With 2014 now behind us, it is a great time to sit back and look at some of the fantastic stories that made headlines in the sports sections of the Langley Times.
• Professional lacrosse made its return to the Lower Mainland as the Vancouver Stealth debuted in the Langley Events Centre.
The Stealth, who play in the National Lacrosse League, relocated from Everett, Wash. The team, which advanced to the Champions Cup title game the season before, struggled on the floor as they finished 4-14 and out of the playoffs.
• It was the thrill of a lifetime for the Langley Minor Hockey Association atom A4 Eagles as they were surprised with a visit from hockey’s biggest trophy, the Stanley Cup.
The team’s players and coaches were one of five teams across the country honoured through Scotiabank’s Surprise and Delight campaign. The Eagles were chosen for their efforts of collecting 363 pounds of food and $375 for the local food bank.
• She may have left Langley at a young age, but Jessica Hewitt still has a strong contingent of family back in Langley, including her father. And they were cheering her on from afar as the short track speed skater from Kamloops helped Canada win the silver medal in the team 3,000m event in Sochi at the 2014 Olympic Games.
• There was no heartbreak this time around for the Brookswood Bobcats.
The senior girls basketball team, which fell short in the 2013 title game, completed the task in 2014, winning 64-57 over the Oak Bay Breakers in the championship final of the B.C. senior girls Triple-A basketball finals. It was the fourth title in the program’s history.
•The Langley Rivermen won the Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy as the BCHL’s top team in the regular season, the first time a Langley junior A squad had done so. Head coach Bobby Henderson was named the league’s coach of the year. The team was ousted in the Mainland Division finals to the Coquitlam Express, who would go on to win the Fred Page Cup. The Express featured a trio of Langley players in Brendan Lamont, Daniell Lange and Anthony Gardner.
• Trinity Western Spartans men’s volleyball coach Ben Josephson wins the CIS coach of the year while Adam Schriemer is named rookie of the year.
• Former Brookswood Bobcats point guard is named the Canada West rookie of the year for the Thompson Rivers WolfPack women’s basketball team.
• Langley Secondary’s Emily McLean wins silver at the B.C. high school wrestling championships.
• The Fraser Valley U19A ringette team wins gold at provincials, beating Surrey 7-4 in the championship game.
• Walnut Grove’s Jadon Cohee finishes high school career third all-time on scoring list for B.C. high school boys provincial championships (3A and 4A combined).
• The Walnut Grove Gators Grade 8 boys basketball team wins bronze at provincials.
•Langley bantam Eagles win tier 4 provincial hockey title 3-1 over Kamloops.
• Langley United Premier men’s soccer team wins Pakenham Cup 5-2 over Port Moody Gunners.
• Langley United U21 wins Fraser Valley Soccer League U21 Cup 1-0 over Port Moody Gunners.
• Langley United Division 2 team wins President’s Cup 3-1 over West Coast United.
• Sarah Potomak helps Canada win gold at U18 world women’s hockey championship 5-1 over the U.S. in Hungary. Potomak scored twice in that game and had goals in four of five games.
• Langley’s Stephen Ryan won the Pacific Junior Hockey League scoring title with 41 goals and 88 points in 44 games for the Aldergrove Kodiaks. He beat out another Langley Minor Hockey Association alumni — and Kodiaks teammate — Adam Callegari, who had 70 points. The pair also helped the Kodiaks capture the PJHL championship in a thrilling seven-game series to the Richmond Sockeyes. The Kodiaks trailed 3-1 in the series before battling back. Aldergrove advanced to the Cyclone Taylor Cup championships and made it to the gold medal game, but the junior B hockey club could not hold on to a 2-1 third period lead, falling 5-2 to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
• Langley Fundamental’s Hannah Beaton wins Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award.
• Brookswood’s Trevor Welzin wins silver at cadet/juvenile Canadian wrestling championships in 69-kg weight class
• It was a banner year for local hockey players and the Langley Minor Hockey Association at the annual Western Hockey League bantam draft as two locals were taken in the first round and six were taken overall. That included goaltender Jordan Hollett (13th overall) and defenceman Jarret Tyszka (16th overall). Hollett was the top pick ever for a Langley player and this marked the first time that two Langley players both went in the first round. The six selected also set a new record for Langley. Also selected were James Malm, Alec Capstick, Conner Bruggen-Cate and David Laurin.
• Langley’s Danielle Lawrie was honoured at her alma mater as the University of Washington retired her jersey number. Lawrie, a Brookswood graduate, was a dominant pitcher for the Huskies softball team during her four years in Seattle.
• TWU’s Anastasia Pearse won the Wheeler Award (excellence in academics and athletics, as well as possessing Christian character on and off the track) at National Christian College Athletic Association.
• Force Volleyball Club wins U15 national girls championship over Manitoba Winmen.
• Langley’s Danton Heinen definitely made his mark in his one season in the BCHL. The Langley Minor Hockey Association product captained the Surrey Eagles, earning the league’s rookie of the year and most sportsmanlike player awards. And Heinen also impressed the NHL as the Boston Bruins selected him in the fourth round of the NHL entry draft.
The Langley Rivermen also had a player selected as the Winnipeg Jets grabbed Matt Ustaski in the seventh round.
• The Major League Baseball draft saw the Langley Blaze’s Mitchell Robinson selected in the 22nd round by the Miami Marlins and Kurtis Horne in the 31st round by the New York Mets.
• The Valley Ball Hockey Association Outlaws win bronze at peewee U12 ball hockey championships.
• Langley Christian’s Nickolas Colyn captured a pair of medals at the B.C. high school track and field championships. Colyn won gold in the 2000m steeplechase and bronze in the 3000m. Walnut Grove’s Robyn Buckingham delivered three medals, taking silver in the heptathlon and long jump and bronze in the javelin.
The pair helped Langley athletes win a combined 22 medals (Grade 8, junior and senior) at the championships.
Langley Fundamental’s Hannah Beaton won silver in shot put.
Grade 8: Jonathan Rees (Betty Gilbert) won gold in 800m and 1500m; Ethan Foster (DWP) gold in long jump and bronze in high jump; Jordan Schmidt (REM) silver 3000m; Kayla Weltzin (BKS) bronze in 3000m. Alex Single, Braden Young, Brandon Sweeney and Michael McKay (WG) bronze in 4×400. Junior: Dean Ellenwood (LSS) gold in 400m and 800m; Jaclyn Pauley (BKS) gold javelin; Louise Forsyth (BKS) silver triple jump; Lauryn Cheung (REM) gold pole vault; Kiana Bekar (LCS) bronze triple jump; and Megan Champoux (LFS) bronze 300m hurdles.
• Kristin Bauder and Lisa Roman selected to Rowing Canada’s senior national team.
• Fraser Valley FC defeats Mountain United 3-2 to win U14 provincial soccer championship.
• North Langley Devils capture U10 provincial softball championship, beating Ridge Meadows Pride 7-0 in the final.
• For the fourth time in her international career, Dorothy Ludwig found the podium at the Commonwealth Games as Ludwig won bronze in the women’s 10m air pistol competition.
• Bailee Wright represented Canada at the world junior (U18) inline hockey championships, helping his country win silver.
• Langley Rebels win bronze at the U18 rep B provincial fastball championship.
• The Valley Selects U19 team wins gold at the Western Challenge Cup, beating the Delta Giants 5-0 in the ball hockey final.
• Langley Xtreme win silver at U14 rep B girls softball provincial championships.
• Bailey Herbert won medals of each colour for the Langley Olympians’ at the B.C. AAA long course championships. Herbert won two gold, one silver and a bronze for the swim club. Hugh McNeill won gold, silver and two bronze. And Renae Ledoux won one gold and Chelsea Borrowdale won bronze.
• Fort Langley hosts Prospera Valley GranFondo.
• Langley athletes helped the Fraser Valley win the medal race at the B.C. Summer Games.
• With the gold medal on the line, Dakota Curry came up clutch, belting a walk-off bases loaded double which scored two runs in a 4-3 extra innings victory over the North Shore Twins in the finals of the B.C. Premier Baseball League provincial championships.
And later that month, the Langley Senior Blaze won gold at the Canadian senior men’s national baseball championships.
In the decisive game, Shane Kraemer delivered a gem in a 3-0 win to beat Ontario’s Tecumsheh Thunder 3-0. He allowed just two singles and two walks over seven innings in a complete game performance.
• Chelsea Borrowdale and Joel Harrison each won a gold medal as McLeod Athletic Park hosted the Canadian Legion youth track and field championships.
Borrowdale won in the midget 1500m steeplechase event while Harrison won in the pentathlon.
Altogether, Langley athletes won a dozen medals at the championships: Lauryn Cheung won bronze in pole vault; Megan Champoux silver 200m hurdles; Teagan Rasche silver javelin and bronze hammer throw; Jordan Ellingson silver javelin; Dean Ellenwood bronze 400m and silver 800m; Nickolas Colyn silver 2000m steeplechase; Tanika Dolfo bronze hammer throw; and Hannah Morrison helped win bronze in the 4×100 relay.
• The Langley Events Centre hosted the Minto Cup, Canada’s junior A lacrosse championship, with the Six Nations Arrows defeating the Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs.
• Ryan Martel, Nathaniel Kozevnikov Quinn McKitrick and Brock Rose help Team BC win gold at midget national lacrosse championships. And Raachel Beaulieu, Natalie Rahler and Carrigan Rose helped BC win gold at bantam national championships.
• The Langley Xtreme senior B women’s defeat the New Westminster Riot 7-3 to win the provincial title.
• Junior hockey returns to the George Preston Recreation Centre with the debut of the junior B Langley Knights of the Pacific Junior Hockey League. The team was formerly the North Delta Devils and are coached by Brookswood’s John Craighead, a pro hockey veteran himself.
• Lauren Barwick wins silver and bronze at the World Equestrian Games.
• Vancouver Stealth pull off a blockbuster trade, acquiring Johnny Powless and Joel McCready in exchange for draft picks prior to NLL Draft. The team also added Langley’s Kyle Belton.
• Langley hosts the B.C. Seniors Games. Following the Games, it was announced that the annual event will now be known as the 55+ Games.
• Nathan Lund scored a dramatic touchdown in the final minute, leaping for the goal-line as the Langley Rams rallied to defeat the Okanagan Sun 23-19 in the Cullen Cup, the B.C. Football Conference championship game. The junior football team also picked up a pair of awards, with defensive end Dylan Roper earning the league’s defensive player of the year award and linebacker Ethan Schulz winning rookie of the year.
Schulz would also win the national rookie of the year award.
The Rams quest for a Canadian Bowl title would be crushed by the Saskatoon Hilltops as the Prairie visitors won 39-14 in the national championship game at McLeod Athletic Park in early November.
• Redwoods golf pro Doug Morgan wins the Cleveland Golf/Srixon Canada PGA of B.C. Club Professional Championship.
• TWU’s Sarah Inglis won gold at the B.C. cross-country provincial championships while teammate Alison Jackson took silver.
• Local high schools ruled the provincial junior volleyball championships as both the Langley Fundamental Titans and Langley Christian Lightning won gold at their respective tournaments.
The Langley Fundamental Titans defeated their local rivals, the Langley Christian Lightning in the boys championship game, winning three sets to one.
In the girls provincial final, Langley Christian beat the MEI Eagles two sets to one, to capture the first provincial title in school history at the junior girls level.
• The North Langley Bears won the first provincial title in the community football association’s history, defeating the Salmon Arm Chargers 38-13 in the bantam nine-man title game. The victory capped off a perfect season for the Bears as they went undefeated along the way to the provincial title.
Three other community football association squads fell one game short in their quest for provincial titles.
The North Langley Bears (peewee), the Langley Stampeders (midget) and the Langley Mustangs (bantam 11-man) all won silver in their respective divisions.
• The Trinity Western Spartans women’s soccer team was going for an unprecedented third straight CIS national championship title, but fell in the gold medal game.
The Spartans lost 5-0 to the host team, the Laval Rouge et Or.
Had the Spartans won and completed the three-peat — which has never been done before — but it would have marked the program’s sixth national championship, breaking the tie TWU has with UBC atop the ranks of women’s soccer programs.
• The TWU women’s cross-country team comes second at the CIS national championships.
• Courtney Shmyr chosen to represent her country on Speed Skating Canada’s World Cup team.
• Walnut Grove’s Joel Harrison wins gold at the B.C. high school cross-country championships in the junior division, helping them also win the team title. The Gators junior girls came third.
• The Credo Christian Kodiaks senior boys soccer team wins bronze at the Single-A provincial championships.
• The H.D. Stafford Skyhawks fall in the finals of the tier 2 Grade 8 boys provincial football championship, losing 40-0 to the Samuel Roberts Technical Titans.
• Brett Lawrie, a Brookswood alumni and product of the Langley Blaze Premier program, was traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Oakland Athletics.
• Former Canadian long distance runner Leah Pells announced as inductee into B.C. Sports Hall of Fame 2015 class
• Vancouver Stealth’s Chris Hall, inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame back in September, passes away from cancer.
• Aldergrove’s Shea Theodore named to Canada’ world junior hockey team.