For the second year in a row Mecca Glen School managed to defeat all competitors and claim the title of CWAJHAA basketball champions.
Coach Adam Troitsky says it wasn’t the winning for a second year that made the championship so special; it was how much hard work was put into the season and how badly the boys wanted it.
“They’re a special group of players,” said Troitsky. “The real exciting stuff — winning the championship is whatever — the real exciting stuff is watching them succeed.”
Troitsky says what he’ll remember most from the season is watching the boys’ faces when they realized what they accomplished.
Although the two-time win is a feat new to Mecca Glen Troitsky says it isn’t that uncommon for small school of their size, who want it bad enough, to win successive championships.
The intense game was played in early spring against Bluffton. “It was very close,” said Troitsky, who gives all the credit to the boys.
Twice before, Troitsky has taken Mecca Glen players to Lakeland College, his alma mater and an accomplished basketball school, to train for a weekend with one of the college’s coaches. He feels the trips increases the boys’ excitement for the game and shows them that if they play hard basketball can take them beyond high school.
Troitsky also coaches the girls’ team at the school. “The girls’ team did very well; we just haven’t got over that hump of winning a championship.”
In the last two years, between the boys and girls team, Mecca Glen has won five basketball banners.
Principal Al Libby joined the school only one year ago but already knew about Troitsky, whom he says is known all over central Alberta. “When I took the job out here I heard about him before I heard about anybody, before I heard about the principal I was getting the job from.”
Libby says in the four years Troitsky’s been at Mecca Glen he’s turned the place into a basketball school. “When it comes to basketball there’s just a fire.”
Libby also says the coach’s passion for the game spills over into his classroom and the students love him as a teacher too.
This year seven of the eight Grade 9 boys played on the team. They’re remaining teammate attended every game and taped them for coaching purposes. Five Grade 8 boys also played on the team.
Although Troitsky says the double win isn’t as rare as it was made out to be, Libby was impressed his school was able to beat the larger school that were able to hold tryout and choose their players from a much larger pool.