Although she’s taking a year off, it’s been a busy time for RDC Queens basketball head coach Dawn Smyth, who is spending most of her free time recruiting for next season.
The tough part is not knowing who will coach next year.
“There are several talented players who are waiting to see what happens with the coaching situation,” said Smyth, who has 24 players on hand for an I.D. camp at RDC, which opened Friday and runs today from noon to 3 p.m.
“But I’ve been communicating with them and will keep the lines open until we settle who is coming in.”
Smyth knows the college will bring in a qualified coach, even if it’s for one year.
“All you have to do is look at Clay (Kings first-year coach Clayton Pottinger). He’s a good example on how things can change and how RDC does a good job of bringing in quality coaches, who fit the program and the area. I believe that will happen . . . I have faith in that.”
It may be a good year for a new coach as the Queens will likely go through a rebuilding season.
“This year there may be a lot of turnover . . . it’s something that happens every three years. We may have half the team back, so we’ll be looking for six or seven players at least,” said Smyth.
“It’s good in that there’s a lot of opportunity for new players to step in and an opportunity for a new coach to put a stamp on the team.”
Smyth will continue to work with the new coach once the position has been filled and will likely run another I.D. camp.
Smyth has several players committed for next season with Hunting Hills Lightning wing Brittani Blake, post player Kaitlyn Bracko out of Dr. E.P. Scarlett in Calgary and high-scoring Dedra Janvier of Cold Lake leading the way.
“Brittani will be good for the team next year as a perimeter player and Kaitlyn will be a good post player for us and will get a chance to contribute right away,” said Smyth.
“Dedra was one of the top players up north. Other teams ran all kinds of defences to stop her.”
Forward Teighan Ponto of Hunting Hills is also in camp and will likely be on the team if she commits.
“She’s athletic and long and would be a good addition.”
The Queens will lose point guard Karlan Majcher for sure as she’s been guaranteed a spot with the University of Northern B.C. in Prince George.
• Pottinger isn’t running an I.D. camp, but will bring in a number of players to work out in the next couple of weeks.
“We’ll have a number of our key recruits coming in to work out with the guys over the next while,” said Pottinger, who isn’t sure how many veterans will be returning.
“All of them are eligible to return except Sarain (Soonias),” he said. “I’ve had individual meetings with all the guys and a lot of them are still up in the air.”
Jacob Cusumano is the lone starter guaranteed to return next season with back up forward Joel Carroll also back for sure. However, Pottinger would love to see point guard Lloyd Strickland and forwards Eric Bakker and Rob Pierce back.
“Based on the way the season went there’s a good potential to have them all back,” Pottinger said. “We’ll know in the next little while.”
• RDC will hold their year-end awards banquet at the Westerner on April 11.