KITCHEN – Loftier individual targets are around the corner.
Currently, fourth-year-old Natalie Armatage is focused on helping KCI Raiders win a fifth consecutive Waterloo County (WCSSAA) girls rugby championship, and if all goes well, finally come across the hump on Central Western Ontario (CWOSSA) triple A tournament.
Raiders took a step towards these goals Monday with a 49-0 victory over Cameron Heights Golden Gaels in the quarterfinals of the WCSSAA playoffs. Armatage, along with most other KCI starters, saw about 15 minutes of play before Raider's head coach Amy Bambury turned to his reserve players to finish the game.
Two challenges ahead and Armatage is optimistic her team has what it takes to make it as far as the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association championship. The OFSAA tournament is scheduled for June 3-5 in Courtice.
"I hope to win CWOSSA with this team. I think we have the right bodies to do it, we have the right mindset, we have a good, solid team working together for the same goal," Armatage said. Monday.
"Most of us have fallen short three straight years against the same team so we will overcome it."
John F. Ross Royals, Guelph, has been the Raiders' nemesis for the past four years and beat them three times in the final and once in semi-final play. Last year, Raiders defeated Waterloo Vikings 43-19 to win the WCSSAA title and dropped 21-12 to Royals in the CWOSSA final. In 2015, Raiders performed an OFSAA appearance when CWOSSA received two records.
Brenna Mervyn, Milla Sayavongsa, Jillian Bernard-Jardine, Jillian Saulesleja, Maddie Hobson, Emma Windsor, Tessa Williams, Sarah Meston and Michelle Brooks scored KCI who went 5-0 in regular season games and will take Galt Ghosts in a semi-final games Wednesday. The undefeated Waterloo-Oxford Crusaders, 60-5 winners of the Huron Heights Huskies and Waterloo Vikings will meet in the second semifinal.
Armatage is a four-year-old Raiders who has represented Ontario three times and is a step away from earning a spot on Canada's U18 roster. Two groups of Canadian invitees – one in Ontario, one in British Columbia – will compete against US opponents in August's 25-player exhibition game, moving on to a U18 national team facing the Americans at the end of the year in San Diego. Calif.
"(Doing the team) would mean a lot to me because I have put a lot of work on and off the field to get to this point," she said. "This has been a goal for me since I started playing rugby, to wear the Canadian jersey."