This season is all about working to get better for the senior basketball squads at St. Augustine Catholic School.
Both the senior boys and girls teams are coming off a season that demonstrated they have a long road ahead, but both head coaches are looking forward with some optimism.
With the Queens senior girls, head coach Katherine Bergum is excited about the journey that lays ahead this season as there are seven players back from last year.
“I have more height on my team this year, which will be a bonus,” Bergum said.
“Plus, I have gained a couple of girls who are pretty quick, which will be a benefit for us.”
The Queens returning players include both Grade 12s while there will be eight new players on the team — three in Grade 11 and five Grade 10s.
“Our main focus this season is going to be on developing well-rounded skills for everyone, instead of really specializing and focusing on one specific skill for each player,” she said, adding the team will also be working on teamwork and communication on the court.
Kings senior boys coach Adam Bowie also has two Grade 12s on the roster, though his squad of 18 has 11 returnees.
“Last year was tough for our team, as we won just one league game,” Bowie said.
“Our team’s expectations, through hard work and determination, are to start stronger than we did last year. We know we are a skilled team, we just have to start stronger. Our end goal will be to make the playoffs. If we are fortunate enough, anything can happen.”
Last season, the Kings were slow off the mark and really didn’t start making strides until February, when the team turned things around.
“During the second half of the season, we were taking teams into overtime that had previously beat us by 20 points,” he explained.
“To help with our start, we are in more tournaments and at this point we are looking good plus our team is meshing very well with the seven new players.”
The Kings were in a tournament in Carstairs Nov. 25 and 26, where they lost the consolation final to a team from Airdrie, but the change in schedule seems to have had the desired affect. The club went on the road to Pigeon Lake Nov. 30 to tipoff the league season and came away with a 54-48 win.
“That tournament gave us a few games under our belt to work out some kinks,” he stated.
“In turn, it prepared us for our game against Pigeon Lake that was very hard fought. However, until we start seeing the rest of the league, it is hard to see where we will stand.”
Slam dunks: The Kings and Queens will play their only home games of the month, against St. Dominic’s from Rocky Mountain House on Dec. 15 and then versus David Thompson on Dec. 19.