As more than two dozen Red Hawks varsity rugby players jumped up and down yelling out numbers counting out each exercise movement in unison their co-coach Alexis David remarked about the high energy of the group.
“They have so much energy. They’re here every morning at 7 a.m. They all show up and are ready to go. They’re ready to hit. They come prepared with their mouth guards and they’re eager to get on the field” she said.
She’s already expecting this enthusiasm to continue as she has a five kilometre run scheduled for the upcoming PA Day in October after Thanksgiving.
“This is the only PA Day in the season so I thought if you’re going to eat turkey all weekend and pumpkin pie you go for a five [kilometre] run. So I told them they have to send me a picture [of them running]” she said.
Along with David the coaching staff includes co-coach Carson MacDonald and assisted by Brianne Pockett.
This year’s depth is a definite strength for the team which was as high as 28 players the third week of school. As a result the coaching staff were given a rare chance to juggle the roster in preparation for the Kawartha Senior Girls Rugby League’s seven game season.
“We have a full field of girls but then we have subs for all the positions that we needs subs for so it works out really well. Some girls might be playing one or two [positions] but yeah Carson and I have been switching girls back and forth stealing girls from forwards to backs. I think we’ve finally figured it out.”
The team offered informal practices this summer.
It enabled Grade 9 players who are new to the sport to learn and receive one-on-one help from coaches and returning and alumni players. The practices were also an opportunity to mentor and bond as a team.
Returning to the team are veterans Kailynn Sikma and River Christiano who will bolster a team of mostly Grade 9s.
David has her sights set on a solid season.
“We’re aiming for the top-four for Kawartha and that’s our goal right now” she said.
Haliburton’s home opener is their third game scheduled this season and is Tuesday Oct. 2. They will host the Adam Scott Lions at 3 p.m.
Note: the Hawks have started their season and are 0-1 after losing their season opener on the road in Lindsay against the I.E. Weldon Wildcats 44-0.