Print Edition: May 22, 2013
With the winter semester a distant memory and the promise of a long hot summer ahead, it is easy to drift into a summer daze. The call of the outdoors gets louder and louder as July draws near. But as the everyday student population heads to the beach you will find the majority of the UFV women’s basketball team in the gym at the Envision Athletic Centre (EAC). Fresh off their first trip to CIS nationals in school history, the women’s squad has had a taste of success and is hungry for more.
In a season which saw the Cascades break school records in a variety of categories, one might think there could be an issue of complacency among the members of a UFV squad that does not lose a single member of their 2012-2013 team. This is not the case. Take a trip to the EAC on any given day and you will see numerous players in the gym working on their game – putting up shots, working on ball handling and lifting weights.
According to assistant coach Sean Bosko this level of work ethic is all part of the team’s philosophy and approach to the offseason. “As a team we decided that the offseason was going to be a stepping stone to the next level, so that we were not where we were last year,” Bosko stated, referring to the teams late season letdown at nationals. “We want to use the offseason to help the girls to build confidence” Bosko said.
The Cascades return a squad that boasts five graduating seniors. In their five years this group of women have gone from not making playoffs in their first season, to gradually becoming a national contender. Bosko credits this transformation to two separate factors.
Bosko motioned to the numerous girls in the gym at the EAC as the interview took place and commented, “I think it has to do with the kind of leaders we have on our team. Look at today … it’s a nice day out. You see who’s in the gym right now? The amount of work these girls put in during a summer is phenomenal.”
The second factor to the Cascades continuing success is the work of the squad’s head coach, Al Tuchscherer. He does a great job bringing in talent from the school’s feeder program, the Junior Cascades. This program—which consists of high school players throughout the Fraser Valley—has been the source of a large number of current and ex-Cascades. Of UFV’s current squad, every single member was a part of the Junior Cascades program.
With a strong platform for success in place and plenty of optimism surrounding the Cascades squad for the upcoming season, the casual spectator could not help but wonder if this year will be one where the women’s squad take the big prize – a national championship.
If it were going to happen for this program, the 2013-2014 seasons would be the one to do it. The Cascades have a veteran core with plenty of playoff experience and plenty left to prove. With a hard-working, productive offseason, this squad will be primed for another deep run into playoffs, with hopes that their dreams of CIS basketball’s biggest prize will become a reality next March.