Captains of the Vernon U19A Raid and U16B Royals are ready to shoot for provincial ringette gold

Captains of the Vernon U19A Raid and U16B Royals are ready to shoot for provincial ringette gold

Raid, Royals set for ringette provincials

Shelby Fisher was quite happy making a full-time living at her dad’s trucking company. Not so fast, said her ringette coaches.

 

Shelby Fisher was quite happy making a full-time living at her dad’s trucking company.

Not so fast, said her ringette coaches.

“My coaches (Tim Jones and Ellie Paulin) are quite a handful and they talked me into playing again this year,” laughed the veteran centre and captain of the Vernon Under 19A Raid, one of 38 teams in the B.C. Ringette Championships, starting Friday at various local arenas.

Fisher, a fun-loving Seaton grad who turns 19 in April, took up ringette at age seven after a few years in the Can Skate program. The transition to ringette was smooth and Fisher is today one of the leading scorers and top centres with the Raid.

“Our team is pretty strong defensively, but we have to work really hard for our goals,” said Fisher, who was a striker in soccer and a setter in high school volleyball.

The Raid open the provincials Friday at 10:15 a.m., Priest Valley Arena, versus the Fraser Valley. Fisher expects Kelowna and Langley to be the teams to beat in the Belles division.

Dayce Knopf, a Grade 12 VSS student who celebrates her 18th birthday in October, will also patrol centre for the Raid. She is also a captain.

“I’ve always been a playmaker, but I’ve kind of settled into a goal-scoring role,” said Knopf, who bagged a bronze at the 2012 B.C. Winter Games in Vernon.

Emily Olds is a prairie girl who moved from Regina to Armstrong in 2010. The Pleasant Valley Grade 12 student is another Raid captain and their net detective.

“I like to let my body react and let the muscle memory do the work,” said Olds, when asked about her style. “When we really want to win, we just have to get our heads together.”

Olds also snowboards, plays defence in soccer and is a budding electrician, having taken a pre-apprentice course in school. She and Kaitlyn Paulin played with Knopf on the bronze-medal zone team in the Vernon Winter Games.

Brenna Beck is the other Raid captain, She got into the game when her aunt, Rona Beck, coached her in Enderby. The 5-foot-6 playmaker/scorer, who turns 18 on Friday, normally plays on a line with Bailey Williamson and Spencer Christianson.

“We want to be top-three in the provincials,” said Beck, a Grade 12 PVSS student and a manager at the Armstrong McDonalds who hopes to get into social work upon graduation. “We have to work as hard as we can and feel good about ourselves.”

The Vernon U16B (Junior) Royals, coached by Blair Campbell, start the B.C. tournament Friday 7:15 a.m. in Lumby against Terrace.

Miranda Chapple is a centre and one of the Royal captains. Chapple likes to go high for snipes and says the Royals have the moxy to medal.

“All of the girls are always energetic and win or lose, we’re always smiling,” said the Grade 9 PVSS student. “Everybody brings a different strength.”

Outside of ringette, Chapple curls and plays middle blocker in high school volleyball.

Sophie Granley, another captain, was born in New Westminster and moved to Vernon in 2005, taking up ringette two years later.

“I go up for a rush sometimes,” said the 14-year-old stay-at-home defenceman. “Ringette is so much fun and it’s good exercise. We’re really excited about the provincials.”

In Grade 9 at Kalamalka Secondary, Granley also enjoys horseback riding.

Ellen Campbell, the coach’s daughter, is the team’s comic and also a captain on the back end.

“My parents thought I was lazy so they signed me to play ringette,” deadpanned Ellen, a pitcher in fastball.

Campbell, in Grade 9 at Seaton, says the Royals are a strong checking bunch. A classic rock and show tunes singer, she is the team’s enforcer.

“I’m rough, goonish a little bit,” she smiled. “I keep the other teams on their toes and take a few penalties.”

As for being coached by her dad, Ellen replied: “I try to help him understand things from a players’ perspective.”

The Royals will look to net detective Aleisha (The Wall) Smith, for huge saves.

The 14-year-old VSS student, who loves photography, has been playing goal for almost six years.“I wasn’t really good at the skating part. I played out for three years and then played one game in goal and liked it. I’m good at tracking the ring. I find the sport really exciting.”