The Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) basketball season is inching ever closer and the Bert Church Chargers are eager to get back on the court and make some noise.
After coming up just short of an RVSA Finals appearance last season, losing to the Chestermere Lakers 65-63, the Chargers are determined to redeem itself and make a push for its first RVSA title in a decade.
“It’s basketball season, it’s hard to believe that it’s already here,” head coach Michael Sera said. “Obviously, you go into the season hoping to do well and be at the top tier in the league and in the zone.”
Although his team saw successes last season, there is a lot of changeover from the roster with six players graduating, however, seven players are returning.
With such a large returning group, Sera said expectations are high for his team to contend among the top in the RVSA and the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA) South Central Zone, but added you can’t be too certain until you get into the season.
“Until you really get out on the floor and play against competition, it’s really hard to gauge the team,” Sera said. “The kids are awesome, it’s a great group of kids. They’re gelling well and they’re working hard.”
The Chargers kick off its 2017-18 season Dec. 6 against cross-city rival W.H. Croxford Cavaliers.
Although the Cavaliers are a young school still trying to establish its identity, Sera said it is extremely important his team not go in too cocky.
With seven returning players and five new faces, Sera said he is confident in utilizing his bench and having all his players get into the game and up to regular season speed early on.
In addition, Sera said he hopes to use size and speed to his advantage against opponents in order to keep teams guessing how the Chargers are going to attack in different games and situations.
In similar fashion to last season, Sera said he expects to have a committee of leaders step up, but feels like it will be the Grade 12s earlier in the season.
“It’s going to be different guys on different nights that have to step up,” Sera said. “You would expect the Grade 12s and returning players to play a leadership role because they’ve been there they know what the expectations are and know what the competition is going to be like.”
The Chargers won’t have to wait much longer to get into game action as the team is set to head up to Edmonton in the annual Mike Dea Classic Basketball Tournament at the St. Francis Xavier High School Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.
The tournament brings in a lot of larger 4A schools, but Sera has been taking his team to the tournament for the past couple of years and feels it’s a good way to get the players ready for the regular season.
He added the tournament is a measuring stick as to how the Chargers matchup with tougher teams.
“We know we’re in tough, that’s one of the more top-tiered tournaments up in Edmonton,” Sera said. “As a 3A team going to a 4A tournament, it’s going to be a good gauge for us to see what we have to work on and what caliber we are at compared to those 4A teams.”