Basketball trip approved!

  • Feb. 5, 2014 7:00 a.m.

The school board has approved the Queen Charlotte senior boys’ basketball team’s trip to the AAAA provincial championships in Langley next month, but only after receiving legal advice in response to trustees’ concerns about a portion of the trip. The basketball team has been an amazing success story so far this year, and was recently the subject of a feature article in the Vancouver Province. QCSS is one of the smallest high schools in BC and would normally compete against other small schools at the A level, but there are so many talented basketball players here that the team will be competing at the highest level – AAAA – instead. The trip outlined by teacher Dave Wahl and submitted to the school board for its approval would see the team leave Haida Gwaii on March 10 and compete at the provincial tournament from March 12 to 15. The team would then travel to Kamloops with the Junior All-Native tournament during spring break, and return to Haida Gwaii from Vancouver on March 23. Trustees, however, had several concerns about the Junior All-Native portion of the trip when they considered the application at their meeting Jan. 28 in Masset. They tabled a decision, and asked superintendent Angus Wilson to get legal advice about whether the school district would be responsible for the students during this portion of the trip. After reviewing the additional information, trustees voted by email Feb. 3 to approve the journey, as long as parents sign a consent form indicating that the second part of the trip is not a district initiative and the school board has no liability for it. In the field trip application, Mr. Wahl said the team should be well-prepared for the provincials by next month, having faced several of BC’s top high school teams during trips to Vancouver in December and January. QCSS returned victorious from a tournament in Prince Rupert this past weekend where it tipped off against other teams in the northwest. “I am sure you are aware of the extreme level of financial support our team has received from the community,” Mr. Wahl wrote to trustees. “This support is paying off in many ways. Brandon Gibbard, Nate Vogstad and Duncan Rumak are receiving interest from university coaches. A top high school football coach told Brandon that he could help him earn a football scholarship if he decided to go that route. Many people have identified Jesse Barnes as the top grade 11 prospect in the province. In two years we may be watching him play big-time American college basketball on television.” Mr. Wahl also said that the 12-member team is a model of cooperation and teamwork, and the fact that the non-Haida players on the team will have the opportunity to travel to the Junior All-Native is a demonstration of this. “The Skidegate Saints who organize the fundraising have graciously offered to cover the additional costs for the non-Haida athletes,” he wrote. “Obviously they will not be able to play in games but they will be able to participate in all other parts of this event. A former QCSS basketball player who now has a son at our school told me recently that going to the Junior All-Native as a member of the Skidegate Saints would have been a dream come true for any non-Haida basketball player.”