The 2017-18 Vancouver Island Senior Boys Basketball season goes into full swing this week.
The Ballenas Whalers, who are playing in the AAA division in the North Island league, will host the Alberni Armada at the Ballenas gym tonight at 7 p.m.
Head coach Kevin McMillen said this year’s Whalers will consist mostly of new players. He will have around 13 players in the roster.
“We are going to be pretty inexperienced this year,” said McMillen. “I have only one returning player — Aidan Brot — and three guys who played significant minutes in last year’s juniors coming up. Everyone else is new.”
McMillen said they’re excited to play their first game of the season tonight against the Armada. He added they have not played any pre-season games much like the visiting Armada.
“We should do all right against Alberni,” said McMillen. “I am looking at us doing well Tuesday night because, first, we are going to be at home and it will also be the first game of the season for them as well. So both teams will be kinda shaking off the rust essentially.”
The Whalers face some tough competition this season. They include well-coached Mark Isfeld Ice, which is always a contender for the Islands. Carihi in Campbell River consists mostly of Grade 12s, all of whom were key players who went to the Grade 10 provincials two years ago. As well, Wellington of Nanaimo was a top 10 nominee for the upcoming year, and is also a well-coached team.
The Kwalikum Kondors will also open their season at home Tuesday and will be hosting Nanaimo Christian at 7 p.m. The Kondors are in the AA division.