Despite end of season, Sea to Sky rugby players still winning 

Four Axemen help steer Vancouver to victory in tourney; Axemen also celebrate regular season awards

click to enlarge Left to right, Neil Irwin, Oli Watts, Blake Mahovic and Lewis Stockton. - PHOTO: BROCK TURNER
  • Photo: BROCK TURNER
  • Left to right, Neil Irwin, Oli Watts, Blake Mahovic and Lewis Stockton.

Even though the regular season is finished, Sea to Sky rugby players keep raking in the victories.

Four Squamish and Whistler rugby players are part of the team that recently took first at the McKechnie Cup, a regional tournament.

The competition pits athletes from Lower Mainland and Vancouver island against each other.

Players from the Sea to Sky's Axemen Rugby Club were brought on to play for the Vancouver Rugby Union.

The Axemen's head coach, Blake Mahovic, was named captain of the union's team. Other members of the team, Lewis Stockton, Neil Irwin and Oli Watts were also chosen to represent the union.

Over the last two weeks they beat the North Island 48-23 on the 18th of May, and then beat the South Island 46-18 on May 25 to claim the title.

"The whole club was hugely proud of the lads and it was great to see players from a newer, smaller club earning recognition and their spot in the squad — a great achievement for all four players, and especially Blake for being selected as captain in the team," wrote general Cian Starogardzki, player and manager, in an email to The Chief.

In the meantime, the Axemen were also celebrating their regular season victories.

They recently held their end-of-season President's Dinner and Player Awards on May 25 at the Fitzsimmons Pub in Whistler.

click to enlarge From left to right, back row Will Bokan, Al Mac, Jackson McEvoy, Derek McBean, Stuart Jones, front row Oli Watts, Cian Starogardzki - Peter Lalor
  • From left to right, back row Will Bokan, Al Mac, Jackson McEvoy, Derek McBean, Stuart Jones, front row Oli Watts, Cian Starogardzki - Peter Lalor

Awards were handed out for Rookie of the Year (Derek McBean), Clubman of the Year (Cian Starogardzki), Forwards of the Year (jointly awarded to Al Mac and Will Bokan), Back of the Year (Jackson McEvoy), Coach's Pick (Oli Watts) and, the top award, Player's Player of the Year was overwhelming voted by his peers to be Stuart Jones after an incredible season.

The Player's Player award is named after Jesse Murton, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 27. He was a founding member of the club back in 2014 and close friend of many of the players, Starogardzki said.

Each award recipient receives a trophy to keep for the year, as well as a commemorative axe to keep with their name, award and year engraved in the handle and the Axemen logo etched onto the axe head.

Individual medals were also awarded to every player to mark the 3rd Division Championship win.

"This was the 4th annual player awards and it's become a tradition for the club and a big event on our calendar for the players, coaches and support staff - where everyone gets together to celebrate," Starogardzki said.

This article originally appeared here.

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