The Provincial Tier 2 rugby champions are climbing the ladder to the top league in Alberta.

The Grizzlies will be playing their first season in the premier league, the highest ranked rugby league in Alberta and that's creating a stir of excitement throughout the region.

Head Coach Ty Hawes says they have a few obstacles to work through with Rugby Alberta but believes it will all fall in place.

"We're planning on going into the top division and plying our trade there," says Hawes.

The move is attracting interest from players outside the community, including several from Okotoks and Calgary

"It's really generating a lot of interest in Cochrane and surrounding area but there are also players coming from overseas to play, so it's pretty exciting."

"We're getting a lot of junior players coming through the ranks. Our junior program is starting to produce which is awesome so that's local kids playing in the top division in Alberta. That's what we really want to see."

The Grizzlies were formed seven years ago and it has been their goal from the start to make it to the top division. They're coming off a provincial championship in 2017 and were the southern Alberta champions in 2016.

"Things are falling into place. A lot of people have been putting in a lot of hard work and this is the result of it."

Hawes believes they will be competitive despite stepping up a division. They also have players who have been playing premier league in the city as well as the Griz and now they can play right here.

"In the end, they always came back to the Griz, so for us to be taking that step and have these boys on board, that's what we really want to see. We want to keep the top players in Cochrane."

To be in the premier league you also have to have a tier 2 team, so that means game day is going to attract a lot of people.

"It will be fantastic. We'll be playing back-to-back games and have a lot of rugby on those days and they'll be lots of people coming into town and supporting the community."

With the late spring, like other field sports, the team has been practising indoors longer than usual. They start training early in the New Year at an indoor riding facility south of town.

"Everybody's in the same boat, nobody can train outside right now. I think we have the best facility in Alberta, possibly Canada, for indoor training alongside horses."

Likely the opening date of the season will be setback but time will tell.

More Sports News

Team Wytrychowski Thrilled to be Representing Alberta

Cochrane High graduate Jessica Wytrychowski is thrilled her rink will be representing Alberta at the upcoming national U18 championships in Sherwood Park, AB. Apr. 2-7. After skipping her former team…

Competitive Snap Dancers Take the Stage Before Festival Season Begins

Last Saturday (March 16) and tomorrow (March 23), competitive dancers of Snap Dance Studios are taking the stage to showcase all their hard work. Giving a sneak peek of their upcoming performances,…

Local Youth Medal at Alberta Open Water Polo Tourney

Water polo may not be a sport that's on the tip of the tongue of people in Cochrane, but four local youth are enjoying the sport with the Seawolves Club in northwest Calgary. On the weekend three of…

MacKenzie Appearing on National Curling Stage for Second Time this Season

There was only one team that stood in the way of Team Bakos from winning gold at the U18 Optimist Provincial Championship and they may well meet them again at the nationals. With Sherwood Park…

Chaos Must Fend Off the Wolves This Weekend

The Cochrane Chaos have the Edmonton Wolves snapping at their heels in the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League (AJFHL) provincial championship as the series heads to Edmonton this weekend. The Wolves…

St. Patty's Day Pot of Gold Medals for U15 Chaos

St. Patrick's Day 2019 will be one for the memory books for members of the GU15 Cochrane Chaos when they came home with a Pot of Gold Medals. The U15 Cochrane Chaos are provincial champions after…

Trinity Taekwon-Do Offers Students a Unique 'In-House' Competition

On March 9th, Cochrane's Trinity Taekwon-Do held a local tournament in Bearspaw offering students a spin on an in-house competition. Cameron Macdonald, Founder/Instructor of Trinity Taekwon-Do shares…

Bantam Curlers Get Taste of Formalities of Championship Curling

Up and coming curlers enjoyed a traditional opening ceremony with a number of special guests, including elite women's curler Chelsea Carey, at the Curlers Corner Bantam Championship hosted in…

Cochrane Ballers Preparing for Airdrie Pinoy Tournament

The Cochrane Ballers are returning to Airdrie Filipino Basketball League (AFBL) action this season. Mike Bautista, of the Ballers, says the team is now preparing for a month-long tournament in May…

VIDEO: Sensei Shaun Johnson is Sports Star of the Month

“Shaun is an incredible karate master.” “He’s firm and encourages the kids to do their best but also has fun and gets the kids giggling.” “He is so patient and kind with the children. It’s a pleasure… is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide