After a few seasons at the top — or at least, near it — in the provincial high school basketball scene, the Corner Brook Regional High Titans will likely be a work-in-progress this year. With the majority of the roster in Level 1, and only three Level 3 players, potential was the buzzword at practice on Wednesday night at the school gymnasium.
But, as the saying goes, short-term pain for long-term gain.
“It’s bad for this year, but it’s good for future years,” said new coach Jim Hughes, who took over for the retired Frank Foo this season.
“The crop coming up is quite strong.”
Not only is the team young, but relatively small, Hughes said, so speed will be the name of the game for the most part.
“It’s going to be an outside game, as much as we can develop it,” he said.
With such an inexperienced group, Hughes and assistant coach Marc Thackray have been looking to identify and develop a team leader.
One such player — who also checks off in the size department — is 16-year-old Dawson Greene of Corner Brook.
Now in his third year with the team, the six-foot-four, 180-pound centre is aware his playing time will go way up this year, as will his responsibilities on and off the court.
“We’re definitely young, but we’ve got a lot of energy,” he said of his early assessment of the club.
Greene took up the sport in Grade 8 and quickly decided he loved everything about it.
“It keeps you in shape, you get to compete … everything,” he said.
If this season is being looked at as a rebuilding year, Greene isn’t buying it. He says there’s not much the team really needs to overhaul, it’s just basically a case of continuing to improve in each area.
And he echoed his coach’s need for speed.
“We’ve got to work on our rebounds and just hustle plays,” he said. “We can’t let anyone outwork us.”
There’s still time to work on all of that, as the first tournament the team will participate in isn’t until Nov. 10-11 in Deer Lake.
The first road trip to St. John’s will come Dec. 15.