300+ athletes on 7 Men's and 4 Women's provincial teams took to the fields at Parkinson Recreation Center in Kelowna on July 26, 28, and 29, as part of the U16 Western Canada Rugby Championships. 29 games were played in the hot Okanagan sun. Photos of the tournament can be seen here.

The BC Blue team was untouchable this weekend, winning all six of their games and scoring 291 points in the process. Their most competitive game was a 31 - 17 win on Saturday against a feisty Alberta White side. In a rematch of these two teams on Sunday, the Alberta side led for much of the first half but the hard-working and skilled approach of BC secured a 38 - 15 victory.

The BC Blue side included 8 athletes from the interior. Congratulations to the following athletes for their excellent play during the championships.

BC Blue - Interior Players
Carlin Bordin-Slavens (Naramata)
Storm Buck (Kelowna)
Koen Buckingham (Summerland)
Anders Fahlgren (Kelowna)
Finn Hussey (Kelowna)
Daniel Kilian (Penticton)
Colby Miletto (Kelowna)
Reimu Nelson-Valdes (Nelson)

BC Blue Scores
64 - 5 over Saskatchewan
54 - 7 over BC Gold
31 - 17 over Alberta White
47 - 7 over Manitoba
38 - 15 over Alberta White
57 - 10 over Alberta Black
Total: 291 points for - 61 against

The BC Gold U16 side, which included Kelowna native Connor Laing, was 2 - 4 on the weekend but competitive in most of their matches. Three close losses to Alberta sides could have easily gone the other way, with a little bit of luck.

BC Gold Scores
7 - 12 loss to Alberta Black
7 - 54 loss to BC Blue
33 - 0 win over Manitoba
7 - 21 loss to Alberta White
10 - 7 win over Alberta Black
12 - 24 loss to Alberta White
Total: 76 points for - 118 against

BC also put a U15 Men's team into the U16 tournament. Although outsized in every match, the gritty and fit U15's won 3, lost 2, and tied 1 game. The future looks strong for BC U16s next year.

The U15 side included nine Okanagan athletes, the majority of them products of the CORD Academy. Congratulations to the following Okanagan athletes for your achievements over the weekend.

BC U15 Men - Okanagan Athletes
Sully Curran (Kelowna)
Cruz Fisher (Kelowna)
Cameron Halverson (Kelowna)
Sol Jacques (Penticton)
Lewis Jenkins (Kelowna)
Jacob Jobst (Kelowna)
Tanner Milligan (Kelowna)
Declan Monaghan (Kelowna)
Alan Woodhouse (Penticton)

BC U15 Men's Scores
24 - 5 win over Manitoba
12 - 54 loss to Alberta White
29 - 5 win over Saskatchewan
19 - 39 loss to Alberta Black
7 -7 tie with Manitoba
33 - 0 win over Saskatchewan
Total: 124 points for - 110 against

On the Women's side, BC's U16 and U15 Women's teams were head-and-shoulders above the two teams from Alberta. Together, the BC U15 and U16 Women's teams scored 315 points against their opponents. The Okanagan was represented on the U15 side by Aja Good from Lake Country.

BC U16 and U15 Women's Scores
BC U15 - 75 - 15 win over Alberta White
BC U16 - 83 - 0 win over Alberta Black
BC U16 - 60 - 10 win over BC U15
BC U15 - 65 - 19 win over Alberta Black
BC U16 - 22 - 14 win over Alberta White

The U16 Western Canada Rugby Championships will be held in Kelowna again in 2019 and 2020. The quality of play and players gives us all hope for the future of rugby in our province!