The G.P. Vanier Towhees are set to soar.
“The 2015-16 edition of the boys varsity squad is a great mixture of size, quickness, experience, talent, and great work ethic – all key ingredients that will give fans some fantastic entertainment this season at the Towhees’ Nest,” said coach Larry Street.
“Lots of hard work has been put in by each boy on this team in the off season in preparation for a season like last year…many wins, exciting matches, and a few tournament championships,” said Street, a member of the BC Basketball Hall of Fame.
Vanier will be led by tall bookends Chase Hobenshield (6’7″, 225 pounds) and Tyler Knopp 6’6″, 185 pounds). “Both were starters last year, both plan on playing at the next level next year, and both are the centre of attention for our defences and offences,” Street said.
“Chase has already committed to SFU next year, being Virgil Hill’s first recruit in his new coaching role. He may be the best post in the province, and has a great fundamental skill set of an inside/outside game. Tyler is a hybrid type of player who is extremely quick and agile, and has what we call a ‘constant motor’.
“At starting guards we have a talented, athletic duo of senior Wyatt Strachan and Grade 11 Coen Leopkey-Johnson,” Street said. “Wyatt is our point leader, and very antagonistic on defence. Coen has an excellent skill set, and will be a primary three-point shooter for us.
“The fifth starter at present is go-go Tim Wilson, a guy who just doesn’t stop. He will be our defensive stopper for the other team’s primary scorer as well as a great ‘garbage’ man around the basket,” Street said.
“Coming off the bench is senior Ty Edwards who at 6’7” brings good length as well as a very nice shot. A combination of quick, athletic guards will help give our starters a rest in big games, and they include Grade 11s Rheyden Le, Kenny Selda, Trung Nguyen and Nick Knopp.
“Rounding out the team are keeners and much-improved players Haydyn Kierstead, Zach Boutin (6’5″), and Nick Russell. All the Grade 11s will take some time learning the system, but once that happens the team will be humming,” Street said.
FREE THROWS The Towhees won their first game of the new season, defeating Timberline Wolves 70-32 in exhibition action Dec. 1 in Campbell River … they host the annual Gus Vesterback Tournament Dec. 11-12 …