Chris Franklin might be the new man in town but the head coach of the Oak Bay High boys basketball team is quick to tip his hat to the previous coach, Josh Elsdon.
Elsdon stepped down after last season to focus on other things in life, one of them being the basketball program at Monterey middle school, where he’s a teacher.
Franklin isn’t a teacher, but does bring a strong coaching resumé as the assistant coach for Nanaimo’s Dover Bay Dolphins.
“I’m quickly learning a lot about the school’s connection to the community and athletes past and present, hosting the Gary Taylor Classic this weekend and the Alumni game last week,” Franklin said.
“Elsdon has put this team in a very good position for this year. Plus he’s got lots of kids playing ball over at Monterey and if you have someone like him in the system teaching the next generation, it’s a real benefit.”
It was also Elsdon who was behind the organizing of the Oak Bay Alumni game on Saturday between the Bays of past and present.
Lining up against for the Alumni was a mixed roster of players. Some went on to wear the blue and yellow at UVic – such as Reese Pribilski, Chris Trumpy and Mitch Gudgeon. Some played at Camosun, including 2011 grad Drake Downer, as well as others from as recently as last year.
The Alumni won, but the Bays were OK with that, having defeated Coquitlam’s Terry Fox Ravens 72-53 in an exhibition game on Friday.
During Franklin’s time with the Dolphins there was no bigger threat north of Duncan. Dover Bay won provincials in 2007 and took last year’s Island championship on a buzzer-beater over the Claremont Spartans.
“When you get to coach Oak Bay on the Island, you don’t complain,” Franklin said.
This weekend’s Gary Taylor Classic will define a lot of teams, including the Bays. Their biggest win so far was over the No. 1 ranked Ravens last week.
On Tuesday, the Bays won their second league game of the school season, topping Claremont 84-74.
The Gary Taylor wraps up with semifinals at 6:30 and 8:15 p.m. on Friday night. The first place game goes 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.