The Junior Wolverine Classic 2023 will provide a snapshot into the future success of basketball at Edward Milne Community School.
“We’re the only AAA team competing against some AAAA teams,” said EMCS coach Trevor Bligh regarding the inaugural Junior Wolverines Classic 2023 boys basketball tournament. “It makes for tough competition. Our team’s doing well right now, and it sets us up to be in a position to dominate senior A in two or three years as the junior players move up to senior.”
This year marks the inaugural version of a junior version of the Wolverine Classic, which has been around for about a decade at the senior boys’ basketball level. The tournament, which takes place Jan. 13 and 14, includes teams from EMCS, Gulf Islands, and Claremont in Pool Purdy. Royal Bay, Stelly’s, and Carihi secondary schools will face off in Pool Peterson.
Games get underway with Royal Bay takes on Stelly’s at 3 p.m. on Friday, followed by Gulf Islands against EMCS at 4:30 p.m. and Stelly’s versus Carihi at 6 p.m.
Saturday’s games include Royal Bay against Carihi at 10 a.m., Gulf Islands against Claremont at 11:30 a.m., followed by the third-place team from Pool Purdy against the third-place team from Pool Peterson at 1 p.m. Second-place teams from both pools square off at 2:30 p.m., followed by the first-place teams playing at 4 p.m.
“Hosting the tournament is nice because we can raise some money through registration fees, we don’t have travel expenses, and we can showcase our beautiful town of Sooke,” Bligh noted. “We hope a lot of people come out for the games. Interest in basketball is really growing in the region.”
Bligh is excited about adding an exhibition game for the tournament for senior A boys between EMCS and Dover Bay.
“We recently lost to Claremont by one point in overtime and they’re considered the high standard at the senior level,” Bligh said. “It shows our future at the senior level is bright.”