Overachieving Lions find silver lining
Alberta Summer Games: Okotokian nabs majour honour in sevens tourney
Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 06:00 am
Leading an unheralded sevens team to the gold-medal game landed a major honour for an Okotokian.
Kaden ‘Sunshine’ Mior was the flag bearer for Zone 2 at the Alberta Summer Games closing ceremonies after guiding his Big Country squad to a silver medal finish in the Sevens rugby tournament, Sunday in Airdrie.
“They needed a flag bearer, Zone 2 had to nominate someone from our team to be flag bearer and they all voted me,” said Mior. “It’s a big honour to represent my team up there.”
The Holy Trinity Academy student earned the nod after a team vote was held. It was an easy decision for his Zone 2 teammates, made up largely of the Foothills U18 an U15 Lions.
“He’s our team captain, he carried our team on his back the whole time,” said Zone 2 winger Malcolm Boone. “He supported us through everything, when we lost the first game right off the bat, he was there.”
Entering competition as the fifth-seed in the eight-team tournament, Big Country dropped its Alberta Games curtain raiser 12-10 before rallying with three straight victories including back-to-back shutouts over Zone 4 and 8. Zone 2 would finish round-robin with a record of 4-1.
With a shot at earning a bye through to the gold-medal game, Zone 3’s representative the Calgary Canucks reigned supreme 15-5.
It wouldn’t be the last the teams would see of each other in Airdrie.
Big Country bounced back with a 35-0 romp over Zone 8 to book its ticket to the final in a rematch with the Canucks.
Scrum-half Jazz Singh got Big Country off on the right foot in the final with a terrific individual effort to open the scoring on its first possession as he kept his legs pumping and dove into the try zone with Calgary players draped all over the Holy Trinity Academy Knight standout.
The Canucks regained the lead with consecutive trys down the left flank to start the second half before Mior and Boone combined to even the score on a full-field sprint from the latter.
“He sucked everybody in and I was calling for it and he passed it right out to me,” said Boone. “(Calgary) was coming in pretty fast so I thought I better throw on the wheels.”
However, in sevens rugby the scores change quicker than weather patterns in Alberta. Calgary would take the lead for good on the subsequent kickoff, beating out the final buzzer to hoist the Summer Games gold.
“Basically it was a coin-flip at the end. Who got the last possession at the end was going to win. It just happened they got the ball last and won ,” said Zone 2 head coach Jim Ryan. “I’m very confident that if we had it again we would have went down and scored.”
“It was a fantastic tournament. We were ranked fifth going in, we built up and played some terrific sevens.”
Zone 2’s complete roster: Braedan Bespalko, Malcolm Boone, Cian Booth, Alex Brennan, Spencer Buck, Wyatt Hansen, Bryn Jones, Wilson MacDonald, Joey MacMullin, Kaden Mior, McKinlay Roberts, Wyatt Samek, Zak Scovoranski, and Jazz Singh.
Their Zone 2 counterparts in the female tournament just missed out on a podium finish. Big Country was edged 31-7 in the bronze medal game by Zone 1. Big Country featured High River’s Maddie Powell, Sydney Wilson and Kayli Terletski.
Edmonton’s Zone 6 took the female title in a 7-5 thriller over Zone 5.
For more information on the Summer Games go to 2014airdriegames.ca