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Olds JV basketball team has great potential, says coach

Jason Drent says this season is a “development year”
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OLDS — The École Olds High School JV boys basketball season is just barely underway, but already, head coach Jason Drent is confident about their potential to do well. 

Drent says the team, which consists of several multi-sport athletes, has a fair bit of height, speed and skill. 

They proved their mettle earlier, beating Didsbury 70-56 in their first game of the season. 

Drent says that game was especially thrilling because the JV boys Spartans were actually playing a senior team. 

“Since our JV team consists of nines and 10s, there is really no equivalent league for us to play in, because most of the other schools around, they're playing either a Grade 9 or a senior team," he said during an interview with the Albertan

“So we've elected to have these nines and 10s play in the senior league with the high school boys, with the senior boys team, which is super exciting for our boys because they get extra levels of competition. So we're playing a league up, if you will, which is, which is exciting.” 

Drent said the Didsbury team is good, but “our boys worked hard and we were able to get a win out, so it was pretty exciting for them.” 

Drent said about four of the guys on this season’s edition of the JV boys are more than six-feet tall. 

That, combined with good team speed and skill gives the team an edge. 

“I have the privilege of coaching a lot of really strong athletes, which is always a bonus. So they're quick, they're fast, and they work hard,” Drent said. 

“That's probably the most exciting piece of the coaching, just the depth they're willing to go to, to work hard, stay focused and compete.” 

Drent said one thing the team really needs to work on is avoiding turnovers. 

“(We’ve got to) just make sure we move the ball around strong and take good shots and don't be scared to take some risks and things like that,” he said. 

Aside from that, Drent said the team is really young and just needs to gain maturity and experience.  

“I think in basketball, like any other sport, the more court time, the more actual game time you can get, it just develops an understanding of the game and our boys are young,” Drent said. 

But like I said, I'm they're athletic and they work hard.” 

Drent described this season as a “development year,” adding that if the team can stick together over the years, they could become pretty formidable. 

“You just build some synergies, you build some connections,” he said. 

“They're great group of kids. They're student athletes and I always make sure that's an important piece that everyone, parents and kids understand is first and foremost. 

“The research is pretty clear. 

“In my day job as associate superintendent, I know that athletics can be one of those game changers that really develops that social and emotional connection to the relevance and education and also just providing them with learning opportunities. 

“We know that when we have great students, they make great athletes and vice versa. It's just a really good, supportive structure, so it's exciting.” 

Doug Collie

About the Author: Doug Collie

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