After three years, Father Lacombe School’s Saints Boys’ Basketball Team really know how to play together.
This year, the boys claimed the Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) League Championship after an undefeated season.
Having continued their winning streak since, the boys qualified for Central Western Alberta Junior High Athletic Association (CWAJHAA) championships and now have their eyes set on that title.
“They had the goal set early on that they were going to win (WCPS),” said Coach Lisa Korpczak.
She added that attitude, communication and determination have been the Saints’ biggest strengths this season.
Having a determined team who had been together for a few years made things a bit easier for the coaches, added Coach Mike Wood. He said that it allowed coaches to focus on teaching the team how to play good basketball, rather than getting them to play good basketball together.
Wood also commended Korpczak in her efforts to build the basketball program and athletics programs in general at Father Lacombe School. He said she had played a large part in the team’s success this season.
Saints Captain James Wood and teammate Cale Hamelin said it has been the team’s experience and chemistry that has led them to such a successful season. Hamelin added that they continued to build on that chemistry throughout the season.
“We would talk a lot,” said Hamelin. “We made sure we knew what was going on with the team.”
While the Saints were undefeated this season, that impressive record did not come without effort.
“There were some easy games, but there was a couple games where it was close,” said James.
Adding the WCPS championship game was one of the most challenging so far.
“There were some tough games,” agreed Korpczak.
Both Hamelin and James said that they were nervous in the WCPS championships game and were relieved when they did win.
“It was like a bunch of weight getting lifted off your chest,” said Hamelin. “We worked so hard to go all that way and then we finally did it.”
As a coach who could not directly affect the outcome of the game, Korpczak said she was especially nervous on the sidelines.
“My heart was fluttering,” she said.
She added that the championship holds special significance for Father Lacombe School.
“It’s our school’s first basketball championship, so we have our first championship banner hanging in the gym now.”
Now that they are the WCPS champions, the Saints have their sights set on the CWAJHAA championship, which they qualified for this past weekend.
To claim that title as well, it is important that the Saints continue to use teamwork, said Hamelin.
“You don’t win as an individual you win as a team.”
James added that the Saints must continue playing the same kind of basketball they have all season, and not allow their heads to get too big.
“Don’t get too cocky,” said James.
The Saints will now compete in Brownfield March 7-8 for the CWAJHAA Championship.