John Judd, a lifetime honorary member of the Richmond Youth Soccer Association, will be leading Douglas College women's soccer team onto the pitch as the squad's new head coach.
"We're thrilled that someone of John's caliber is joining the college team," says Centre for Sport, Recreation and Wellness Director Lou Rene Legge.
With more than 20 years of experience, Judd has coached all levels of men's and women's soccer through provincial, national and international competitions.
As assistant coach for the SFU women's program, he saw his team become NAIA national champions in 1996 and runners-up in 1997 in addition to winning the PNWAC conference in 1995 and 1997.
As head coach, he led the UBC alumni senior women to the provincial championships in 1996 and 1997 and the nationals in 1996. He also took the B.C. under-17s to triumph at the Canadian Western Championships in 1996, and scored a gold medal with the Canada Games B.C. Team in 1997.
A BC Soccer Association staff instructor and director of the Coerver Coaching Soccer School, Judd has also conducted local and provincial clinics for junior and senior players as well as club coaches.
Since 1991, he has also worked with the National High Performance Centre's Western Region women's program. He was the training and development director for the Kerrisdale Soccer Club in 1996-97.
"We're looking forward to working with John on securing a place for women's soccer in our crown," says Legge, who's proud of the Royals second straight BCCAA aggregate varsity win as well as Douglas College's ongoing commitment to women in sport.
For more information on women's soccer or other activities, call the College's Centre for Sport, Recreation & Wellness at 527-5043.
When the dust settled, the West Richmond Whirlwinds blew away the competition in the two senior basketball divisions while the Steveston Sharks feasted on their opponents in the rookie and junior divisions.
The Richmond Youth Basketball League capped off another successful year with a tournament Saturday at Thompson community centre which drew out more than 270 athletes and 19 teams.
In rookie action, Eamon Lefebure led the Steveston Sharks A to a narrow 39-38 win over the South Arm Sonics in the finals. Lefebure scored 12 points in the game, which was nip-and-tuck all the way.
Steveston garnered its second title of the day when the B squad captured the junior crown with a 46-34 win over the Thompson Invaders. Steveston's Justin Parkes scored 26 points to lead his team.
In the senior girls title match, West Richmond Whirlwinds trounced Cambie 63-28. West Richmond's Chelsea McCooey led all scorers with 28 points.
West Richmond's Stewart Deyell scored 22 points to lead his Whirlwinds to a 76-65 win over Thompson Invaders in senior boys final.
"We try and make sure all kids get to play equally," said Berrie Brown, Richmond youth basketball commissioner.
Thompson Invader's Donnie Willis was named coach of the year of the junior squad. Willis has been involved in all aspects of the program and has been a great supporter of it, Brown said.
Brown was extremely happy with the work done by the volunteer scorekeepers at the tourney, many of which were students from Steveston secondary's Packers for Pride.
The league is looking for coaches, referees and scorekeepers for next season. Anyone interested is asked to call Berrie Brown at 277-6812. The league will be involved with the Junior Grizzlies program for the first time next year.
Richmond's under-17 boys gold soccer team advanced to the Coastal Cup championship game in Courtney early next month with a 3-0 victory over Lynn Valley on the weekend. The win also qualifies the local squad for provincial cup play in Richmond in July.
Richmond set the tempo of the game from the outset and played the majority of the game in Lynn Valley's half of the field.
Richmond went up 1-0 on a penalty shot taken by Trevor Rosencrantz after Stephen Chatzispiros was taken down from behind in the penalty box.
Richmond went up 2-0 in the second half when Howard Chan put a through ball into Lynn Valley's 18-yard box to Navi Nahal. He made a timed run to gather in the pass and put a hard rising shot on the short side that kissed off the goal post as it sailed into the back of the net.
Rosencrantz rounded out the scoring after a brilliant run down the left side, beating the right back and taking the ball into the 18-yard box and let loose a rocket to the short side which whistled past the goal tender's right ear.
Anthony Sterne registered the shutout in goal.
There were many spectacular efforts made on offence by Tarnjit Atwal, Chris Anderson, Brandon Waldman, Shawn Jagpal, Gerry Trepasso, Curtis Tornei, Graeme Pool. Standing out on defence were Ryan Elliot, Bradley Cocke, Philip Wong, Sheldon Ram and Trevor Price.
The Richmond Rugby Club captured the Fraser Valley second division rugby title Saturday in come-from-behind fashion, toppling Surrey 28-21 at Rotary Stadium in Abbotsford.
With the win, Richmond became the only team in the Fraser Valley to win a pair of championships this season. The squad also captured the junior championship title.
The win did not come easily as Richmond started off with an uncharacteristic shaky beginning.
Surrey opened the scoring four minutes into the contest with a try in the corner.
Richmond's Bradley Benjamin connected with a penalty goal for the local squad's only points in a disappointing first 30 minutes.
Surrey was thriving on Richmond's difficulties and scored first on a converted try. That, followed by two penalty goals, gave Surrey an 18-3 lead at the 30-minute mark.
Richmond's Benjamin was successful on another penalty kick attempt just before the end of the half to salvage something from a bleak first half.
Strong running Mile Racic set the tone for what proved to be a second-half resurgence, as he made a penetrating run seconds into the stanza sending a number of Surrey defenders reeling.
Mark Lavery made a beautiful run through the Surrey centres to touch down for Richmond's first try of the game and bring Richmond to within a converted try.
The two teams exchanged penalty goals before Racic powered his way over the Surrey goal line while carrying four defenders for a well-deserved try. Kevin Nielsen kicked the convert to tie the game with just 10 minutes left in the contest.
Richmond completed the comeback when it took the lead with three minutes remaining. Forwards Joe Dimayuga and Dave Wallace started a run down the short side of the field sending away winger Aaron Zader, who touched down under the posts. Nielsen added the convert.
Surrey, although seemingly in shock, still mounted a last-second attack with a two-man overlap only to have one of their players drop the ball.
The championship game was a tale of two halves, with Richmond showing great courage and determination to come back from a 15-point deficit.
Richmond goes to the B.C. semifinal minus three key players - Sam Sharenejad and Joel Nordman (injuries) and Dave Wallace (out of town).
Next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Richmond takes on the Vancouver Island champion in the B.C. semi-final at Burnaby Lake. The winner of that game goes to the B.C. final in Cowichan on May 2.
When Jay Janower walks on the dikes in Pitt Meadows he smiles.
He smiles because the tranquility of the natural environment soothes the tension that has built up in his long limbs from trying to meet deadlines for the BCTV News Hour.
He smiles because his favorite yellow Labrador is charging freely through the tall grass along the dike walkway or catching the attention of passers-by with his enthusiasm for fetching sticks in the Alouette River.
"What a beautiful dog they can be heard saying."
He smiles, because at only 30, he has achieved a dream many would kill for - working as a sports reporter for the most-watched newscast in Canada and one of the most watched in North America.
But most of all, the Maple Ridge resident says he smiles because he knows when he's smiling, his father is smiling too.
Janower was close to his dad Walter, the bond was thicker than the three-quarter pound Hulk burger they used to serve at the old P.J. Burger and Sons restaurants. Walter was not only Jay's mentor and best friend, but it is obvious his father was his hero.
Janower can never erase the memory of the day his father died from a massive heart attack five years ago. He rushed desperately into his parents' bedroom and tried to resuscitate him. He witnessed his father's last gasp of air and the paramedics' frantic attempts to jolt him back to an earthly existence.
"It was really hard for me to watch shows like after," Janower says while trying to maintain the upbeat personality most associate him with.
Walter's passion for sports rubbed off on Jay during his days as a youth growing up in Prince George. Walter had been an accomplished hockey player and was at one time property of the New York Rangers.
Jay grew up to play Junior A hockey with Prince George of the-then B.C. Junior Hockey League before being traded to the Abbotsford Falcons. He knew St. Louis Blues' tough-guy Tony Twist from Prince George and played with Washington Capitals' goaltender Olaf Kolzig in Abbotsford.
Janower says he was more known for his aggressive play than his offensive skills.
"I had eight goals, 10 or 12 assists and 170 penalty minutes in my final season."
When hockey ended, the love for sport his father had instilled in him never waned. He took some courses and worked at a sporting goods store in Langley before finally deciding to apply for the broadcast journalism program at BCIT.
During his first year of school he got some work with Abbotsford radio station CFVR 850 covering council meetings. Then during the second and final year of the program he got part-time work with BCTV answering phones and doing research.
After graduation, Janower stuck with BCTV and kept his fingers crossed that he would land work in the sports department. He worked on the open-line sports program 280-JOCK for a year or so before it went off the air.
Janower says sports reporter Barry Houlihan, a Maple Ridge resident, and producer Mike Hall, neither of whom work for BCTV anymore, knew his desire to get into sports and provided him with all the support and opportunities they could.
When 280-JOCK was canceled, Janower worked as an evening news reporter. But he kept pushing for a sports position. He eventually worked half of the time in news and the other half in sports.
His patience and persistence paid off, in June 1997 he was offered a full time sports position when most of the existing department was fired. Longtime staff John McKeachie, Bernie Pascall, Michael Kennedy and Barry Houlihan were let go.
Janower admits it was a bittersweet moment. "It was something you never like to see. I guess no time was the right time, but at the same time it was the right time for me."
He just wishes it was the right time for his father too. "My dad was one of my biggest supporters. The toughest thing is not being able to share it (success) with him.
"Not a day goes by when I don't think about him. When I was covering the Little League World Series I thought about him and cried. I played Little League."
He also cried at the press conference to announce the Vancouver Canucks' signing of Mark Messier and at the Super Bowl. "In those special moments, when I'm doing my job, I know my dad's inside of me."
Janower says he can't help but somehow feel he is on top of the world but at the same time on the bottom of it. Last year, he watched his grandmother die and now he is currently experiencing a divorce.
None of these moments are pleasurable to him but "I think at the same time it makes us better people. It makes me realize how fortunate I am," Janower says. "That's life. That's what maturing as a person is all about."
The divorce has led to a sale of his Maple Ridge home. Janower has to move out by the end of April and is unsure whether or not he will remain in the community.
But wherever he goes, he'll be able to continue flashing that trademark Janower smile. He knows his father will be there smiling too.
Few things get Dave Magri as revved up as motorcycles.
But while he's a self-confessed motorhead, he's every bit as much a mindful mechanic - constantly fine tuning his prize possessions: a modified Yamaha 50 and a Kawasaki KX-80 that he affectionately calls his "Ex-treme."
Motorcycles are a passion Magri has enjoyed since he was a youngster, although now that he's racing mini bikes he's not getting tickets anymore.
Magri began his racing career on the Pacific YSR Club circuit two years ago at the urging of his brother-in-law.
"We were sitting around the kitchen one winter and I said, `We've got to get a couple remotes,'" smiles Magri.
"One step better. Why not get into mini road racing?," replied his brother-in-law.
A few days later, Magri spotted a 50 mod in a parking lot near where he worked at the time and was soon off to the races.
Not long into his first season, he picked up another 50 that had seized and later inherited the 80 from a former racer.
"My thought was to put the engine into a YSR frame during the winter, but it was quite an expense."
That's when Burnaby Kawasaki stepped forward, offering to sponsor Magri, and he was back in business.
"I `grenaded' the motor in the first practice of the year. We tore it down and noted severe engine problems. I feared I wouldn't be able to race (this weekend)."
But Magri is confident he'll be back in the lineup when the YSR racing season resumes this Sunday morning at Lansdowne Park Shopping Centre. It'll be the second in a nine-race season that runs through Oct. 4, all at Lansdowne except for the three-day Can-Am classic at Wenatchee, Washington June 26 to 28.
A typical race day begins about 8:30 when the usually 10 or so bikers begin setting up. Practice starts around 10 and racing during the noon hour.
The YSR racing bikes are about half the scale of actual road racing bikes, but Magri says they're every bit as much fun. And it's safe.
"During my first year I was really green and didn't have the proper tires. Three of us were going into a corner and I got driven right over. I got up and continued to race and wasn't even hurt. We're well protected in our leathers (a suit that weighs about 10 kilograms)."
Magri's wife, Linda, is also comfortable with the many safety precautions and can hardly wait to get on a bike herself.
"You don't have to worry about safety measures."
The couple's 2 1/2-year-old is always asking about her dad's racing too, and Linda says the sport is probably safer than other popular pastimes like snowboarding and skiing.
"The guys are away from the traffic and I don't see it as being any more danger than mountain cross biking."
A big man at well over 200 pounds, in fact he may be the biggest racer in the club, Magri says his size is a challenge on the little modified bikes. But he's proving to any doubters that he's capable of competing with the best of them.
His top result to date was a fourth-place finish last season, but he's aggressively hunting for the number one spot.
"We're all competitive but really we're one big, happy family."
While it's a low-key environment, Magri says he hopes a few others catch the mini-bike racing bug too.
He has no doubts he could successfully race full-sized bikes. But he's happy doing just what's he doing - having a gas racing on the mini-bike circuit.
And why not?
Richmond's skateboarding community hasn't always drawn rave reviews.
They've been criticized for making too much noise and even their choice of fashion. And they've been kicked off more turf than likely the entire land mass of Richmond.
Just last Thursday, for instance, as the skaters gathered at Laing Park for a final meeting in preparation for this weekend's annual competition, The Review's photographer - setting up a few promo shots - was asked not to shoot the skaters performing any tricks because of the location.
It's one more example of how the skaters have struggled to find a place to call their own. Fortunately, their patience has finally been rewarded.
Through the undying efforts of the Richmond Skateboard Association (RSA), a group of young skaters, a youth worker and some parents, the skaters will be getting their own skateboard park. Council approved in January $200,000 for the construction of a 150 by 35 metre facility on River Road, near the city works yard.
But the $200,000 granted by the city isn't as much money as it might seem. And the skateboarders will still have to raise their own funds to include some of the proposed park features.
The skaters hoped to include an 18-metre long pipe as part of the initial phase of construction. But City Centre Community Association youth coordinator Liz Hardwick says the cost makes that unlikely at this time.
One of the skaters' biggest annual fundraisers is Spun Bearing, the third version of which is scheduled this Saturday at Minoru.
Expected to draw more than 200 skaters, Spun Bearing 3 will feature an indoor street course, a big air competition, a best trick competition and numerous local bands. The fun will be continuous from 10 a.m. through 10 p.m.
Since forming in 1996, the RSA has grown to 30 members. Many of the young people in the association have had their first experience working in the community by organizing the annual competitions.
"They have learned about putting on a major public event, building public support and pride of accomplishment," says Hardwick. "They have also put out a magazine, raised funds, participated in other community events and communicated to the city of Richmond their desire to have a skatepark."
The biggest challenge for the skateboards was garnering support for the project, says Hardwick. She says she was proud of their presentation to council, which was supported by adults and other community leaders.
"It was great to see their organization skills and their dedication to the project."
Clearly too, the skaters can hardly contain their enthusiasm.
"There aren't many areas for us to skate, maybe a small ledge here and there," says Jeff Winskell. "Ladner's probably the closest park and even that's a half hour bus ride."
But he says it's not like some other cultures where people pick fights. It's more of a brotherhood kind of thing, he insists.
Adds Cody McKinnon: "Right now we can just skate on the street. When I'm skating in some other spots the security guards often tell me to leave. I don't mind that, but sometimes they start talking tough and stuff."
He says he's looking forward to not having to dodge traffic and being able to skate whenever he's inspired: day or night.
Plans to build the park may be a reality now, but the skateboards know the work is far from complete. In fact, in many ways their efforts have only just begun.
Some may call it powder puff, but girls' football is anything but.
Aside from a shortened season and the absence of special teams' play such as kick-offs, punts and converts, these gridiron girls play the game exactly the same as the guys.
And with every bit as much vigor, says Palmer organizer Rob Brown.
The Griffins are fielding their second girls' football team in as many seasons this spring, and the likes of Serena Cabido, Jami Ingram, Erin Dyck and Andrea Tsougrianis are pumped about playing against rival high schools such as the Delta Pacers and Richmond Colts. Hugh Boyd Trojans and Steveston Packers have also fielded teams.
The Griffins, who are actually being "coached" by members of the senior boys' team led by Steve Hirose, Mike Sun, Nic Johanson, and Admin Prasad, have been hitting the turf at least twice a week during the past month to tune up for their two-game season.
"They're very enthusiastic," says Brown. "I'm always surprised how much they like the contact part of the game. Our mouth guards came late and they were quite mad, just itching to get in some contact."
Although girls' football has been offered in the past, there are signs that it may soon become a full-fledged sport. The only thing standing in the way is a lack of available coaches.
"We're running a lot of programs now including ultimate and track and field, but these girls wanted to play football," Brown explains. "We have about 25 girls on the team now, but when we offered it up we had 50 girls at our first meeting."
The senior boys' football team had only 30 players.
In addition to their obvious enthusiasm, the girls pick up the game quickly and their athleticism is noteworthy, Brown says.
"It's also a way for the girls to prove to the guys that they're tough and that they're just as capable of doing these type of things. And for a lot of them it's a chance to try something different."
For the first time in four seasons, Richmond will have a team in the Metro Soccer League's premier division when play resumes in the fall.
The Indo Canadians have reached the pinnacle of regional soccer following a pennant-winning 1997/98 campaign. In 18 matches the team lost just once and played to three ties to top the First Division.
But while being elevated to the premier division is a significant step in the team's evolution, it is not a surprise when you consider its makeup.
The majority of the current Indo Canadians have been playing together since the team was formed as a local youth side in the early 1980s, among them former 86er Gary Aujula.
"A lot of us are best friends still, and it's quite a privilege to be able to play with guys you basically call your brothers," says original team member Sandy Sumra.
In 1988, five of the players shared the joy of representing B.C. at the national championships in Ottawa, and in the agony of losing the title match in penalty kicks to Ontario. Through it all, they learned what it means to be a team.
"You can't take it for granted," Sumra says of the long, challenging climb to the top rung.
Advancing from the First Division has been one of the toughest things the team has ever endured. Losing one game can basically cost you a chance at moving up, he says.
"Everybody is competitive. We want to be the best we can. It's up to us to prove ourselves (now that we're there)."
After graduating from youth soccer, the Indo-Canadians represented Richmond for two seasons in the Pacific Coast under-21 league before debuting in the metro league's Third Division. They then spent two seasons in the Second Division before moving up to the First Division for four seasons, the last two of which they missed netting the pennant by just a single point.
Club Ireland was the last Richmond team to compete in the metro's premier division in 1992/93.
As the Indo Canadians prepare for their first premier season, they expect many of last year's key players to return - among them the colorful Ivor Evans, who has suited up for the past three seasons.
But the club is also keen to develop its young players and is encouraging anyone interested in trying out to contact manager Armar Grewal at 657-4041.