The Lake Cowichan Lakers boys basketball team has wrapped up a successful season.
The team, made up of players in Grades 10 through 12, was the school’s first in eight years.
Led by volunteer coach Cyrus Gray, a former Cowichan Secondary player, the team had a winning record despite having some players that at the start of the season had never played organized basketball before.
“We lost two games, one was a league game, but one was just exhibition,” Gray said, estimating the squad suited up for just under a dozen contests overall in the Island’s junior b league and against nearby schools including Brentwood College.
“I think they did pretty well for not playing basketball,” Gray said. “From the first to the last practice there was a huge improvement because some of them had never played [organized] basketball before. It was definitely fun watching them improve and teaching them the basic skills.”
At the beginning of the season LCS athletic director Brent Pinnell attributed the lack of a basketball team (and other teams) simply to a lack of interest at the school, particularly among teachers.
“There just hasn’t been an interest to do sports teams at Lake Cowichan,” he said in December. “Ever since I became the director we’ve tried to change that a little bit.”
The school added track and field and a girls hockey team this school year and is hoping to field basketball, soccer, volleyball and baseball teams for younger students at some point as well. Despite their success, Gray was unsure about the boys basketball program’s future.
“I probably most likely won’t be coaching,” he said. “If they find somebody else they probably will, because there’s definitely kids that want to keep playing basketball.”