C.J. Williams practicing last year with the dodge ball team that looks to improve on there record from last year (Photo courtesy of Kim Jackson)

C.J. Williams practicing last year with the basketball team that looks to improve on there record
from last year (Photo courtesy of Kim Jackson)

With fall arriving, it is almost time for Laurier Brantford’s men’s extramural basketball team to step onto the court for their third season of play in the OCAA. After succeeding last season in bringing home one of Laurier Brantford’s first championship medals last November, silver in a tournament at George Brown College.

But fifth year co-captain, Matthew Wright, is poised for bigger and better things in 2013-2014. With tryouts now over and the roster set, fans will be seeing a much deeper and bigger lineup, due in part to better conditioning in the offseason. “Everyone from the team last year has returned in better shape… There are some new additions with a lot of athleticism,” Wright says. “It’s going to be a track meet every game.”

Athleticism is important when you want to run an up tempo offense, something that worked well for the team for much of last season, but, by the end of it, it was clear the team was tired.

Among the newcomers that impressed Wright in tryouts with their athleticism was rookie, Chuck Collins. Collins comes into the season with a lot of experience. Growing up, he played in the Ontario Basketball Association and high school basketball for three years. With this in mind, he sees no problem with taking his game to the next level against the bigger and stronger players of OCAA. “I’m looking forward to [playing extramural basketball]. With good guys on the team like Matt, you have to prepare to that level.”

What was also lacking on the LB Golden Hawks squad in years past was any sort of big man down in the post. Having any player over 6’4’’ in OCAA extramural basketball proves to be a huge advantage, because as the Golden Hawks found, they are hard to match up against. Wright would be defending players much taller than him last season and sometimes the Hawks would have to force shots, with no other options being available.

This should no longer be a problem, Wright says. Players came into the tryouts this year with a lot more size. “I was surprised by a couple new big guys we had … something we lacked in the past couple years,” says Wright. “We have an inside presence this year, finally.”

The main addition to the roster’s newfound size is 6’6’’ centre Jaeger Greenway. At this stage he is raw talent, with his post-game and footwork being the biggest areas he needs to work on, but he’s physical and can shoot the ball. But finally, the Hawks have something that’s hard to come by, and may be the missing piece in that OCAA championship puzzle.

The season starts on October 24, with the men’s team’s first tournament taking place at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus on November 15, where they turned in their worst performance of the season in 2012-2013, losing out to Centennial College in the semi-finals.

With the roster that Wright and co-captain, Oje Izirein have put together, fans had better believe a performance like that won’t happen again.

This should no longer be a problem, Wright says. Players came into the tryouts this year with a lot more size. “I was surprised by a couple new big guys we had … something we lacked in the past couple years,” says Wright. “We have an inside presence this year, finally.”

The main addition to the roster’s newfound size is 6’6’’ centre Jaeger Greenway. At this stage he is raw talent, with his post-game and footwork being the biggest areas he needs to work on, but he’s physical and can shoot the ball. But finally, the Hawks have something that’s hard to come by, and may be the missing piece in that OCAA championship puzzle.

The season starts on October 24, with the men’s team’s first tournament taking place at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus on November 15, where they turned in their worst performance of the season in 2012-2013, losing out to Centennial College in the semi-finals.

With the roster that Wright and co-captain, Oje Izirein have put together, fans had better believe a performance like that won’t happen again.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Kyle Morrison. After a year as a volunteer writer for the Sputnik’s sports section, I was promoted to editor, becoming the third Kyle in a row to hold the position. Sports are my passion and I try to reflect that in my work, providing readers with a great deal of sports knowledge. I am in a very special position to be covering Laurier Brantford athletics in their infancy stages, and have already gotten to cover our teams as they take huge steps toward a varsity level of play.

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