GIVING BACK TO THE GAME

GIVING BACK TO THE GAME

Eli Cummins of the Comox Valley Kickers Rugby Club epitomizes why rugby, and indeed any sport, is so important to a community like the Comox Valley. Eli, 28, a product of Oak Bay High School in Victoria, came to the Courtenay in 2004 to work at Mt. Washington and has been playing for the Kickers ever since. Over that time he has matured as a rugby player and has grown to become an exemplary young man and a genuine leader in the Kickers club, a club that is growing by leaps and bounds with an influx of young players who are turning out to play for it. Hopefully they too will develop in the same way Eli Cummins has. Not so many years ago Eli was a bit of a tear-away who partied heavily and often showed up to play rugby on Sunday in a state that showed he was burning the candle at both ends. Tough economic times here in the Valley often forced him to leave home and seek any kind of employment anywhere. He worked as a surveyor’s “chain man”, as a deck hand on a tuna boat, as a bartender and caterer, as a labourer, indeed at any kind of work he could find. When he returned home the first place he always headed was to the Kickers club looking for a game and a party. A few years ago he realized that the kind of life he was leading needed to change so he took a big leap and started his own business: Cummins Fencing. “I started the business in 2008 and built five...
KICKERS YOUNGSTERS FIND A WAY TO HELP TEAM WIN

KICKERS YOUNGSTERS FIND A WAY TO HELP TEAM WIN

Teams often have trouble finding their “rhythm” when playing games and such proved the case of the AFC Comox Valley Kickers as they took on one of only two teams to have beaten them this season. During the first-half of play on Sunday at Cumberland’s Village Park against the visiting Velox-Valhallians the Kickers struggled to find any kind of constructive form. They went through the motions of running the ball, kicking the ball, mauling the ball, and rucking the ball but they just couldn’t make anything “click”. No matter how hard they tried, nothing seemed to work. Scoring passes dropped despondently to the ground; kicks squirted aimlessly in the wrong direction and things that had worked effortlessly in past games just didn’t seem to happen. To their credit the Kickers, however, stuck to the task and eventually the late individual brilliance of some of its younger players helped them record a well-deserved 26-7 victory. The Kickers knew from the outset that they could not take the league-leading Velox-Valhallians lightly having lost the Fall League final, 24-15, to them in December. They also knew that they were coming off a 28-17 loss to Cowichan last weekend and with these things in mind set about the task of playing Velox with come conviction. Things, however, even with all the will in the world, don’t always go as planned and at half-time the visitors led 7-0 after scoring on a mistake by the home team that saw Velox #8 Al Hall score and scrum-half Kevin Sommerfeldt convert. The Kickers laboured on in the early going of the second-half until, finally, fullback Curtis...
KICKERS KEEP ON ROLLING

KICKERS KEEP ON ROLLING

The AFC Comox Valley Kickers survived a late onslaught from the visiting Castaway-Wanderers to hang on to a 15-12 score-line and record another win on Sunday at Cumberland’s Village Park. The Kickers took a 15-0 lead into the last quarter of the match and looked confident of a whitewash victory until the Victoria based, C-W team mounted a late surge that almost won them the game forcing the home side to make some game-saving, goal-line stands to keep the surging visitors at bay. The Kickers just managed to hold off the surge and record their third win of the new Spring schedule. From the outset, despite the wet conditions, both teams tried to play running rugby and, to their credit, both sides managed to handle the slippery ball with a minimum of knock-ons. The tackling from both sides proved aggressive and committed breaking up scoring attempts and it took until twenty minutes into the game before Andrew Hextall broke the impasse when he finished off in the corner for his first of the day. A little while later, not to be outdone, his brother Steve scooped up a ball at the edge of a ruck and sprinted forty metres to make it 10-0 for the home side at half-time. The younger Hextall, Andrew, opened the second-half scoring when he romped thirty-metres to score wide out and give the home side a comfortable 15-0 lead. The Kickers, however, earned their second yellow card of the game forcing them to play with fourteen men for ten minutes, and C-W took full advantage putting Kevin Smith over for a try that Zak...
HEXTALL BROTHERS SHINE IN KICKER WIN OVER POWELL RIVER

HEXTALL BROTHERS SHINE IN KICKER WIN OVER POWELL RIVER

The Hextall brothers, Steve and Andrew, scored two tries apiece as they helped the AFC Construction Comox Valley Kickers notch a 49-10 win over Powell River last Sunday as the locals recorded their second win of the Spring season. Perhaps because of the ferry ride across the Strait of Georgia, in the early part of the game, the Kickers experienced difficulty finding any flow to their game, but once they found their stride, about twenty minutes into the match, the tries kept coming. As well as the four scored by the Hextall brothers, captain Eli Cummins, prop Leigh Burley, lock Jeremy Grootendorst, and wings Tim Beggs — his second in as many games — and Pieter Voster also scored tries, with Cummins adding two conversions. The half-time score stood at 20-3. Steve Hextall’s effort marked his fifteenth and sixteenth tries of the season and for younger brother, Andrew, his fifth and sixth as the two continue to play outstanding rugby for the Kickers. Both brothers learned their rugby in England and in their three years living in the Valley have set the standard for a “full-on”, committed approach to every match. Andrew, who plays flanker or lock, is constantly the first player to every breakdown and when he gets the ball in his hands heads in only one direction – right for the try line. Steve does much the same from his centre position but often finds more room to run because by the time he gets the ball he has a less cluttered field of play in which to run. Nevertheless, his determination and hard-running leaves opposition players...
“NEW LOOK” KICKERS ROMP OVER HAPLESS COWICHAN IN 2012 OPENER

“NEW LOOK” KICKERS ROMP OVER HAPLESS COWICHAN IN 2012 OPENER

“Who are all the new guys?” asked a spectator at the Kickers vs Cowichan rugby match on Sunday at Village Park, Cumberland. Well might he ask. Over the last few weeks an influx of new players, particularly from Campbell River, have seen the Kickers with a surplus of players standing on the sidelines looking to get on the field. “It’s a bit of a problem,” says Kickers coach Aaron L’Arrive. “ A lot of these new guys play in the back-row and in the centres and I have a hard time making sure everyone gets a game.” One of the new players, Damian Kodaba, showed a great deal of pace and grit as he scored one of the Kicker’s seven tries in the 44-0 romp over the lacklustre Cowichan Piggies, a mere shadow of the once powerful side that used to be the Kicker’s nemesis. “I usually play scrum-half, which I did for a while today, but they put me on the wing as well, and I had a great time. I was lucky enough to score a try and get a few good runs,” offered the former Carihi High player. “ There isn’t a men’s team in Campbell River anymore and some of us decided to drive down and attend a Kicker’s practice and test the waters. We really liked what we saw and now a bunch of us carpool down every week. We’re really enjoying it and we’re having a lot of fun.” The Kickers began well spinning the ball through the backs until another newcomer centre, John Vinnedge, a former Vancouver Rowing Club player, went in...
Kickers Planning Meeting

Kickers Planning Meeting

Just a reminder to everyone that the Kickers planning meeting is still set for Sunday January, 22nd  from 10am-3pm.  Meeting will take place at the clubhouse. See you all...