The Bow Valley Grizzlies are enjoying their strongest numbers in years and played their first home matches last week.

After going undefeated and claiming the Alberta recreational title in 2023, the Grizz have one of their men teams returning to Div. 2.

"It was the boys' decision, and they had a great season last year," says head coach Tyler Hawes. "I think it really helped to build to where we're at now. They're exciting to be in this division and get some competitive games. We'll see how it plays out."

rugby 1(photo submitted)

Last Saturday, the Grizz drank from the Bears Cup, a trophy that represents their friendly (but definitely competitive) rivalry with the Banff Bears.

The Grizz also won it last year, in a rubber match against the Bears. This year, they only face each other once because of the Grizz have hectic schedule against 11 different clubs, says Hawes.

bear cupGrizzlies Cam Birch, Dave Evans and Adrien Bousseton with the Bear Cup. (photo submitted)

"That's won and done," says Hawes. "It's great that the boys took it home. Now we'll see how the rest of the season goes."

SEE MORE: GALLERY: Grizz drink from the Bear Cup

Growing numbers have allowed for the creation of a Div. 3 team that includes players from the Foothills Lions. On May 24, they lost a 20-17 squeaker to the Canucks.

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Also on May 25, the Grizz women's team had a friendly against Red Deer Titans, when the team arrived in Cochrane a few players short.

"They ended up forfeiting the game, but it was really good to get out our new players," says Kate Kimbrell, "We had a couple of girls with their first big games today."

rugby 2The Grizzlies and Rams have joined forces this season.

The Grizz have joined forces with the Calgary Rams to field a team this season. They take turns wearing each other's colours. This time around, they wore those of the Grizz. Kimbrell believes the joint team will be a force to reckon.

A growing number of younger women have joined the team, in part thanks to the high school team.

"Our goal is to just keep growing the rugby community and we're starting to see our high school girls coming in and are really standing out. We've been putting in the work and we're starting to see the fruit of all of that."

The adult teams aren't the only place the Bow Valley Rugby Club (BVRC) is seeing growth. The annual Club Day saw players U7 and up play in a series of games and weren't about to let the spurts of rain get in the way of their enjoyment.

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