Bobcats have eight Grade 11s on dedicated roster
It’s in the afternoon in late September and Bishop Strachan School is trailing by eight points to the visiting Trinity College.
On the sideline is team captain Monika Steger, who takes a few moments with the Town Crier to reflect on where the team has been in CISAA Division 1 play in the past year.
A concussion suffered in a tilt against Villanova College saw Steger miss a good portion of time on the hardwood last season.
After an in-game collision against Hillfield Strathallan, Bobcats coach Fraser Landry sat her out as a precautionary measure.
Though it pains her to watch the game, she’s got confidence in her teammates.
“I think this year we have definitely connected as a team, and it’s been so much fun,” she says.
The troupe will have more time to connect as the 12-man roster features eight Grade 11s and four Grade 12s: Steger, Brooke Ellsworth, Jessie Eldridge and Emily Cho.
“This year, I think it’s important I try to help the girls who are new try to make sure they know what they are doing,” she said. “But all the girls are such leaders individually.
“A few challenges are just communicating on the court, because it is always busy, but we try our best.”
Following the game, a 46-30 loss, Cho, who has been playing since Grade 5 at BSS, echoed Steger’s sentiment on becoming the mentors of a young squad.
“As a Grade 12, I think my goal is to get close with my team, especially for my final year.”
Landry admitted there are challenges, but the difference between this year and last is the dedication. Many of the players on this basketball team also play hockey both at the school and on Scarborough Sharks and Toronto Aeros.
Though there are plenty of Grade 11s there’s no shortage on depth, Landry said, tipping his proverbial hat to Avery Domi, who has been starting for the squad since Grade 10, and Samara Lewis.
“We’ve got a lot of Grade 11s, so we’re trying to get a lot of kids into the game,” he said. “We’re really happy with the team, because they’re very cohesive this year.
“They’re making a big effort to come out to the games.”
Cho and Steger are eager to pass down their knowledge before leaving the halls at BSS, but not without tweaking their own skills first.
“I always try to improve my game,” said Steger, a former forward who has been a guard for the past two years. “I always keep working on my dribbling skills, communicating on the court, making the plays, and organizing the plays.”
The Bobcats will get a chance to test their mettle at a Canadian Accredited Independent Schools tournament in November.