Sports at Whistler Secondary wax and wane with the student population and volunteer involvement from the community, but this winter the senior boys basketball team will be worthy of a lot of attention with two new coaches.
Cory Heitz played NCAA first division basketball with the Air Force Academy, and started looking for opportunities to coach when he arrived in Whistler last January. He was introduced to Chad Raill, who is already coaching Whistler Secondary’s junior team.
The team now has 10 fully committed players, practicing three nights after school and on Friday mornings. The practices have been intense, in more ways than one.
“It’s about life skills,” said Heitz. “Learning accountability for their actions, discipline, punctuality, how to follow directions, teamwork and leadership.”
As a small school with a limited number of students in each grade, it’s a challenge for Whistler to be competitive in team sports. Not only do they have fewer players to choose from and further to travel to games, they also have to balance other sports like skiing and snowboarding with basketball.
Still, the Whistler Storm got off to a promising start Friday, Nov. 30 against Mulgrave Secondary in West Vancouver. They lost 56-44, but the scoreboard wasn’t the whole story.
“Mulgrave was last year’s zone representative and this year ranked number four in the class A pre-season poll,” said Heitz. “After starting out the game down 10-0, the Whistler boys stormed back to keep it close. The team played well considering it was their first senior level game ever and they were going up against one of the top class A teams in the province.”
The team’s goal for the season is to make to the provincial ‘A’ championship for small schools, which Heitz says is an excellent goal to have.
The team will be on the road for December, but will start to host home games in January. Members of the community are invited to come out to Whistler Secondary to cheer on their local teams as they take on other A division schools.
Whistler Storm Regular Season Schedule
Dec. 8 — Two games at Pemberton Secondary: Pemberton Secondary at 9 a.m., St. John’s at 10:30 a.m.
Dec. 14-15 — Tournament in Chilliwack. First game is against G.W. Graham at 12:30 p.m., which will determine seeding for the next round.
Jan. 11-12 — At Hope
Jan. 17 — Hosting Pemberton at 4 p.m.
Jan. 18 — Hosting Delta Secondary at 4 p.m.
Jan. 24 — Hosting Howe Sound at 4 p.m.
Jan. 29 — Hosting Rockridge at 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 30 — At West Vancouver, Sentinel at 6 p.m.
Feb. 1 — Hosting L.A. Matheson at 6 p.m.
Feb. 5 — Two games at Pemberton: St. George at 5 p.m., Pemberton at 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 9 — Hosting Whistler 1 st Annual Winter Jam, with Burnsview, Bodwell and St. John’s
Feb. 12 — Hosting Mt. Currie at 4 p.m.
Feb. 14 — At Mt. Currie at 4 p.m.
Feb. 19 — At Howe Sound Secondary, 4 p.m.