As another busy, successful and rewarding year in Comox Valley sports comes to an end, we take a look back at some of the many highlights that local teams and individuals enjoyed over the past 12 months – at home and around the world. We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane, which will run in the next few issues of the Record.
• 19 Wing Comox firefighter Kyle Croxall was contending for top spot in the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships 2011. The 22-year-old won the first race in the series at Munich Olympic Park. The sport combines elements of hockey, downhill skating and boardercross.
• Carle Brenneman was posting strong results with the BC Snowboard Cross team.
• Skip Wayne Harris, third Richard Tanguay, second Alan deJersey and lead Rick Thomson qualified for the provincial curling championships in Kamloops, where they finished with a 1-6 record.
• The Comox Valley Glacier Kings hosted the 2010-11 VIJHL All-Star and Prospects Games. The South Division teams won both: 9-2 in the Prospects and 5-2 in the All-Stars.
• CFB Comox hosted the men’s and women’s Pacific Region hockey championships at Glacier Gardens Arena.
• The King George Dragons won the Vanier Towhees senior boys basketball tournament. Vanier finished fifth and the Highland Raiders placed eighth and were Most Sportsmanlike Team. Brad Gunter won the Nate DaSilva Towhee Award.
• Cheyla Reader planned to cap her collegiate volleyball career with a run at the Canadian championship as she joined the Vancouver Island University Mariners.
• Happy’s Source for Sports AAA Midget Chiefs finished first at a minor hockey tourney in Duncan, scoring on a penalty shot to defeat a team from Alaska.
• Defenceman Ty Wishart was traded to the New York Islanders from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for goalie Dwayne Roloson.
• Queen’s University Gaels men’s volleyball team with setter Jackson Dakin of Comox played an exhibition game at the Isfeld gym. The Ontario team was training for an upcoming tourney and used the intersquad game to raid funds for the C.V. Strikers Volleyball Club.
• Logan Yanick finished sixth in his age division at the World Junior Challenge golf tournament in Palm Harbour, Fla.
• Canada won silver at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, losing 4-3 to SKA St. Petersburg of Russia in the final. Royston’s Brett McLean finished tied for top spot in Canadian scoring with a goal and four assists. His goal set the stage for a wild finish in the gold medal game.
• Tom and Liz Thompson shone both individually and for their respective teams at the annual Appleton Rum Peak to Valley Race at Whistler.
• In BCCAA year-end volleyball awards, Rylan Brouwer was named rookie of the year for the VIU Mariners, Cheyla Reader was a first team all-star for VIU and Ashley Cousens was a second team all-star with the Capilano Blues.
• Happy’s Source for Sports Midget AAA Chiefs were going to the B.C. minor hockey championships.
• The King of the Ring MMA card promoted by Lisa Petterson as a fundraiser for B.C. Children’s Hospital was a big hit in Campbell River.
• The Rack & Roll team of Kevin Kane, Jason Rushton, Vince Bull, Bob Horton and Ed Johnson from the Comox Valley Pool League finished third in the men’s C division at the sixth annual B.C. 8-ball championships in Penticton.
• The North Island Wild Ravens U14 field lacrosse team captured the Island championship at a tournament at the UVic turf fields. It was the first time in North Island Field Lacrosse history that the banner had come home.
• Mathieu Leduc of the Mt. Washington Ski Club and the BC Ski Team returned from several races in Austria and conquered the Apex downhill in Penticton. He followed up with a second-place finish in Super G and was hoping to continue his winning ways at a Nor-Am race in Aspen, Colorado.
• Two members of the Comox Valley Kickers rugby team were part of the Vancouver Island Selects squad that was taking on the Canada U17 team. Kyle Smith and Connor Willis are on the 23-player Selects squad.
• Four local participants attended the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax: freestyle skier Cassie Sharpe, coach Dave Battison and athlete Andrea Lee of the Strathcona Nordics, and Max Heard of the Mt. Washington Freestyle Club.
• A local rink skipped byDan Brennan won the A event at the annual Comox Valley Mixed Open Bonspiel.
• Mt. Washington Ski Club competitors turned in strong performances when they hosted the Teck B.C. Provincials.
• Black Creek’s Cameron Levins finished as the top Canadian at the IAAF Cross Country World Championships, placing 57th in the 122-athlete field. Levins, a G.P. Vanier grad who attends Southern Utah University, finished the 12K race with a time of 36:36. Canada finished 16th overall.
• Thyssen deGoede of Courtenay was one of seven Island rugby players named to Team Canada for the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens.
• Darcy Sharpe won the Showcase Challenge in Whistler Blackcomb, picking up $2,000. He won the snowboard comp with a perfectly executed switch backside 1080 tail grab. Beating pros twice his age, the 15-year-old snowboarder was super pumped.
Earlier in the year Sharpe was the King of the Rails at Whistler and had a second-place finish at Mount Washington’s After Dark Invitational where he picked up a $500 cheque.
• The Canadian Yachting Association Rolex Awards Night was a rewarding time for Rob Douglas, who was named 2010 Coach of the Year. Douglas was recognized for his work in starting the Comox Valley Sailing Team, which has enjoyed great success in its two years of operation.
• Simon Whitfield won the Comox Valley Half Marathon by a margin of three seconds. Whitfield, an Olympic gold and silver medal triathlete, broke the tape in one hour, six minutes and 23 seconds while Jim Finlayson finished second in 1:06.26. Jerry Ziak of the Comox Valley was third in 1:06.36.
• Calvin Westbrook helped lead the Trinity Western University Spartans to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) men’s basketball championship, becoming the second G.P. Vanier Towhee to reach the national final. Brandon Ellis did it in 2008.
• First they were first. Finally, they were second. That was the shocking finish for the Vancouver Island University Mariners women’s volleyball team at the CCAA championships in Saint John, N.B.
Playing in the final, the Mariners were up 2-1 over the Mount Royal Cougars of Calgary and leading 24-20 in the fourth set – one point away from the gold. M’s power hitter Lindsay McLoughlin struck a ball that appeared to hit a blocker’s hand and go out of bounds. The referee initially indicated the Mariners had won the point, but after consulting with the lines woman awarded the point to the Cougars.
Given new life, the Cougars defeated the rattled Mariners 26-24 then took the fifth set 15-11. Power hitter Cheyla Reader of Comox, a first team all-star, said, “From where I was on the court I didn’t think (the ball) went over the net. It ricocheted either off the blockers or the net and out. The lines woman called ‘touch’, meaning it was our point, and initially the ref agreed with her.”
• The Comox Valley Glacier Kings picked up two awards when the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League handed out its year-end hardware in Victoria. The Yetis were recognized as the least penalized team while Mitch Ball received rookie of the year honours.
• Eight Comox Valley Aquatic Club Sharks competed well at the BC AAA Provincial Championships. Representing the men were Devin Pelletier, Dylan O’Hara, Drew Kuhnert and Ben Neufeld. On the women’s side were Jordyn Ryan, Megan Rousseau, Emma Neufeld and Brooke Lamoureux.
• The Rideout Construction Midget Chiefs hockey team worked double overtime to win the Div. 3 Island Championship banner over Nanaimo. Happy’s Source for Sports Midget AAA Chiefs won the Islands over Nanaimo while the Legion PeeWee B Chilefs lost the Island title in triple overtime.
• Vancouver Island Riders’ athletes were stomping the podium at Mount Washington’s Boarder Cross and Big Air competitions.
• The Dodge City Rollers (DCR) hosted the Comox Valley’s very first women’s roller derby event.
• The Peninsula Panthers defeated the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 5-1 to sweep their best-of-five VIJHL playoff semifinal.
• With forward Tyler Olsen of Fanny Bay in the lineup, the VIU Mariners captured the BCCAA Provincial basketball championship. The 6’6″ Olsen is a Mark R. Isfeld grad in his junior year with the Mariners.
• Canada beat Japan 33-12 to win the Bowl Championship at the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens, part of the International Rugby Board Sevens Series. Thyssen de Goede of Courtenay started all the games for Canada and a Rugby Canada spokesperson said the G.P. Vanier grad’s ability to get to the ball on Canada’s kickoffs was a big reason for the team’s success.
• The series that started as a netminder’s nightmare ended in a dream finish for the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Behind the sterling play of goalie Cam Waddington, the Icemen shut out the Saanich Braves 2-0 to win the deciding game in their best-of-five VIJHL first-round playoff series.
• The North Island Wild Ravens U14 field lacrosse team had to contend with Mother Nature in their quest for a gold medal at the BCLA Tier 2 provincial championships at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. The Wild Ravens advanced to the medal round only to have the turf fields buried under a blanket of snow, forcing organizers to call off the tournament. Final standings were based on team records to that point, with the Wild Ravens earning bronze.
• Comox Valley Kickers’ centre Connor Willis was selected to the Canada U-17 team to tour England this Easter. Willis is a fantastic rugby talent who has risen through the ranks of the Kickers Juniors, the Lake Trail School XV, the Vanier School XV, the Vancouver Island Tsunami, plus the British Columbia and the Canada U-17 “B” squads.
• Andrea Lee of Black Creek collected her second medal at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, and this time it was gold. Lee was part of the Team BC cross-country relay team that took first place. She previously won bronze in the 10K Classic Mass Start event.
• Frank Maniak qualified for the Royal Canadian Legion National Cribbage Championships in Laval, Que.
• The MSL Vancouver Whitecaps invited goalkeeper Nolan Wirth to their residence program.
• It was a triumphant homecoming for Mark Isfeld grad Ashley Simpkins. Playing for the Campell River Crush U18 girls volleyball team this season after two great years down south with the Victoria Titans, Simpkins and the Crush captured the Island Club Championship in Victoria.
• Martin Reader was part of Canada’s gold medal winning team at the Continental Cup beach volleyball tournament in Santo Domingo.
• Rylan Brouwer of the VIU Mariners men’s volleyball team was named Freshman Athlete of the Year at the 31st annual Mariner Athletic Awards Banquet. The G.P. Vanier grad was named BCCAA Rookie of the Year earlier this year and was a Player of the Game at the provincial championships.
• The CVUSC U12 Girls Thunder played their hearts out in the finals of the U13 Girls Coastal C Cup in Coquitlam against the SDL Red Herrings and came away with the silver medal.
• Island Spirit Sports All Star Cheerleaders wrapped up their competitive season with an excellent showing at the Sea to Sky International Cheerleading Championships in Vancouver.
• Provincial weightlifting returned to the Comox Valley with the B.C. Junior Championships hosted by the Lake Trail/Killerwhale Weightlifting Club. Four Killerwhales competed and all came away with medals, three in their first provincial competiton.
• The 115th Boston Marathon featured local runners Wayne Crowe. Brad Crowe, Denny Keyes, Roslyn Smith, Cheryl Eldridge, Janet Green, Robyn Dicesare, Karen Tobacca and Korky Richardson.
• Taylor Green’s rise through the ranks of professional baseball continued. The Milwaukee Brewers’ prospect started the season with AA Huntsville Stars and after just three games was promoted to the AAA Nashville Sounds of the Pacific Coast League.
• Cam Kerr won the inaugural Dave Creamer Memorial Bursary Fund Hockey Pool, which created a bursary for a Highland Secondary School student.
• Goalie Mike Herringer and forward Sheldon Brett were named to the Male U16 BC Cup rosters.
• Snowboard cross racer Carle Brenneman helped B.C. dominate the podium at the Canadian National Championships in Lake Louise, Alta. Coming off strong results in the European block of World Cup races, Brenneman finished second behind World Cup champion Dominique Maltais of Quebec.
• The Comox Valley Breakers closed their 2010-2011 women’s hockey season by winning the annual Campbell River Wildcats Tournament.
• Investing in a season of hard training paid big dividends for Emma Arksey.
The Courtenay-Comox Shito-ryu Seikokai black belt earned a spot on Team Canada and was travelling to Las Vegas, Nevada for the USA Open karate tournament and to Fortaleza, Brazil for the Junior Pan Am Championships.
• In MMA, Nathan “Roadhouse” Swayze of Comox prevailed over Warren “The Enemy” Anderson of Vancouver at AFC 5 Judgment Day in Victoria.
• BC Wheelchair Sports presented the Comox Recreation Centre with the BC Wheelchair Basketball Outstanding Community Support Award.
• The Comox Valley Glacier Kings will have a new coach for the 2011-2012 VIJHL season. Kevin Hasselberg will replace Jim MacLean behind the bench, the team announced. MacLean, who coached the Yetis for the last two seasons, resigned in March.
• Mark Isfeld Ice senior football player Brodie Squire won Defensive Player accolades at the prestigious BC Football Senior Bowl, played at Empire Stadium in Vancouver. Squire was the only North Island player invited to the event.
• Comox Valley Bulldog Fight Team members posted mixed results at a mixed martial arts card in Nanaimo. Competing at Battlefield 7 Invasion, Mike Hackert failed to make weight, Travis Peterson scored an impressive second-round TKO and Bill Fraser dropped a unanimous decision.