Harry Hooge elementary wasn’t even going to have a boys’ basketball team because it had no coach.
But in stepped the principal’s husband, Shawn Blakeway, and now the Harry Hooge Knights are competitive league district champions.
At first, principal Kristi Blakeway said the school could not find a basketball coach.
“The boys were very disappointed when they heard there may not be a team.”
She shared the story at home and with her husband and he offered to coach.
“We had 40 enthusiastic boys tryout and we formed a team,” Kristi said.
The team was registered in the house league. But the boys were playing really well and winning every game.
“We recognized that we would have been better placed in the competitive league,” Kristi added.
But no more changes were allowed, so Harry Hooge played again, winning once more.
“It was clear, we really should be competitive – and so the call went out to the competitive league to see if we could swap places,” she said.
The Eric Langton elementary team was willing to change divisions, but the two teams would have to adopt each others’ win-loss records.
Harry Hooge was now last in the competitive league at 0-4.
Making the playoffs seemed unlikely. But the team played some extra exhibition games and won its last two league games, sneaking into the playoffs.
Harry Hooge defeated first-place Whonnock elementary to open the postseason, then dispatched of St. Patrick’s.
In the district playoff final, Harry Hooge edged Alouette elementary 31-28.
When it came time to present the banner, it had not yet arrived.
“So, instead, the boys decided to pose for a picture, and invited Alouette to join in celebrating their accomplishment, as well,” Kristi said. “Two great teams and some great kids.”
Members of the championship Harry Hooge Knights: Lucas Hokanson, Seth Ojo, Dylan McCuaig, Rhys Bowden, Riley Csanyi-Fritz, Ryan Armstrong, Zaid Amir, Gage Quesnel, Aiden Lowe, John Han, Sam Jeon, Jake Carl, Nick Blatchford, Evan Johnson.