Innisfail high’s hoopsters are back

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INNISFAIL – Basketball season is underway at Innisfail High School.

The senior boys’ basketball team has been practising and preparing for the season, which begins this week, since early November.

“Practices are going well,” said Allen Traxel, head coach for the senior boys’ basketball team. “Our first league game is next Wednesday (Dec. 6).

There are 12 players on the team this year, from grades 10 to 12, half of which are returning players, he noted. As a 2A team this year, they will play in the 2A league against schools in Central Alberta.

“There are eight teams in the league and we’re hoping to make the top four to make the playoffs this season,” said Traxel. “We (finished the regular season) in third place last year so we made the playoffs.”

He wants to continue working on areas that need improving and build on last year’s success.

“The boys work hard. They come to practice and they work hard,” he said.

“One of our strengths is that we’re a fast team, we go up and down the fore (court) quickly,” Traxel added. “We’ve been working on all different kinds of skills such as shooting, dribbling and passing.

Traxel said his team gets along well together and works as a unit. They are all looking forward to another successful season.

“They’re really excited about their first game,” said Traxel. “We have four tournaments and seven or eight league games this season.”

Basketball begins in early December and runs until March, he noted, adding he will be helped this year by assistant coaches, wife Barbara Traxel and local businessman John Harris.

Practices are held Tuesdays and Thursdays, with games on Wednesdays.

Traxel said he’s pleased with the progress his team has made thus far.

“All of our players are quite strong so we can put almost anybody in any position and have them play,” said Traxel. “I think we’re as good as last year. The three league games before Christmas will help us decide (how good we are). If we can win all three of those, then we should easily make the playoffs.”

Allen Traxel, head coach

“All of our players are quite strong so we can put almost anybody in any position and have them play. I think we’re as good as last year.”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.