Another basketball season has come and gone for the SAMS Boys team. What a season it was! SAMS took on a new challenge and started a Jr. Boys team, which is grades 9-10 but we included grade eight.
We had grade seven students come out to practice with us, improving their skills for next year when they are eligible to travel with the team. All boys worked tirelessly to always give their 100 percent in every drill. Practices aren’t easy, they are expected to run hard and build endurance. Expectations are set high and they always rise to the challenge. Leaps and bounds were made individually as well as a team.
Bella Coola has many unique challenges to over come in order to travel out and compete. Our schools must comply with BC School Sport rules (there are many of them and don’t always fit our small town) and this includes registering every athlete and their grade level as they only have five years eligibility in their school careers.
We are a single A division. To give an idea of where we sit, here is how divisions are made. Presently, schools of 600 enrolment or less participate in the A school classification, schools of 601 to 949 participate at the AA level and schools 950 and up go AAA.
Even though we have small number enrollment, we bring quality athletes. We may not have the numbers to bring “try outs” and “best of the best” but we take what we have, improve on it and bring a high quality team to compete.
SAMS CUBS hit the road in December, final destination being Valemount, B.C. We were under the impression that we were able to bring our grade seven players and this was not the case. We ended up traveling out with only seven players on our team. The young men held their heads high and went into the tournament ready to battle. They played three games in total and placed second.
In January, the CUBS traveled to Quesnel to compete in an eight team invitational tournament. Due to various reasons, not all players were able to go on the trip. The Cubs traveled out with six players. They played in a tournament where other teams towered over them in size and in numbers. They didn’t back down, they gave the other teams something to think about.
The first game was against the Prince George Cedars Christian school. First quarter was neck in neck. I am sure that they took one look at us and decided we would be easy to defeat. Second quarter, the other team had to rethink their defense to start to advance and create a gap in the score. We ended up losing that game, but it was a good fight. Other teams and coaches started to watch us.
The second game, we met the host team Correleiu. They also had a short bench and were a little more evenly matched in size.
Our third and final game, we met up with Fort Saint James. They are also a single A team and were the only other team that had to drive significant distance to compete. In the first quarter, one of our starters and more experienced players suffered an ankle injury. This left us with five players, no subs. It was a close game right to the end. Our Cubs gave it all they had. Tired and sore bodies, mentally drained, they dug deep and left it all on the court. We lost by three points.
I can’t help but to feel overwhelmed with pride, this is an amazing group of young men, and many compliments were paid by other coaches and refs. Their playing style stood out from the other teams. Their passion and love of the game shines through their smiles on the court. One ref commented that they are the most sportsmen like team he has seen in the boys division.
From fundraising money to spending countless hours training; making sure their grades are meeting requirements and their effort and attitude is in good standing; these young men work hard and earn the privilege to represent their school and community.
Coach Parr and I would like to thank all those in the community who supported the SAMS Cubs.