The Edmonton Christian High School Lions won their first-ever boys’ basketball gold medal in the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association 3A division.
Edmonton Christian High School’s championship basketball team.
At 350 students, Edmonton Christian High is one of the smallest schools in the city.
Despite that, the Lions spent the regular season playing and winning many games against top-tier schools, most with over 2,000 students. To win gold, they defeated the number-one ranked Cochrane Cobras 73-65.
Lions head coach Rob Hofstede is a member of West End Christian Reformed Church and played basketball while a student at the school. After earning a teaching degree, he returned to the school 25 years ago, “and I haven’t stopped coaching since,” he said.
Hofstede attributes the success of the Lions to two things: “First, many of the guys have played together since elementary and junior high,” he said. “And second, we have outstanding community and parental support.”
During the gold medal game, Hofstede’s son Brent, six-foot-four and a grade 11 student, together with six-foot-seven Levi Wolthuis from Trinity CRC, did the bulk of the offensive damage against the opponents.
However, Regan Luth of St. Albert CRC “was perhaps our most consistent starter all year,” said Hofstede. Point guard Daniel Rozema, a grade 11 student who also attends West End CRC, not only played an outstanding game but also received the Edmonton Journal All-Star award, usually given to a grade 12 student.
Another grade 11 student, Justin Visscher of First CRC, rounded out the starting line for the gold medal game. Three of the five starters are returning players, raising Hofstede’s hopes for a winning team again next year.