Riverside’s junior and senior boys basketball teams are preparing for an exciting year, facing off against the tough competition of the Heritage Woods teams and the eternal rivalry against Terry Fox secondary.
Mr. Kenny Jamieson, coach for the junior team, is optimistic about the team’s prospects. “I think we’ll be a good upper-mid-tier team. Our goal is to finish within the top three of our league – it’s a challenging league; there some strong teams out there. But we’ve got a lot of guys who’ve worked hard through the off season, developed a little bit more, and we’re just a really competitive group overall,” said Jamieson. “In terms of competition, the top junior teams in our league this year are Centennial and Heritage Woods, they’re usually very good.”
Last weekend, the junior team played in a tournament here at Riverside Secondary. They lost by five points to Unity Christian, won by 25 points to Queen Elizabeth, and lost by three points to Charles Best. “I think we did pretty good, but we need to focus more on passing and controlling the ball,” said junior team player Deshawn Payne. “We lost two games, but not by much, and I think that we could be a better team this year and get past districts, probably make it to provincials.”
The senior team has ambitions of their own. “If we have a good season, I think, realistically, our team could make provincials. That would be our end goal – but we would definitely like to win our district and then see if we can make it to provincials,” said Mr. Jamie Campbell, the assistant coach for the senior team. But strong teams are gathering on the horizon to oppose Riverside. “In our district, the best teams are probably going to be Pine Tree and Heritage Woods; those are the teams we need to be wary of. They’ve got some talent there and work hard,” Campbell said. The senior team fared better on the weekend, playing in a tournament at Brookswood Secondary. They defeated Brookswood by five points and won versus Alpha by 15 points. In the final round the seniors lost to a tough Clayton Heights team by 31 points.
“Just because it’s another Port Coquitlam team, there’s always a big rivalry with Terry Fox; they’re going to do decently as well,” said Jamieson. “That’s usually the game the team looks forward to, as it’s a cross-town matchup against a lot of kids they would have gone to middle school with. While that’s probably the one they get the most excited about playing, those other teams are our real competition.”