Bowd return lifts Titans to semis
When Grady Bowd decided to return to Alberta from B.C. and attend the University of Calgary it worked out perfectly for the Red Deer Titans Rugby Club.
Bowd, who played on the Canadian National U20 team during the summer, is now available for the Southern Alberta Division II Rugby League playoffs and played a major role in the Titans 44-27 victory over the Calgary Irish in quarter-final action at Titans Park Saturday.
Bowd spent the last two years in Vancouver and Victoria, as well as 10 months in Australia.
“I was with the Vancouver Rowers for most of the two years before moving to Victoria in March to train with the Canadian U20 team,” he explained. “There were 25 guys and we trained six weeks before playing in the World Junior Trophy Championship in Salt Lake City. We finished sixth, which was a little disappointing, but it was a great experience.”
Bowd, who just turned 20, played in two games in the championship against Zimbabwe and Chile.
It was during his time with the Rowers that he travelled to Australia.
“The club sent me there to play with a sister club and I was there for 10 months playing U19,” he explained. “It was a tremendous atmosphere and I learned a lot. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
But after being out of school for two years the Lindsay Thurber grad decided it was time to get on with his life.
“I figured it was time to get back to school after two years of fun,” he said.
He doesn’t plan on playing with the U of Calgary rugby team, at least right away, but wants to remain on the radar for the national team.
“I’ll stay in Calgary for a couple of years and I might look at joining their team next spring, or next season, to train . . . we’ll see,” he said. “But right now my body needs a rest. But I do want to stay on the radar for the national program and so I may transfer back out to B.C. in a couple of years.”
Bowd, who returned home in the middle of July, is glad to get a chance to come back and play with the Titans.
“It’s nice to be back home and good to be back with my buddies,” said Bowd, who said LTCHS head coach Dean Plant and his father, Bill Bowd, were instrumental in his development.
“I learned everything from them and the club really supported me.”
Bowd, who has played provincially with the U16 and U18 teams, scored a pair of tries against the Irish, including one at the final whistle that put the lid on the victory.
“They were pushing us over the final 10 minutes and it was good to get a break and put it away,” he said.
Lonnie Amundson, Kyle Pickett, Andy Peters and Ryan Parrell added tries for the Titans while Brandon Gerhardt kicked four converts and two penalty kicks.
“That was a lot tougher than our regular season game against them,” said Titans head coach Andy Croft. “But then the playoffs always are. The league counts for nothing. You could finish on top and be out in one game.”
Croft was glad to see the Irish push them as they head into the semifinals Saturday.
“We face the second-place teams in the semifinals and it wouldn’t do us any good to have a blow-out . . . this was a good game to set up the next game.”
The Titans are playing some of their best rugby of the season when they need to. They tied the first-place Calgary Saracens 20-20 in their final league game.
“We lost to them the first time, so that a good result,” said Croft.
l Grady and Bill aren’t the only ones to play rugby in the Bowd family as sister Ally is with the provincial team and also playing in Australia.