Members of the Lloydminster Comprehensive High School Barons boys rugby team participate in a tackling drill during a practice on Monday. JAMIE HARkINS LLS PHOTO
The Lloydminster Comprehensive High School (LCHS) Barons boys rugby team currently holds a 2-2 record, but there are no plans at settling for a .500 finish.
The Barons got back to work at improving that mark during a tough practice at the school on Monday afternoon.
Hitting provided the focus of the session resulting in at least one bloody nose for a member of the team.
“It’s a journey,” said Joel Gordon, who suffered and shook off the injury during the early stages of the practice. “It’s fun.”
Gordon is a rookie inside centre for the Barons rugby team. The Grade 12 student at LCHS noted he’s watched a few of the club’s games in previous seasons and just thought about giving it a try this spring.
The Barons sport a 24-man roster this season comprised of first-year kids gaining their initial taste for the sport, as well as a couple of grizzled veterans attempting to end their high school careers with a provincial medal.
The boys started training indoors at the end of February and took things under the sun once the snow finally melted.
“Outside is a lot more technical stuff, a lot more skill based,” said Gordon. “Inside stuff was more getting the basics down.”
Leith MacEwen, a third-year Barons rugby player, said their passing is coming along nicely this season, but tackling is still a problem hence the focus of Monday’s practice. The LCHS Grade 12 student said they need to learn how to work low and drive through their hits.
“Tackling, and I guess, more holding onto the ball while being tackled,” said MacEwen, about the work still needing to be accomplished before they compete in the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA) zone finals at LCHS from May 29 to 30.
“That’s another big one. When we go to the ground we just let it go while we should hang on and give our team a chance instead of letting the opposing team beat us to the ruck.”
The Barons enter zones shortly after hosting their annual Sevens tournament on May 25. The ASAA finals will take place in Calgary from June 7 to 9.