The South Delta Sun Devils remain a work in progress as the high school field hockey season hits the homestretch.
Under the guidance of longtime community volunteer coach Neil McLennan, the Tsawwassen school has been a perennial provincial contender with several podium finishes. This time, McLennan is working with mostly multi-sport athletes that have seen their time on the field hockey pitch disrupted over the past couple of seasons due to the pandemic.
“It’s been up and down so far. We have a lot of new players and a lot that are inexperienced, so we are still learning how to play together. Against some teams that are really good, we will have a good patch of play then a slow patch and those can hurt you quite significantly,” McLennan explained.
On Tuesday (Oct. 11), the Sun Devils breezed to a 6-0 win over Richmond’s McMath Wildcats at Winskill Park, but repeating as South Fraser Zone champions will be anything but a formality.
South Delta earlier dropped games to unbeaten Tamanawis (2-0) and second place Panorama Ridge (4-3). The two-day zone playoffs get underway Oct. 25.
“Quite a few of the South Fraser teams have one or two (provincial class) players where we have to learn how to handle the teams that have those threats. We will give up a penalty corner and the next thing we know it is in the back of the net. As the chips come down here (on the season) hopefully we can tidy those things up,” McLennan added.
The B.C. AAA Championships host rotation is supposed to take this year’s tournament to Kelowna next month, but B.C. School Sports has ruled the event must be played on field turf, so that means Kelowna will be hosting the tournament at Tamanawis Park in Surrey.