JOCK TALK: Pre-holiday sports menu up for grabs

Colin Gall takes readers around the West Shore sports scene

While the Christmas lights are twinkling throughout the West Shore, there’s still plenty of sports action around the region.

In B.C. Hockey League action, the Junior A Victoria Grizzlies play their final game before the winter break Saturday (Dec. 19) when they host Nanaimo at The Q Centre in Colwood. Come cheer on your hometown boys when the puck drops at 7 p.m.

Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League play finishes pre-Christmas play this week, when the Junior B Westshore Wolves face cross-town rivals the Saanich Braves on Saturday with a 6:30 p.m. start at Pearkes Recreation Centre. After a few days’ break, the Wolves host the Kerry Park Islanders at The Q Centre on Wednesday, Dec. 23. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

In West Shore midget hockey, the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies Tier 1 team has a two-game weekend, hosting the Saanich Braves on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at The Q Centre. On Sunday the Grizzlies are back home in Colwood, hosting Campbell River at 2:30 p.m.

The Midget Tier 2 Grizzlies also play two this weekend, first travelling to play in Sooke at 4 p.m. Saturday. They return home Sunday to play Oceanside at 4:30 p.m. at The Q Centre.

Finally, in Tier 3 play, the Grizzlies head across town on Sunday to play the Saanich Braves at Pearkes starting at 12:30 p.m.

In high school basketball, two West Shore teams join the action at Oak Bay High’s annual Gary Taylor Classic, which opens today (Thursday, Dec. 17). Belmont takes on hosts Oak Bay in preliminary round play on the senior side, while in the junior division, Belmont faces Yale.

The playoff round begins Friday with the junior finals Saturday at 4:15 p.m. and the senior finals following at 6 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Friday, Dec. 18), the Greater Victoria community is invited to the tournament’s “feature game” and dedication of the new school gym in honour of the tournament’s namesake, longtime local coach and school principal, Gary Taylor. The game begins at 7:30 p.m., with the dedication preceding the tip-off.

For soccer fans wanting to don the stripes in the new year, Gorge Soccer Association is hosting an entry-level referee clinic from Jan. 8 to 10 for anyone over 14 years old. For more information and to register, visit bcsoccer.net.

The Vancouver Island Premier League Juan de Fuca U18 girls’ soccer team is on the road this weekend, facing Bays/PFC on Sunday. Kickoff is at 10 a.m. at the Peninsula’s Blue Heron Field 1 in Sidney for fans wanting to cheer on the team.

Looking forward to next year, registration is open for the fifth annual Victoria Goddess Run, set for June 5, 2016. Early bird registration is available through April 15 in 5K, 10K and 15K distances.

This run/walk event and local fundraiser brings together thousands of women each year for the races as well as a full weekend of activities, based at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort and Spa, as well as Westhills Stadium in Langford.

Colin Gall is an athlete, an avid sports fan and a Grade 11 student at Mount Douglas secondary. You can connect with him with your coming sports events at jocktalk@telus.net.

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