The only direction was up for this year’s EDSS senior boys’ basketball team.
After losing every game last season, the team improved on their record, with one regular season win this year, and four tournament wins, a record coach Adam Taylor says the team should be proud of.
“We count it as five wins,” he said with a laugh. “They played hard. They were a good group of kids. They played defense really well. We would have a lot of coaches that would say, ‘we know you guys aren’t basketball players, but you played really good defense.’ That is all you want as a coach, so we were really happy.”
He says the team knows that they aren’t the best team in the league, but they are happy to be out on the court giving it their all, and making the other team fight harder. The boys met the goals they set for themselves.
“We expect to not win very many games, and the guys come in with that understanding. We set small goals for them and each game we would say, we want to hold them under ‘x’ amount of points, and almost every time, we did. So, it was good,” he said. “The guys know, we play against kids from Kitchener where basketball is all they do. It is like when other teams play us in girls’ hockey. People just know that.”
The team finished out the regular season with a 1-11-0 record, and a total of two points, and Taylor says he is already looking to incoming players to build next year’s team.
“Apparently we have some Grade 8 kids that are coming in next year or the year after that are club kids, so that will be really good in a couple of years – looking ahead,” he said. “But, really, it doesn’t matter. Win or lose, we have fun.”
The team is losing a couple of their top players next year, with graduation coming up, but Taylor is optimistic they can move forward, improving on this year’s record when the 2017 basketball season starts.“We are going to lose a lot of guys. Dan Howell, he is really tall, he has graduated, so that changes a lot. Our most talented player is leaving, but you never know. Our two best scorers weren’t on the team last year, so you never know,” said Taylor.
Taylor says there was one player that really stood out as most improved and was a valuable asset to the team – point guard Jeremy Schouppe.
“He was our starter, and he improved a ton. We took him aside and let him know how well he has done. We were a little worried, because moving from junior to senior can be a big jump, but he did really well,” he said, adding that he was impressed with a few players that had never been on a court before, as well. “They all improved, honestly, we had guys that never played before that ended up being really good. Some of our Grade 11 guys that we didn’t think were going to be able to play much, they played a lot, so we were happy.”
Taylor’s message for the team? Thanks for a great season and he hopes it was a fun one.
“We were super happy with them. They worked really hard in practice, they worked hard in the games, they are a fun group of kids,” he said. “They all put themselves out there and were super easy to coach. That is all you want. We were really happy with this group. We tried to make it a little bit more fun for them. If you are going to lose ten out of eleven games, then you have to have fun.”