Reported by Jessica Purver
The Churchill senior boys’ basketball team are entering the season not only as Bulldogs, but also as underdogs.
The Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs are known as heavyweights in high school basketball throughout Vancouver. Although they have been in the top 10 of the BC High School Boys Basketball Association for years, the team has fallen off the radar after last season’s loss to the No. 1-ranked, Kelowna Owls at the provincials.
Bulldogs hope to hold their own against some of the stronger teams
Despite this, senior guard Syris Apdian believes the team is motivated to uphold Bulldog tradition.
“We hope to show them that we can still run with all the big teams,” he said. “Just because we lost a bunch of big names and talents doesn’t mean we’re out of the running.”
Some of these big names included star forwards Izaiah Ugoalah and Harry Liu, who both graduated last year.
Team hopes that recent changes will help them this season
Another significant change comes as Simon Dykstra, the Bulldogs’ junior boys coach for the past 10 years, begins his first year coaching the senior team.
“What’s up to us is that we maximize our development,” he said.
Dykstra said that the upcoming season is a new beginning for the program.
“We’re going to be flying a little low, under the radar,” he said.
For Grade 12 forward, De’Andre Butler, he sees the new season as a chance to grow.
“I want to see us bond strong as a team,” he said. “I want to see the whole team shine so we can go further.”
Grade 11 forward Aleksa Marinkovic has no problem being labelled the underdog.
“I like it personally,” he said. “We can show up and show that we’re not that rank and we’re better than that.”