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Seyhawks win historic bronze

March 22, 2018

​First provincial championship medal for Seycove senior boys

Andy Prest / North Shore News

The Seycove Seyhawks celebrate their win in the Howe Sound AA championship tournament. The team went on to win bronze at the provincial championships. photo supplied

The Seycove Seyhawks basketball team scored some historic hardware this year, becoming the first senior boys team in the program’s history to win a provincial championship medal.

The Seyhawks grabbed bronze at the AA level, beating Westsyde Secondary from Kamloops 69-64 in a tough consolation final March 10 at Langley Events Centre.

“It was special to represent Seycove,” said Grade 12 forward Christopher Ross, who was named a tournament second team all-star following the tournament. “I’ve been there for five years – it’s a good way to end a career.”

Joining Ross as a second-team all-star was Grade 11 point guard Dylan Matthews. The team also got strong performances from Grade 11 forward Douglas Musselman and Grade 10 forward Michael Douhan. Jayden Clayton, Cashel Findler and Braeden Robinson were the other Grade 12 players in a lineup that was heavy with Grade 11s.

The Seyhawks, who claimed the Howe Sound AA championship title before heading to provincials, scored tough wins over D.P. Todd and Charles Hays to open the provincial tournament, earning a spot in the semifinals. Their quest for gold ended there, however, as the Seyhawks were topped 93-57 by a powerhouse Brentwood College team that went on to claim gold with another emphatic win over King George in the final.

“They were just dialed in,” Seycove head coach Teresa Ross, Christopher’s mother, said of Brentwood. “They are so deep.”

Seycove rebounded well in the bronze medal game, fighting off Westsyde with the historic hardware on the line.

“We were pretty proud to bring that banner home for the Howe Sounds, and then that medal was just fantastic,” said Teresa. “The kids are on a high.”

One other interesting note to add to Seycove’s historic accomplishment is that Teresa is one of very few female head coaches in the senior boys basketball ranks. She’s been in charge of the Seyhawks senior boys program for four years and has never come up against another female head coach. A look at the provincial championship website shows that of the 48 senior boys teams in four different tiers at this year’s tournament, the only other female head coach was Dawn Thiessen of the Mennonite Educational Institute, listed as a co-coach with her husband Matt.

“I went to the coaches meeting and banquet and, yeah – it was just me. All dudes,” said Teresa with a laugh. “I just did my best to motivate those kids and find out what they do best and make that come out for each and every one of them.”

Teresa didn’t set out to be a trailblazer. She grudgingly took the job of coaching the Seycove Grade 8 team of Christopher’s older brother Davey when no one else stepped up to take on the role. As the players moved up, coach Teresa moved right up with them. There were some bumps along the way – as a woman standing just five-foot-four, Teresa was often passed by referees or other coaches looking for the Seycove head coach. But she stuck with it and took her team further than any Seycove coach before her.

“I fell into this and just kind of kept going with it, learning a ton along the way,” she said. “I had to be brave a lot of times going out there – it’s intimidating. I had to do my research. But you’re in it, there’s nothing else to do, you’ve got to just keep going.”

Christopher said the Seyhawks owe much of their success to coach Teresa.

“She’s been doing it for quite a while now. … This year it showed how far she's gotten,” he said. “She was like any other coach out there. She was a great coach – she’s definitely one of the main reasons we were able to do so well this year.”

Teresa said she actually started coaching many of these kids back in elementary school, and her relationships with some of them go back even further.

“Some of those kids that I worked with, I’ve known since they were three years old,” she said. “I looked after them as little kids, so it’s pretty cool to see them grow up as the adults that they are and do what they did this season. It was amazing. … It’s like a family. It’s like I have 14 sons when I go out there, not just one.”

Teresa said she won’t be back next season – she wants to free up her time to see Christopher play U Sports ball with the University of Northern British Columbia next year – but the team should show well again with many key players back and current assistant coach Peter Matthews stepping into the head coaching role.

And the Seyhawks now know that a Seycove team can make it onto the podium at the provincial championships.

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