If the season opening was any indication, the EMCS Jr. Boys Basketball team would not fare that well this year. They tied their first game, then lost three consecutive games.
But hard work, increased court time, and a few attitude shifts, and the boys succeeded in significantly turning things around.
Coach Angus McCowan spoke highly of the boys. “In the second half of the season they have done really, really well.” In the games that followed their abysmal start, they started to shine: of the following five, they won four games and lost only one.
With a school that has only one gym, gym time is limited according to McCowan. That challenge is added to the overlapping of some of the other school sports, which taps into both gym time and players. Getting up to speed is a struggle, says McCowan. “You see that in our opening stats,” he says, referencing their rocky start.
In the first four games, then, the EMCS Jr. Boys were still figuring out their individual strengths and contributions within a team that would eventually enable the team to function as a unified whole. As the season progressed, the EMCS Jr. Boys developed a stronger and more united offence.
And that is reflected in their turnaround says McCowan. “Once our offence got set, you could see the turnaround.”
McCowan, who like many other teachers, volunteers his time to coach the boys after school. But he is quick to recognize that he is only one part of a much bigger force: McCowan gives high kudos to the students’ parents.
“If they didn’t bring their kids to these games, and pick them up, I wouldn’t have anything to volunteer for. The parents have been tremendous in terms of getting their kids out to games, facilitating rides for students who can’t get there on their own. Especially at this school, where we are in the middle of nowhere, McCowan elaborates, “Home games are great. But when we have to get the whole team out to Oak Bay, we need to make sure that everyone gets a ride, gets picked up after the game at a certain time, that everyone has their uniform, it’s a lot of stuff.”
He also speaks highly of the team’s other coach, Alex Wright. According to McCowan, Alex is a well-rounded athlete who serves as an excellent role-model for the junior boys. As a senior student himself at EMCS, Wright represents what is achievable. That, and he yells at the boys, jokes McCowan.
Ultimately, recognition goes to the boys themselves, each who has travelled a path of his own. Currently, the team consists of boys from Grades nine and 10 in a pretty even split. “It’s been a really lovely group [of players],” McCowan sums up. “At the junior level, the boys join the team with the fundamental skills, already able to play as a team, to play as a unit.”
Their season ended on a low note, with a loss to Esquimalt on Feb. 26. “The junior boys went down tonight in a hard fought match against Esquimalt; final score was EMCS 35-41 Esquimalt. That loss eliminates the boys from the rest of the playoffs and officially ends our season,” reported McCowan.
The 2012/13 basketball season was a tough one on the boys: it was a hard-C instead of an easy-A.
A slow start was met with an incredible turnaround, only to end with a bitter loss.
Their final game was a close one, and the players have accomplished a wonderful turn-around throughout the season. All in all they have accomplished much, and they should hold their heads up high! The steep climb from the rocky start to a noble ranking of fifth out of 10 was tremendous. Well played.