Riverside has been a powerhouse for girls’ basketball, with many first places, several seconds and a few thirds.Of course, much of the success of the program is due to the Langfords. The Langford family has coached basketball for many years. According to the Just a Bunch of Girls Program (JABOGS), Paul Langford has been a coach since 1975 and started coaching at Gladstone Secondary. After that, he moved to Mission to coach with his brother and then came back to Port Coquitlam to start a program called JABOGS basketball. Mr. Langford has also earned a silver medal at the Canada Summer games; he is now coaching his seventeenth season at Riverside Secondary. Caitlin and Kelli Langford are also successful coaches; Caitlin has coached since 2003, for all teams and ages in JABOGS basketball, and has won several top five places in basketball for Riverside Secondary.
Grade 9 Girls Basketball- Alaina Brandsma
“We are doing better compared to the beginning of the year,” said Riverside coach and teacher, Ms. Alaina Brandsma, grade 9 basketball coach. There has been some improvement with the team, judging from the fact that the team lost with a much smaller margin the second time they went against one of the top teams, compared to the beginning of the year. “The strengths of our team is our camaraderie; the girls get along really well and cheer for each other. They enjoy competing and that is one of their best strengths.” With the strengths that Ms. Brandsma revealed, she also reveals some of the team’s weaknesses. “Our weaknesses is that we are not that experienced yet, but we are gaining more experience this year.” Ms. Brandsma also talks about the big games that are coming up. “Coquitlam doesn’t have a grade 9 league, so we are hoping that we go into the Fraser Valley playoffs in the middle of February which is big.” Ms. Brandsma also talks about the prospects of the team. “It’s hard to know, but I think we can surprise the other teams with our tenacity and our energy.” She also mentions a player which really stands out to her. “All the girls are awesome, but Emma Schulmeister, who is in grade 8 and our point guard, really stands out; she takes a lot of the pressure off of us and she is a really great addition to the team.”
Junior Girls Basketball- Caitlin Langford
“The team is doing pretty average,” said basketball coach, Caitlin Langford. “We have placed third in some tournaments. We won some league games and lost some too.” Ms. Langford also mentioned that there are only a few girls on the team and they had a lot of injuries and illness. “In most games, we only have six or seven players and that is a bit challenging.” Although the junior girls’ team had some weaknesses, they have a lot of strengths too. “The team has some committed players who play really hard for the team, and everyone on the team is nice and coachable.” Ms. Langford also shared thoughts about the future for the team. “I think that we will do okay in the playoffs at Riverside; our goals would be to come in second place.” Ms. Langford also mentions some stand out players on the team. “I have four [players] that are really committed and play really well, Veronica Moino, Sarah Wade, Adelyn Ho and Katia Tarry.”
Senior Girls Basketball- Paul Langford
Paul Langford, the coach of the senior girls’ basketball team, has coached for almost 20 years.“Of all the years that I have coached basketball, I learned that everyone has a difference in personality and skill, and if you work hard to put effort in the game you can be very good.” Mr. Langford also gave his thoughts about the senior girls. “We have a nice group of girls; they are really young, with only one grade 12, one grade 11, several grade 10’s and one grade 8. They are a good group though, and they work hard, so they are having a very successful year. We made the top 10 this weekend [January 7-8] and have done well in the tournaments so far. We’ve held our own. We have 13 wins and 5 losses.”`