The team’s first game had been cancelled last week due to weather, supposed to have been versus Cardston, and the entire group was getting pretty sick of practising.
“We’re ready to go,” said head coach Jack McMurray hours before tipoff. “We’d like to come out guns-a-blazing, that’s our expectation anyway.”
It didn’t quite work out that way, as WCH went on to 95-72 victory, but the Comets did make a game of it in the second half before Churchill pulled away.
“We had a good surge in the second half and brought it back from 22 down to being down six,” said McMurray. “Then we lost the momentum and they started hitting everything.”
Regardless of the opening game outcome, McMurray expects his team to be much improved over last year’s ensemble, as the 2012 Comets needed eight games to grab a win last season and only ever won two.
“We’ll bounce back this year for sure,” said head coach Jack McMurray. “We’ve got a lot of kids back from last year, and another that moved in (to Raymond), which will really help us. We’re very optimistic this year. I hope to surprise some people.”
Nothing seemed to go the Comets’ way last season, as the team sputtered to a 2-10 record before bowing out early in the zone tournament. That group was extraordinarily young however, and in high school sports that only means good things for the future. The future has arrived for the Comets, as the club returns eight players from 2012/13, all of whom have both some added experience and a bitter taste. McMurray hopes that experience leads to good leadership from his veterans, and expects that bitter taste to lead to a high level of motivation for the whole group.
It’s not just the returning veterans expected to play big roles either.
The team last year was so green that a couple of 15-year-olds played varsity. They’re back and ready to be a big part of that core group.
“There are two kids back who played with me in Grade 10 last year, and so that helps as well,” McMurray said.
Focusing only on the positives from last year, McMurray also talked about the deception of the team’s poor record.
Sure, they went 2-10 and didn’t fair well at zones but the team was rarely blown out and, he says, had certain bounces gone their way, they probably win a few more games.
“Last year we were knocking on the door a lot,” said McMurray.
“We were that close to winning some of the games, but yeah, it was kind of a challenging year. So we’re excited to see what we can do; we’ve got some good players this year.”
The Comets head to Cardston this weekend to take part in the annual Cougar Classic.