It’s two years into Alex Wright’s tenure in charge of the EMCS Wolverines and the work to rebuild the team is unfinished.
The Wolverines are coming off an underachieving senior boys basketball season – eliminated last year from the playoffs by Glenlyon Norfolk School in a challenge game to see who would advance to the Island finals.
Further, the Edward Milne Community School team will also play without the services of stars Alec McKenzie and Nacho Antonutti, who graduated in June.
But for Wright, while the future might not be right here right now, this season is yet another building block toward the goal of a provincial championship.
“I wouldn’t say we’re going to come out and say we’ll be the best team in the province, but I want to make it to the Island finals,” Wright, the team’s coach, said in a recent interview.
This year’s edition of the Wolverines has 10 returning players and three rookies, but is undersized compared to last year’s team which had three players over 6-foot-4.
The size of this year team goes from a “healthy” 6-foot-4 Jackson Smith to the diminutive Tyson Purnell at 5-foot-7.
But what the Wolverines lack in size this season, they gain in speed. The team won’t be slow and plodding, but quick with good passers and shooters.
“We’ll play more of a team game,” Wright said. “We’ll need a different contributor every single night.”
And while size matters – and EMCS will be one of the smallest teams in the league – only a few other squads will have a significant size advantage, which means the Wolverines will need to use their skillset to their advantage.
They’ll get plenty of opportunity to that as the team will participate in seven tournaments this season, along with their regular 18-game regular season schedule.
“As long as we get stronger towards the end of the year, that’s the whole point,” Wright said. “It’s a different team every year, and you take what you can get.”