Corner Brook Regional High Titans’ Nathan Barker, right, tries to make his way to the hoop against teammate Tyler Wise during a team practice Wednesday night at the high school gym.
— Star photo by Chris Quigley
CORNER BROOK Coach Frank Foo finalized the Corner Brook Regional High Titans senior boys basketball roster on Tuesday.
On Wednesday night, he began the process of transforming the 13 players who made the cut into a team.
“Anything can happen, you saw what happened to us last year,” he said, referencing the Titans undefeated run to the final of the 4A provincial championship, where they lost for the second consecutive year.
“There’s a lot of potential here,” he added. “We’ll see how fast they learn and how well they do.”
Just two players are back from last season’s squad — Graham Kenny and Daniel Humber — which makes the challenge of turning them into a contender even tougher.
“It’s definitely a development year, but the expectation is no less,” said 17-year-old Kenny, one of five Level 3 students on the 13-man roster. “We don’t just have a few players who are really good, we have a good all-around team, so there’s a possibility to really do anything with this.”
Literally the biggest change this year is the size the Titans now possess down low. Previous teams were built on speed, so the game plan will be altered accordingly.
“Our strength is going to be on the boards and inside the key,” said Foo. “It changes everything about how we run our offence.”
Many of the new players have competed together on Grade 11 and Grade 10 squads, so there’s a genuine familiarity that exists on the floor. That’s helpful, Foo said, but isn’t something he can rely on entirely.
“Playing in 4A boys is different than what they’ve done in the past,” he said.
Kenny, however, believes the pedigree of the new players could help bridge that gap quicker than in previous years, even with five Level 1s in the fold.
“A lot of these kids have played at a high level with Newfoundland and with Western,” said the son of Lisa Thistle and Jack Kenny.
“They’ve seen a higher level of ball and might know what they’re getting into.
“It’s different than when I started.”
This is Kenny’s third year on the senior boys squad and he realizes his floor time will likely increase more than ever before. Though the now-veteran forward claims it’s not necessarily about him taking on a leadership role, his attitude reveals he already has.
“If I play well, hopefully I can help my team,” he said.
“It’s about the team playing together and winning together.”
The first official chance to do that will be the 2013 Wendy’s Classic in Mount Pearl in late-November — a tournament they’ve won the past two years.
Foo is hoping to organize a few exhibition games between now and then, to go along with the group punching plenty of time in the gymnasium running drills.
“It will be their first baptism, I call it, at Wendy’s,” Foo said. “We’ve got a way to go ... a lot of practice.”
Remember these Titans
The following is the final roster for the 2013-14 Corner Brook Regional High Titans senior boys basketball team: