Bumped and Bruised - But Not Beaten

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - By: Jensa NG, Mack ‘23; Photo by GM Bud Patel

“Everyone gets knocked down, but champions get back up and try again” observed Dylan Cady. And try again we did.

After a convincing 3-2 win last Thursday, at home, against AAAA Cowichan High the Brentwood Bale made their way to SMUS to face some of their fiercest competition yet. After multiple early-season, almost career-ending, nearly fatal blisters, the roster was cut short. But, in the beaming Victoria sun, we caught a ray of Grit, a ray of Joy nearly too large to fit into Athletic Therapist Kwyn’s tape bag. So large, so bright, it blinded us for the first half of our game against GNS, when we found ourselves down 2-0. After wise words and tactical advice from Mr Barrett, the squad went on to score our first goal of ISAs, but sadly fell short with a final score of 3-1.

Then, it began to rain. Shirts, sweatshirts, hands, and faces covered in salty drippings. Salty? My apologies, it was not raining. Those were tears. Aggressive waterfalling tears bled from our eyes as we marched back to the bus. But once those big yellow doors opened, and we spotted RayRay (Raymond Connolly; Brentwood’s finest employee/bus driver), smiles began to break through our bummed grimaces. Hyperbole? Maybe the first part…definitely the first part (thankfully no tears were shed), but the second part, about Ray being our ray, that’s straight facts. His encouraging words, fantastic parking, and speedy (not to be confused with speeding) driving had us prepared mentally, spiritually, and physically for each and every game.

As Saturday morning slowly turned into Saturday afternoon, the team discovered the Cheetos, Cheezits, and heavenly carrots buried in our treasure chest called the snack box, provided by the lovely Food Services Team. We sat, anticipating our games to come. Then, suddenly, out of the blue (sky) arose our one and only, Mr Patel. A “fearless rugby player” (Mrs Patel) back in his day, Mr Patel has a compulsion for spectating. However, some may wonder why he chooses to hire and pay coaches when he could just do the job himself. Tactical advice like  “GO AMBER! KICK IT” or even more strategic gems like “COM’ON ELLA RUN FASTER” may not rival the coaching advice from gaffers like Jergen Klopp, but our Headmaster’s status as a supporter outshines even the most ardent Liverpuddlian loyalist. But even better than his coaching skills are his photography skills as exhibited above. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Barrett added that “It was great to see all the independent schools back on the field playing games again.” For the first time in 2 years “We played 4 games over 2 days and everyone had an opportunity to get touches and progress and understand our references and playing style. This was great progress for us to prepare for the North Islands in two weeks.”

While York House yerked us, and Collingwood rained on our parade (12 times) all hope is not lost. In fact, no hope is lost because we can literally only go up from here, as we head up Island to Nanaimo for North Islands May 9th and 10th.

Jensa NG, Mack ‘23

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