A nearly three-decade old program in Thunder Bay is getting closer to game action.
The Thunder Bay Wolves continue the try-out period for potential players for all six teams.
“I think every team has one former Wolves player on their coaching staff,” remarked under-16 Coach Lindsay Inkila. “[Try-outs] have gone great, there is a lot of talent, athleticism and hard-working girls trying out so it’s making our job pretty hard! It’s awesome to see the number of girls in the city who are playing.”
The under-18 program is participating in the JUEL league for the first time this season, which means the girls will be playing in Southern Ontario for seven weekends beginning in December and lasting until May.
The Wolves program, which began in 1997, has made a point of focusing on developing athlete-centered policies and procedures, which included creating a board of directors, having a more rigorous process of coach selection, and aligning with Canada Basketball’s long-term athlete development model.
Inkila gives a lot of credit to Dave Paddington for her growth and the sport in Thunder Bay.
“Dave was my coach during my senior years in high school. He was a tough, but fair coach who challenged all his players to be better. I respect him a ton for all he’s done for sport in Thunder Bay. We have kept in touch through the years but have reconnected with him becoming involved again with the Wolves program. As I’ve transitioned from athlete to coach, Dave has provided a lot of guidance, wisdom and laughs as well. He also likes to tell stories to my athletes about my free throw woes which they now like to bug me about as well,” Inkila added.
The teams have been working out a majority of the time at PACI.
The under-16 team will play games after the holiday season before the Ontario Cup qualifying tournament.
The first game action for all Wolves teams is the U18 JUEL team, who will be playing out of town on Dec. 16 and Dec. 17.