Spring brings boys of summer to the diamond

Spring sports pick up as winter activities conclude for the season

The baseball diamond will be hopping this weekend as the Oak Bay-based Victoria Mariners junior and premier squads take on some of the best, Friday, March 25.

Cross-town rivals, the Victoria Eagles host the third annual spring break friendly tourney at Lambrick Park, through March 27.

The Mariners’ junior premier team opens play at 9:30 a.m., taking on the Eagles Midget AAA, before facing the Eagles’ junior premier squad at noon. The Premier Mariners have an afternoon double-header, facing the Premier Eagles at 2:30 and Calgary Blues at 5 p.m.

The University of Victoria men’s and women’s rowers compete in the Brown Cup on Saturday, March 26 at Elk Lake before heading to San Diego to compete in the San Diego Crew Classic April 2 to 3.

Wednesday, March 30 brings the Celebration of Champions and UVic Sports Hall of Fame.

The men’s rugby team next plays Saturday, April 2. The Vikes host the Vancouver Capilanos at 2:45 p.m. on Wallace Field.

Pacific Athletics and Victoria Track and Field Club hosts the first of two “try it out” sessions at Centennial Stadium this Sunday, March 27 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Session 2 goes Sunday, April 3. Through two modified event practices, prospective athletes can get an idea about how the track clubs train and compete. For more information visit pacifathletics.ca and victrack.ca.

In high school track and field, teams gather at UVic’s Centennial Stadium Wednesday March 30 for the first meet of the 2016 season. The action gets underway at 4 p.m. with sprints, hurdles and distance events, along with boys’ and girls’ triple jump, boys’ high jump, boys’ discus, girls’ discus and girls’ shotput.

And in high school girls’ soccer, Glenlyon Norfolk School’s senior team plays hits the turf Thursday, March 31 for the first game of the season at St. Margaret’s School.

On the rugby pitch, Oak Bay’s senior girls’ rugby team starts the season at Mt. Douglas Secondary April 1. Games start at 2 p.m. and include Oak Bay taking on Vic High and Stellys.

The Bays United Div. 1 men are coming off a hard-fought semi-final win last weekend to advance to the Jackson Cup finals against longtime rivals Cowichan. The semi-final game will feature a surprising twist with the Hughes brothers battling against each other, with Jordie on Bays and Tyler on Cowichan. The game goes Sunday, April 3 at Royal Athletic at 2:30 p.m.

Coming up in men’s rugby, the Div. 3 Castaway Wanderers play the Westshore Div. 3 men Sunday, April 3 at Windsor Park. Kick-off is at 1 p.m.

Turning to local hockey, the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League championship series was tied 1-1 between the Victoria Cougars and Campbell River Storm at press time. Game 3 went Thursday, after the News went to press, and Game 4 goes tonight (Friday) in Campbell River, with Game 5 returning to Archie Browning Arena Sunday, March 27 at 3:30 p.m. Following a Game 6 roadtrip if needed, the Cougars would return home Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m. for Game 7.

Following the championship round, the Cougars host the Cyclone Taylor Cup, a four-team, round-robin tournament April 7 to 10 featuring the Cougars, the Storm and the champions from both the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and the Pacific Junior Hockey League. Eight-game tournament passes and single game tickets are on sale now, available from the merchandise booth at Cougars home games or from Gary Boyer at 250-686-7709 or cougarpres@gmail.com.

Colin Gall is a local athlete and Grade 11 student at Mt. Douglas Secondary. Send your coming sports events to jocktalk@telus.net