Raiders, Bears go back-to-back

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The phrase ‘diamonds are formed under pressure’ goes not just for jewels but tug-of-war teams as well.

Going into this year’s Young Canada Day festivities, both defending champions from Valley Heights (boys) and Delhi (girls) had their eyes on the prize but also targets on their backs.

On the strength of impressive preliminary rounds, both squads retained their crowns by sweeping the best-of-three finals.

“There was a lot of pressure compared to last year because no one expected us to win but this year, everyone wanted us to win again,” said Valley’s Caleb Pype.

Led by Pype’s father Jason as head coach, the Bears looked to wear down their opponents by holding strong at the start of each pull and eventually moving backwards.

“We did the same thing we did last year,” said Pype. “We held them out until they were out of breath and then we just start stepping.”

After the round robin, Simcoe emerged as the best challenger to the Bears banner but the Sabres proved no match for VHSS in the final showdown.

“It’s the best feeling because we don’t really win much because we’re such a small school so it’s nice to finally be good,” Pype said.

On the girls side, it was another year, another title for the Raiders.

“It was a lot easier this year than last year,” said Delhi anchor Franki Heinrichs. “I don’t think we had a really long pull this year.”

Raiders coach Robin Sallewsky pointed out her roster was made up of mostly veterans – girls that know just how much both the tug-of-war title, and the overall points championship, means to DDSS. Ultimately, the tug-of-war and special effects banners went to Delhi, and so too did the grand championship crown for the ninth year in a row

To say the Raiders students and teachers were thrilled with the result would be an understatement.

“It’s awesome,” said Heinrichs. “It’s a really big adrenaline rush.”

Overall special effects results were as follows:
1. Delhi
2. Holy Trinity
3. Simcoe

Home craft
1. Valley Heights
2. Holy Trinity
3. Delhi