Kondors building on success

After five years with the junior girls at KSS, coach Ruth Stefanek says she is looking at long-term development

Kondor Grace Yacoboski (#18) attacks the basket against Dover Bay on Friday night.

With the basketball season taking flight, the Kwalikum Secondary School junior girls are looking to find some of last year’s success.

Last season, then in Grade 9, this squad was solid all season and capped off a successful run with a trip to the provincials in Richmond.

Friday night saw an exhibition game against the Dover Bay Dolphins, their first test against the AAA team. Dover Bay came away with the 31–14 victory but it was a good introduction to what the junior Kondors are up against this season.

Head coach Ruth Stefanek, who’s been with the girls since their Grade 6 year, is looking forward to another season and the challenges they’re going to face.

“We’ll have some major competition this year, being a smaller school. We have our work cut out playing against some of the bigger schools this year,” Stefanek said.

With just 10 girls, there will be a nice mixture of Grade 9’s coming in for some games with the Grade 10 team throughout the season.

“We don’t have a very big team to begin with so we’ll be rotating some of the Grade 9’s in. We have a lot of girls at the Grade 9 level so we’ll be bringing in a few from time to time.”

Although the junior girls playoffs aren’t until February, Stefanek is more focused on getting there with the group in tact. The regular season starts in a few weeks and with a small roster, staying healthy is a big part of being successful.

“It’s gonna be hard to keep them all healthy and playing, but having the younger group of nine’s will be a big help. That’s going to be our goal though, to make sure everyone is healthy and that they get lots of experience with game time.”

There was a bit of a concern about finding a coach for the Grade 9’s this year but Brian Nikula was able to fill that role for KSS. It’s a move that helps not only the development of the younger players, but gives them a chance to gain more playing time at the nine and 10 level.

Coach Stefanek and the junior Kondor’s will face plenty of tough tests this season but will be ready to meet.

Having this same group over the last five years has helped develop some good chemistry, something they hope to keep going with the next group, too.

“The idea is to have as many girls playing at both the Grade 9 and 10 level. We’ve been very lucky that Brian was able to step up and coach the nine’s this year. We’ve got 15 girls coming in this year for the Grade 9 team so the numbers are there and it’s going to be great for them to get the playing time and be able to call them up throughout the season,” Stefanek said.

Just Posted

Island farmers concerned with Agricultural Land Reserve changes

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting in Nanoose Bay

Former TOSH director: ‘I will miss that challenge’

Corinne James looks back fondly on memories made at art centre

Parksville resort fire caused by flammable gas used to extract oil from cannabis

Investigators detail reasons for explosion and blaze that destroyed building

RDN adopts new bylaw to prevent backflow

Board wants to avoid legal liability

Former Parksville Generals player lands head coaching gig in Norway

New position is a dream come true for Henry Acres

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Most Read