With volleyball season ending, basketball teams at Stanley Humphries Secondary (SHSS) are set to take centre stage.
The girls program at SHSS has struggled in recent years with both having enough players and being competitive; however, that looks to be changing with a pair of ex-university players at the helm.
Gord and Kim Matson, who both played at the University of British Columbia, are overseeing the girls side of the basketball program at SHSS. The busy couple will be coaching both the grade 8 and the junior team. Several seniors will practice with the junior team in hopes of playing some games too.
The teams began practice Monday at the school. The junior girls team will start play with a tournament at J.L. Crowe on Dec. 9 and 10.
“We had a really good turnout,” said Kim, a teacher at Kinnaird Park Elementary. “I expect more to come out. We haven’t had a grade 8 team in four years – so that’s exciting.”
The school also has not had a senior team in three years. Two grade 11 girls did practice with the team last year so the Matsons are hoping to get the senior girls several games.
“We had two seniors that were super-committed,” said Kim. “They came out to pretty much every junior practice supporting us and helping us out (Laura Monsen and Marisa Evdokimoff). They were almost like a pair of assistant coaches.”
After winning only one game last year with a mostly grade 9 line-up, the junior girls team should be much improved this year.
“It was a really nice group to work with,” said Kim. “To watch them play, you’d never know they only won one game. They worked really hard and were really committed.”
With daughters Kelsey in grade 10 and Michelle in grade 8, both over six feet tall, anchoring their respective teams, look for SHSS to challenge the top West Kootenay teams throughout the year.