The EMCS Wolverines launch their high school basketball season on Dec. 4. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

The EMCS Wolverines launch their high school basketball season on Dec. 4. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

Wolverines eye big prize as basketball season nears

‘We know what we’re capable of doing this year’

When it comes to overall talent, there’s likely no squad as stacked as the EMCS Wolverines heading into the high school basketball season.

The Edward Milne Community School senior boys squad is full of gifted talent with the return of seven Grade 12 students. The rest of the roster is filled with skilled Grade 11 players, including four international students.

Leading up front is 6-foot-6 Wade Fitzner and six-foot-five Antonio Cepeda, while Storm Spackman and Ike Batten will lead in both the forward and guard positions.

“We know what we’re capable of doing this year,” head coach Trevor Bligh said of his 3A league team.

“This team is dedicated – it trains, players don’t miss a practice – and that’s what will separate us from everyone else.”

What takes this team to another level is the arrival of highly-touted Jack Price.

ALSO READ: Wolverines thriving on the court despite short bench

Price has next-level skills rarely seen in a Grade 11 student. His ball-handling skills are outstanding and he’s an exceptional shooter and scorer.

The Wolverines are the beneficiaries of a five-year program started by Bligh and assistant coach Alex Wright where they developed players from the Grade 8 level to play for the senior team.

Most players played on a spring league team and lost only one game to their Island rivals. It tells you how good these kids could be this season.

“We sacrificed the last couple of years to get to where we are today,” Bligh said. “We could have won more games last year, but it wouldn’t be as strong of a team this year.

“We can score. We can defend. We can run the ball.”

This year the Wolverines will play in a seven team division with St. Michael’s University moving up to 3A from 2A.

Four of the seven teams move on to the Island finals, and four Island teams have berths in the provincial championships in March.

Bligh boldly predicts the Wolverines qualify for the Island playdowns, and have a “very good chance” for a berth at the provincials.

“These kids are so special: they’re nice, they’re hardworking. It’s a once in a decade thing.”

The Wolverines tip off regular season play against Parkland secondary on Dec. 4.

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