Royals win the City Championship for the third time!
The Royals girls touch football team has achieved a 3-peat, winning the city championship for the third year in a row. This victory adds to the team’s impressive resume, which already boasts two city champion titles and a provincial tournament gold.
The 2019 team was an incredibly skilled mix of both veterans and rookies. The five returning seniors were quarterback, Abbey Alliston, kicker Keiara Raitt, runner Lauren Kennedy, offence Leina Burley, and defence Erika Ehrenberg. They brought knowledge, experience, and leadership to the team. A number of ninth graders filled in many key positions left open by last year’s graduating players, and their natural athletic abilities allowed for a seamless transition. Rounding out the team were rookies from tenth and eleventh grade who brought a learning mindset and quickly became valuable members of the team.
This year’s city championship tournament took place with pool play on Tuesday, September 24, and a championship day on Friday, September 27. The Royals swept the competition on Tuesday, going undefeated without conceding a single point. They had their toughest match in the morning against Westdale, a competitive rival school. The girls proved their status as defending champions, winning the game 7-0. The momentum continued throughout the day as QB Abbey threw perfect spirals and receivers made highlight-reel worthy catches. The royals defensive squad showed up with intensity and focus, making numerous interceptions, shutting down all of the competition’s offence, and not allowing a team within twenty yards of their end zone.
Their success on the 24th resulted in the Royals finishing first in their pool and advancing to the championship day as the only undefeated team, seeded #1. They arrived at Mohawk Sports Park on Friday afternoon with one goal: to become one of only three teams in the tournament’s history to win the championship three years in a row. Two games stood in between the royals and the trophy, the first of which was a semi-final match against Waterdown.
The Royals took a silent-but-deadly approach against the loud and proud Warriors, opting to make their statement through their performance. It was a nail-biting and dramatic game that saw the early lead taken by the Royals but evened by the Warriors late in the game. With only a few plays remaining, the game was tied 13-13. In the final play of the game, with 40 yards to the Warrior’s end zone, the Royals executed an end-zone tag off a kick that earned them one point and the semi-final victory. The 14-13 win sent the Royals to the championships, where they would take on Dundas Valley- a championship rematch that the Gryphons had been hoping for since their defeat last year.
The final game was full of excitement and big plays for Ancaster, both offensively and defensively. Despite playing against the wind, the royals put on a strong and impressive performance. With two important touchdowns and two single-point conversions, the royals doubled their success in last year’s championship (a 7-0 win) and took the game 14-0 in a less dramatic match than the semi-final. With that victory, the Ancaster High girls touch football team secured their title as undefeated three-time city champions. This is a historical achievement, and the entire Ancaster High community congratulates the team!
Despite the inevitable loss of the talented seniors graduating this year, the future of the girls touch football team at Ancaster High is as bright as the shiny gold trophy that sits on Mr. Rotskas’s desk, and they have a new goal in mind already: stay undefeated and become the only team in history to win the championship four years in a row.