The Capital News Year in Sports

A review of the past 12 months of sports in the Central Okanagan


• Emily Oxland, one of the top high school volleyball players in B.C., commits to the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s team for 2012-13.

• Former Kelowna Rockets’ captain Josh Gorges signs a long-term contract extension with the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.

• The Kelowna Owls win the Legal Beagle senior boys basketball tournament at Terry Fox Secondary in Coquitlam.

• The Kelowna Rockets acquire 20-year-old forward Brett Lyon from Moose Jaw prior to WHL trade deadline.

• Kelowna ski crosser Kesley Serwa suffers a season-ending knee injury after crashing at a race in France.

• Kelowna Christian defeats Immaculata 65-62 in final game of Mustangs’ senior boys basketball tournament.

• The BCHL’s Westside Warriors trade captain Izaak Berglund and Michael King to Lloydminster of the AJHL for future considerations.

• The Westside Warriors name local product Max French as their new captain.

• Pat Quinn and Mark Recchi are confirmed as coaches for the Top Prospects Game in late January in Kelowna. Rockets coach Ryan Huska to assist Recchi on Team Cherry.

• The host Kelowna Fripp Rockets go winless at Kelowna International Elite Midget Tournament.

• The Immaculata Mustangs place third at B.C. Catholics senior boys basketball championship.

• The OKM Huskies win the Grand Forks senior girls basketball tournament.

• Kelowna motocross rider Casey Keast wins national Motorcycle Award of Excellence.

• Rockets goalie Adam Brown wins 100th career WHL game.

• Kelowna’s Haley Sales wins a bronze medal at Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

• Kelowna’s Kelly Scott wins her third straight B.C. women’s curling championship.


• Alexandra Myshak-Davis eared two fourth-place finishes at the Western Canadian cross country ski championships in Canmore.

• The host KSS Owls win bronze at the Best of the West senior girls basketball tournament.

• Kelowna Rockets teammates Colton Sissons and Damon Severson play in the CHL Top Prospects Game at Prospera Place in Kelowna.

• The Okanagan Sun name Paul Carson as the new president of the B.C. Football Confernce team, while Jay Christensen is introduced as the new GM.

• The host KSS Owls senior boys lose 91-85 to the Edmonton Harry Ainlay Titans in the final of the Western Canada Basketball Tournament.

• West Kelowna’s Julia Ransom and Jasper MacKenzie qualify for world youth and junior biathlon championships. Ransom wins the overall youth title at nationals in Quebec.

• Kelowna Fripp Rockets win midget tier 1 boys hockey tournament in Lethbridge.

• Kelowna’s Keefer Joyce wins 60 metre sprint at the Harry Jerome track meet in Vancouver.

• Jim Cotter’s Kelowna/Vernon rink wins its second straight B.C. men’s curling title.

• UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team and men’s basketball team finish out inaugural seasons in Canada West conference with victories.

• Danielle Gruber of the Okanagan Gymnastics Centre wins gold at the Canadian trampolien championships.

• Kelowna products Dani Hennig, Abigail Raye and Natalie Sourisseau play for the Canadian women’s field hockey squad at Olympic qualifier in India.

• Central Okanagan Sailing Assocation’s Ron Rubadeau is named Canadian Yachting Association’s volunteer of the year.

• Liquid Lightning swimmer Kierra Smith wins one gold ands three silver medals at the Western Canadian championships in Winnipeg. Club mate David Dmitrov won two gold and two silver medals.

• Jason Casey resigns as Okanagan Sun head coach to take on a job at Queen’s University in Kingston.

• Julia Ransom wins a silver medal at the World Youth Biathlon championships in Finland.


• The UBC Okanagan Heat make the Canada West playoffs in men’s volleyball in the program’s first season in the CIS.

• Roy Anderson steps down as head coach of the Kelowna Owls football teams after nine seasons at there helm.

• UBC Okanagan and the Okanagan Challenge of the PCSL merge the men’s soccer programs.

• Kelowna Christian wins valley boys A basketball title with win over Immaculata.

• KSS Owls win Okanagan senior AAA boys basketball title.

• Westside Warriors’ captain Max French commits to Bentley University.

• Kelowna Fripp Warehousing Rockets win the Okanagan Mainline midget tier 1 title with win over Kamloops.

• Darren Semeniuk steps down as head coach of the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball team.

• Kelowna Special Olympics athletes win 16 medals at Special Olympic Canada Winter Games in St. Albert.

• The Immaculata Mustangs win the gold medal at the B.C. Grade 9 girls basketball championship in Kelowna.

• Telemark athletes win eight medals at the B.C. cross country skiing championships at the Telemark Ski Club.

• The Kelowna Christian Knights win the B.C. A boys basketball title for the fourth time in five years.

• Forward Brett Bulmer is named the Kelowna Rockets MVP for the 2011-12 Western Hockey League season.

• KSS Owls, ranked No. 1 for much of the season, place seventh at the B.C. AAA senior boys basketball championship in Vancouver.

• Kelowna’s Eric Neilson wins the Canadian men’s skeleton championship at Olympic Park in Calgary.

• Julia Ransom wins two gold medals at the Canadian Biathlon Championships in Quebec.

• Lake Country’s Tyson Oland wins a gold medal at the junior national freestyle skiing championships in Quebec.

• UBCO golfer Cody Bell and soccer player Hayley Carlson are named CCAA academic all-Canadians.

• The Kelowna Chiefs win bronze in the open division at the Western Canadian Ringette Championships in Kelowna.

• Kelowna’s Ian Deans wins NorAm ski cross overall title for 2011-12 season, qualifies for World Cup circuit.

• West Kelowna’s Jeff Kerkovius wins silver at the Canadian Cross Country Skiing Championships in Quebec.

• The Kelowna Rockets are eliminated from the WHL playoffs in four games by the Portland Winterhawks.

• Kelowna’s Cam McQueen wins monster truck’s Monster Jam title at worlds in Las Vegas.


• In just their second season, the Kelowna Chiefs reach the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League final where they are defeated in four games by Beaver Valley.

• Shane Sommerfeld is named the new head coach of the Kelowna Owls football team.

• Kelowna Skating Club’s Gabrielle Balcaen wins gold at the B.C. Super Series Star Skate.

• Nate Speijer and Kenrda Wayling are named UBC Okanagan’s student-athletes of the year.

• Swimmer Kierra Smith narrowly misses Olympic berth in breast stroke at the Canadian team trials in Montreal.

• Rockets defenceman Damon Severson helps Canada to a bronze medal at the World U18 hockey championship in the Czech Republic.

• Kelowna’s Steve Papp is named BCHL’s top referee of the year.

• Kelowna’s Carmelle Guidi-Swan sets new national masters swimming record in the butterfly at the B.C.championships.

• Kelowna Rockets captain Colton Sissons is ranked 14th among North American by Central Scouting in advance of 2012 NHL entry draft.

• Penticton’s Bike Barn wins the 2012 Ski2Sea Race from Big White to City Park.

• The Okanagan Sun hire Gavin Lake as the 14th head coach in BCFC team’s history.

• UBC Okanagan Heat hires Pete Guarasci as the new head coach of the men’s basketball team.

• Peachland’s Evan Guthrie finishes fifth at the Pan American Mountain Bike Championships in Mexico.

• Former Kelowna resident Rory MacDonald wins his third straight UFC bout defeating Che Mills.

• Kelsey Serwa, Keefer Joyce, Justine Drosdovech, Mitchell Goodwin, Tony Sodaro and the KSS Owls girls volleyball squad are winners at the Kelowna Civic Awards ceremony.

• Winnipeg’s Sarah Wazney joins Kelowna’s Kelly Scott as the new lead.

• Kelowna decathlete James Turner is named to Canada’s team for the world junior track and field championships in Spain.

• Rutland Minor Baseball Association celebrates its 50th anniversary with weekend celebration at Edith Gay Park.

• KSS Owls’ post Braxston Bunce is named the outstanding player in B.C. high school boys basketball.


• A labour dispute between teachers and the B.C. government forces the cancellation of the 2012 B.C. High School golf championships, leaving the Immaculata Mustangs without a chance to defend its 2011 single-A provincial title.

• Okanagan Sun players Steven Doege, Matt Walker, Sam Looysen, Bobby Davis, Steven Shott , Danny Turek, Brennan Van Nistelrooy and Jesse Warawa attend a B.C. Lions free agent tryout camp.

• The Rockets make a significant trade, sending Shane McColgan and Jessey Astles to Saskatoon, in return for forward Ryan Olsen and a pair of WHL draft picks.

• Kelowna’s only competitive female Mixed Martial Artist Sarah Moras improves to 5-0 beating a previously undefeated fighter in a bout in Spokane.

• Former West Kelowna Warriors captain Alex Grieve is named to Inside College  Hockey’s Freshman All-America second team.

• Several West Kelowna and Kelowna minor hockey products are taken in the WHL bantam draft, including top pick Brad Morrison of West Kelowna, taken seventh overall by the Everett Silvertips.

• Sun defensive lineman Steve Doege gets an invite to the B.C. Lions rookie camp.

• UBC Okanagan names former standout international player Pete Guarasci as its new head coach of the UBCO men’s basketball team.

• UBCO female volleyball player Katy Klomps is invited to Team Canada’s senior women’s volleyball tryout camp.

• The Kelowna Rowing Club adds Thomas Cameron as a club coach.

• Female hockey player Jesse Keca and Samantha Fieseler are two of six players from B.C. to take part in a Hockey Canada conditioning camp.

• Mike Darnbrough is named the new golf coach for the UBCO golf team.

• Kelowna’s Jerod Zaleski signs a two year contract with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.

• Seventy-one year- old John Haftner wins the Knox Mountain Hill Climb for the 10th time.

• Kelowna’s Rachel Penner signs a scholarship deal with Oklahoma City University, taking her softball skills to one of the top programs in the US.

• Hundreds of masters swimmers converge on the H2O Centre as Kelowna plays host to the Canadian Masters Swim Championships.

• Thirteen-year-old Jake Lutz dominates his division at the B.C. Provincial Trapshooting Championship.

• Local gymnasts Adele Lefevre and Jill Bobyn claim national trampoline titles.


• Okanagan Sun founder and sports community builder Dr. Barry Urness passes away at age 69.

• Top KSS basketball player Mitchell Goodwin decides to stay home to start a collegiate career, signing with the UBCO Heat.

• OKM finishes fifth at the rugby provincials, the best ever finish by an Okanagan school.

• Mount Boucherie, OKM and Immaculata earn medals at the B.C. School Sports provincial soccer championships.

• Kelowna track star Elisa Joyce wins two gold medals and KSS placed fourth overall at the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships.

• OKM rugby standout Sam Overton is the first ever recipient of the Courtney Walls Bursary, named for Walls, the late OKM graduate who passed away in 1997.

• Kelowna fastball players gather at King Stadium to play in the first ever Andre Blanleil Sr. Memorial Tournament.

• Kelowna resident and Rockets assistant coach Kim Dillabaugh wins the Stanley Cup as a member of the LA Kings coaching staff.

• Kelowna’s Sam Davies earns a football scholarship with the McGill University Redmen in Montreal.

• KSS graduate Braxston Bunce is named to Team Canada’s senior men’s basketball team for the FIBA America’s Championship in Brazil.

• Kelowna man Bob Purdy continues to paddle his stand up paddle board every day to raise awareness about global conditions. Paddlers around the world join him in the first ever Paddle For The Planet day.

• Former Rockets defenceman Shea Weber is a runner up for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top blueliner.

• Three Kelowna Rockets are drafted by NHL teams as Colton Sissons (Nashville) and Damon Severson (New Jersey) are both taken in the NHL Entry Draft while newly acquired Ryan Olson (Winnipeg) is taken in the sixth round.


• West Kelowna product Justin Schultz signs a two-year entry level contract with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.

• The Seattle Studs win the Kelowna Jays Canada Day Blast baseball tournament.

• The Kelowna United U15 girls win the gold medal at the Provincial B Soccer Cup in Kelowna. The United U13 girls took the silver.

• Kelowna’s Kyla Inaba wins the B.C. Mid-Amateur Women’s golf title, while Kelowna’s Megan Osland takes third in the B.C. Amateur.

• Several former members of the Toronto Blue Jays, including Roberto Alomar and Paul Spoljaric, stop in Kelowna for the Blue Jays Honda Super Camp at Elks Stadium.

• The Kelowna United U18 boys and U18 girls each win the bronze medal at their respective B.C. B Cup soccer finals.

• American Nikita Kryvonos wins the first ITP Kelowna Futures Tennis Tournament, featuring professionals from eight countries around the world.

• Peachland’s Evan Guthrie wins the 2012 edition of the RBC Kelowna GranFondo bike race.

• David Dimitrov wins the Across the Lake Swim for the third straight year, while Jeanne Carlsen was the first woman for the second time in a row.

• Kelowna’s Madison Kapchinsky finishes third at the B.C. junior girls golf championship.

• Kelowna’s Keith Martin wins the Ogopogo Invitational at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club.

• Eight members of the Kelowna Falcons are named to the West Coast League all-star game.

• The Kelowna Heat U14 girls win gold at the B.C. peewee B girls fastball championship in Maple Ridge.

• The Kelowna Cubs win the peewee AA division at the Valley of Champions baseball tournament in Kelowna.

• Kelowna’s Keely Watts-Watling and Aaron Stroda win gold medals at the B.C. track and field championships.

• Kelowna’s John Machuga wins Midsummer 8 km Classic road race in Kelowna.

• NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers sign former Kelowna Rockets defenceman Shea Weber to a $100-million offer sheet.

• The Kelowna Raiders win the Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League title for the sixth time in seven years.

• The Kelowna Jays settle for second place at the B.C. junior baseball championship played at Elks Stadium in Kelowna.

• The Okanagan Sun hires former CFL player Jamie Boreham as their special teams coach

• Okanagan A’s players Dawson Yates and Morgan Loftstrom are named to B.C.’s U17 baseball team for the Canada Cup in London, Ont.

• The Kelowna Centennials win the B.C. masters mens’ 50+ fastball championship in Kelowna.

• The Kelowna Cubs win the bronze medal at the B.C. midget AA baseball championship in Prince George.


• The Okanagan Athletics win their first B.C. Premier Baseball League title, defeating the North Shore Twins 9-7.

• Kelowna’s James Turner wins his second consecutive gold medal in decathlon at the Canadian junior athletics championships in Winnipeg.

• The Kelowna Cubs win the B.C. peewee AA baseball championship in Chilliwack. Later in the month, the Cubs take silver at the Western Canadians in Manitoba.

• Kelowna Rockets defenceman Madison Bowey wins a gold medal with Canada’s national team at the U18 world championship in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

• The Kelowna Kodiaks win the silver medal at the B.C. bantam C lacrosse championship.

• Kelowna athletes win 11 medals at the International Children’s Games in South Korea.

• Kelowna’s Scott Frandsen and Victoria’s Dave Calder settle for sixth place in the men’s rowing pairs at the Olympic Games in London. Kelowna’s Will Dean helped the Canadian men’s fours team to a ninth-place showing.

• The Kelowna Heat girls finish fourth at the Western Canadian U16 fastball championship in Strathmore, Alta.

• Revelstoke’s Andrew Russell and Ellen Pennock of Calgary win the men’s and women’s titles, respectively, at the Apple Triathlon in Kelowna.

• Kelowna’s Tyler Pitt win the Kelowna Golf and Country Club men’s open.

• Kelowna’s Quinci Birker and Natalie Livingston win the B.C. U14 girls beach volleyball title. The local duo later teams up to win bronze at nationals in Vancouver.

• Kelowna’s Andre’s Athletics win gold at the B.C. senior men’s fastball championship in Sicamous.

• NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr meets with more than 30 player in Kelowna, including former Rockets Shea Weber and Josh Gorges, to discuss the association’s contract dispute with the NHL.

• Kelowna’s Haley Cameron wins the Kelowna Golf and Country Club’s Ladies Open title.

• Kelowna’s Keely Watts-Watling and Aaron Stroda win silver medals at the National Legion Track and Field Championships in PEI.

• Kelowna’s Lynda Palahniuk wins the Canadian super senior women’s golf title in PEI.

• Kelowna’s Chris Young wins the 18 to 24 age class at Ironman Canada in Penticton for the second straight year.


• Kelowna Falcons’ right-hander Cord Cockrell is named West Coast League pitcher of the year.

• Kelowna Rockets’ centre Spencer Main retires from Western Hockey League due too recurring concussion symptoms

• Kelowna Rockets defence man Damon Severson signs an entry-level contract with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

• The Kelowna Rockets acquire 17-year-old goaltender and West Kelowna product Jackson Whistle from the Vancouver Giants.

• Kelowna’s Trevor Haaheim win the Peak to Beak Run for the fifth time in one four five minutes 49 seconds.

• The B.C. Lions add Okanagan Sun receiver Bobby Davis to the CFL team’s practice roster.


• It’s announced that for the first time Prospera Place in Kelowna will host a major curling event with the $100,000 Grand Slam of Curling event to take place at Prospera Place later in the year.

• A Prince George lawyer runs his 100th marathon in Kelowna as thousands arrive in the Okanagan for the 18th Annual BMO Okanagan Marathon.

• Two Rivers golf pro Dean Claggett wins the PGA of BC Club Professional Championship with a two stroke win over Rob Anderson of the Kelowna Golf and Country Club.

• Rockets first round bantam draft pick Rourke Chartier scores his first two WHL goals as the Rockets begin the WHL season with plenty of solid play on the road.

• UBC Okanagan’s women’s golf team claims its fourth straight provincial championship with Jen Woods finishing second and Alana Kent third in PACWEST competition. The team goes on to win the national title as well.

• Kelowna Minor Hockey product Brett McKinnon of the Warriors commits to play NCAA hockey at Holy Cross.

• The Kelowna Rockets move defenceman Myles Bell to forward and he soon becomes the team’s leading scorer.

• The KSS Owls senior girls volleyball team capture their own Best of the West tournament for the fifth straight year.

• Legendary boxer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini appears in Kelowna to promote a new film about his life and legacy.

• The Okanagan Sun dismiss head coach Gavin Lake following a 3-7 regular season. The season comes to an end with a playoff loss to the Vancouver Island Raiders, kicking off a search for a new head coach for the 2013 season.

• The UBC Okanagan Heat volleyball teams begin their second season of CIS play.

• West Kelowna’s Justin Schultz is named the AHL player of the week, signifying the arrival of the highly-touted Schultz on the professional hockey scene.

• Rockets goalie Jordon Cooke is named the CHL goalie of the week.

• Special Olympian Kyle Grummett  of Kelowna wins a gold medal in the top division of the Special Olympics National Golf championship.


• The KSS Owls win their 11th straight Okanagan Valley high school girls field hockey title.

• The Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame enshrines five new inductees: The 1988 Okanagan Sun, rugby player Glenn Ennis, volunteer athletic therapist Alex Recsky, volleyball player Erminia Russo and the late Dr. Barry Urness.

• West Kelowna Warriors forward Seb Lloyd is named to Team West for the World Junior A Challenge in Nova Scotia.

• Kelowna native and UBC Thunderbirds players Natalie Sourisseau is named a CIS all-Canadian in women’s field hockey. Sourisseau and fellow Kelowna product Abi Raye later help the Thunderbirds to their second straight national championship.

• Kelowna’s Jon Zaleski and Carson Benedict win medals at the European Tae Kwon Do Open Championships in Poland.

• Kelowna Fripp Warehousing Rockets win the Kelowna Midget Tier 1 Fall Classic tournament with a 7-0 win over Hollyburn in the final.

• Okanagan Sun receiver Ben White wins the CJFL’s Past Commissioner’s Award for community service.

• Mt. Boucherie Bears senior Joe Court is named the Okanagan AAA high school football MVP.

• The OKM Huskies win the Okanagan Valley AA boys soccer title, then gold at the B.C. championship in Vancouver.

• Rockets captain Colton Sissons is selected to Team WHL for the Subway Super Series vs Russia.

• The KSS Owls win the Okanagan Valley AAA boys high school soccer championship.

• The KSS Owls boys and girls win their respective Okanagan Valley volleyball titles, OKM wins the boys AA title, while Kelowna Christian captures both the boys and girls A valleys.

• The Mt. Boucherie Bears post a 6-0 record to finish first in the Okanagan AAA high school football conference, then lose 42-17 in the B.C. quarterfinals to Vancouver College.

• The Kelowna Lions win the B.C. atom 9-man football championship with a win over Vanderhoof.

• The UBC Okanagan women’s cross country team finishes fourth overall at CCAA national championships in Quebec.

• The Kelowna Owls finish fifth at the B.C. girls field hockey championship in Coquitlam.

• Kelowna Rockets Madison Bowey, Mitchell Wheaton and Jackson Whistle are all listed by Central Scouting among North American players eligible for the NHL Entry Draft.

• The West Kelowna Sun Devils defeat the Kelowna Lions to win the Southern Interior Football Conference junior bantam title. In the peewee final, the Kelowna Lions defeat Vernon.

• The Kelowna Fripp Rockets win the Prince George midget tier 1 hockey tournament.

• The Kelowna Crows win the B.C. Rugby U19 provincial championship with a win over Coquitlam United.

• Aaron Stroda and Rostam Turner are named co-winners of the B.C. Athletics Youth Athlete of the Year Award.


• The Kelowna Christian Knights win the boys and girls provincial A volleyball titles.

• Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins gold at a World Cup ski cross race in Italy, 11 months after suffering a serious knee injury during a crash in France.

• Kelowna’s Eric Neilson places fifth at World Cup skeleton race in Whistler.

• The Kelowna midget A Rockets girls team wins Kamloops Ice tournament.

• The KSS Owls win silver at the B.C. high school boys AAA volleyball championship in Kelowna, losing to Oak Bay in the final. The defending champion Owls girls are fifth at the AAAA provincials at Riverside.

• An injury forces Kelowna Rockets captain Colton Sissons to miss Canada’s junior selection camp in Calgary.

• The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s team is ranked ninth in CIS women’s volleyball.

• Mt. Boucherie’s Joe Court and Curtis Urlacher and Eli Haynes of KSS are named to B.C. high school football’s AAA all-star team.

• Glenn Howard defeats Brad Jacobs 3-1 in the final of the Canadian Open, the first Grand Slam curling event ever held inside Kelowna’s Prospera Place.

• Kelowna’s Geoff White is named the new head coach of the West Coast League’s Kelowna Falcons.

• The Okanagan Sun hire Shane Beatty, a former Sun player, as the BCFC team’s new head coach.

• Kelowna Owls senior boys basketball team places third at Telus Classic in Vancouver.

• Rory MacDonald beats up on B.J. Penn in UFC bout in Seattle to push his professional record to 14-1.

• Kelowna Skating Club’s Julianne Delaurier wins gold in the novice women’s event at the Skate Canada Challenge in Regina, while teammate Dana Bobyn takes bronze.

• Kelowna Curling Club manager Jock Tyre subs in for Peter de Cruz team at Canadian Open in Kelowna when lead for Swiss team falls ill.

• UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball team signs two-time provincial high school tournament MVP Lars Bornemann from Oak Bay.

• AquaJets swimmer Josh Zakala wins six medals at Ice Classic swim meet in Kamloops.

• Eight members of the Okanagan Rockets are named to the BCMML all-star game.




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