Take the Stairs

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:37 AM ET

Brienne and Tegan Stairs have carved a name for themselves as two of the province's elite field hockey players.

By late afternoon today, their names can be forever etched in the annals of high school sports.

Regardless of what unfolds on championship today at the OFSAA girls field hockey event, the Stairs' name won't soon be forgotten at Forest Heights Collegiate.

With the siblings leading the way, the Kitchener-based program has raised the sport's profile and expectations.

Brienne Stairs, 16, is two years older than Tegan and will play her final game in a Forest Heights sweater today.

"It's going to be sad because this will be the end," Brienne said after her two-goal game helped Forest Heights to a 3-0 quarter-final win over Michael Power/St. Joe's. "There's added motivation because I want to finish on a positive note. I want to win."

Two very acclaimed players who have plied their skills on the provincial team, the Stairs are the face of girls field hockey at Forest Heights.

"She's my role model," Tegan, who scored once over MP/St. Joe's, said. "We've been playing together for two years and I'm going to miss her next year."

UNBEATEN

The Trojans are unbeaten this year and have outscored their OFSAA opposition 18-3 going into today's action at L'Amoreaux Park.

Kids such as Brienne, Sarah Rooney, Colleen Watt, Kaitlin Witt and Brittany O'Halloran graduate this spring.

"We picked up our game (against MP/St. Joe's), but we know we have to play better (today)," Rooney said. "Everyone wants to beat us."

The tourney's No. 1 seed, St. John's-Kilmarnock, eked out a 1-0 win over North Toronto.

For the Norsewomen, making it this far should serve as a catalyst for a program that continues to grow.

"It's very pleasing," N.T. coach Brian (Butts) Johnston said. "To think there are some 250 schools across the province and for us to finish among the top eight is sweet.

"It raises expectations for the girls, for the program and for me. We have a number of Grade 10 and 11 players who will be back. What it shows is that they are capable of playing against the very best in the province."

Earlier, Johnston was honoured with OFSAA's Leadership in School Sport Award. Under Johnston's watch.

Kristine Azis, Alice Ding, Laura Garner, Lauren Harney, Rachel Kuper, Maddy MacNab, Sky McEwen, Charlotte Miglin and Rosie Shipton each played their final game yesterday as N.T. made a courageous late-game push.


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