had already been eliminated from NSFL play earlier in the month, but Forsyth said there were positives to take away from both of their seasons.

“The Peewee team defied all expectations. I wasn’t sure they’d win any games — we only had 11 kids on the team, and all but two of them had never played tackle before. So it was a real delight to see how well they played,” said Forsyth.

“The Minor team, despite having a rough season and not winning many games, we did win our last game of the season and beat the second-best team in the league. That showed that we could play with anybody, we just needed to put all the pieces together.”

Ironman recruiting volunteers

More than 3,000 volunteers will be needed when Ironman Canada makes its Whistler debut on Aug. 25, and organizers will be hosting an info session next week for anyone interested in helping out.

Race director Keats McGonigal said of those 3,000 volunteers, about 100 will be selected as captains to help the event go off without a hitch. No experience with triathlon is required and there are a wide range of roles that will need to be filled in the weeks preceding the race.

One key benefit of volunteering is access to priority registration for the 2014 event. As spots in the race generally sell out several months in advance, volunteering for the 2013 race is one way to ensure you’ll be out on course for the following summer’s Ironman Canada.

The volunteer meeting is scheduled for Wednesday (Dec. 5) at 7 p.m. at the Whistler Conference Centre. Those attending the session are not obligated to commit to volunteering, so anyone interested is welcome to go and learn more before making a decision.

Volunteer inquiries can be directed to McGonigal at Visit for full event details.

Mosher medals twice

Tyler Mosher’s journey towards Sochi got off to a solid start when he won a pair of silver medals at the season-opening para-snowboard event in The Netherlands.

Mosher finished second in the men’s lower limb class in back-to-back races at the first slingshot snowboard-cross event sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since the sport was added to the 2014 Paralympic program earlier this year.

Mosher, an incomplete paraplegic who competed in cross-country skiing at home for the 2010 Paralympics, placed behind New Zealand’s Carl Murphy last Thursday and Friday (Nov. 22 and 23) at SnowWorld Landgraaf, the world’s largest indoor ski hill. The next major IPC para-snowboard event is a Nor-Am Cup stop scheduled for Jan. 26 in California.



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