Wolves Hoops Coaches Liking What They See
September 13, 2006
By DALE WOODARD
Herald-Tribune Sports Editor
Normally, Mark Catling doesn't like to gaze into the crystal ball as to what the future holds.
But as the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves women's basketball team heads into their 2006-2007 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season, the Wolves skipper likes what he sees.
"I don't like making any predictions, but our team is significantly upgraded from last year. The team is really athletic, probably a little smaller up front, but very athletic at all the positions. So there is going to be a lot more running and gunning and uptempo play," said Catling. "We went with an expanded roster of 15 just to help us with any kind of injury problems this year and just to keep on the girls motivated to try and get into the lineup."
Returning to the Wolves this year are veterans Justine Lalonde, Tannis Stevenson, Jenn Seemann and Leah MacNeil.
"We've been going really hard on the recruiting all year, not just in the summer but leading right up to ID camp and then tryouts. It was really refreshing to see a lot of young girls show up in shape and ready to go," said Catling.
Among the new faces are Cherish Esau, who played for the Grande Prairie Composite high school Totems and Jaelle Duinker, younger sister of the departed Melissa Duinker, who led the Wolves in scoring last season.
Both the women's and men's teams will get their first glimpse of action this weekend at the annual Wolves Alumni Tournament Friday and Saturday.
"We're hoping we get to work some of the kinks out throughout the preseason," said Catling. "We started working in practice working on the shot clock. We're trying to play on an 18-second shot clock in practice just so the girls get accustomed to having to shoot the ball right away, rather than hold onto it like you could in the old style."
Following alumni weekend, the Wolves take a weekend off before hitting preseason tournaments in Prince George and Red Deer.
"I think it should be a fun weekend. We should get quite a few of the returning players coming out to play. It's a good opportunity for us to mix and match the lineups and play everyone. The girls are looking forward to the reward after a good week at practice. So it'll be nice to get out and play some other people," said Catling.