Holland Hurricanes – CCAA National Contenders
The Holland College Hurricanes are fairly new to the CCAA with the program entering the league for the 2006-07 season. In this short time the Hurricanes have built themselves into a National Power.
The two time defending ACAA champions have finished 5th and 2nd at Nationals in the last two championships and have built a program that pursues further opportunity to contend with the best in the country.
However, it is what the Hurricanes did in the preseason that will separate them from the ACAA pack and prepare them for a National Championship. Second year coach Josh Whitty did what all great coaches do, pursue teams that are suppose to be better.
The Hurricanes loaded up their preseason with games against AUS opponents which included UNB, Cape Breton, Acadia, St FX, UPEI and Laval from the RSEQ.
By competing against these teams the Hurricanes have maintained a performance expectation that is based on their CIS talent.
With wins over Acadia, St FX, UPEI and close losses to the other AUS teams and Laval, the Hurricanes accomplished their objective. Challenge for greatness.
That being said, the preseason is the preseason and these lessons need to be carried into the ACAA campaign, especially with strong programs like Crandall University, St Thomas and Mount Saint Vincent with the same National expectations.
Coach Whitty sums it up, “it’s good to get wins against quality teams but it’s more important to be in tough games and learning how to execute and compete”.
The Hurricanes will have to maintain these lessons throughout a long season and through nights like the like the opening weekend where they defeated Mount Allison 92-67.
These lessons will be invaluable if and when they get to CCAA Nationals where the teams are bigger and more athletic than their ACAA counterparts.
In weekend two, the Hurricanes were tested when high scoring Kings College showed an early challenge going up 30-28 after one quarter. Holland College then flexed their muscle over the next two quarters outscoring the Blue Devils by 25 and cruising to a 104-86 win.
The Hurricanes have great talent throughout the roster from the
U.S.A and Canada but rely heavily on ACAA first teamer Chase Bowden as well as Eamon Morrisey from Halifax (formerly St FX). DJ Wright of Sault Ste Marie Ontario and Trevone Grant of Nasseau Bahamas have also been big in the preseason. However don’t get caught focusing on one player as this team is solid from 1-12 including Aaron Robins and Terrence Brown formerly of UPEI.
One thing is for certain, the Hurricanes are a top-five CCAA team and will be pushing throughout for that number one seed and a third consecutive ACAA championship. They are also a solid bet to bring a coveted National Championship to the East Coast.
|1||Tyree Gregory||G||6’0||Boston, Mass|
|2||Ali Abdulaziz||G||5’9||Halifax, Nova Scotia|
|3||Mark Graham||G||5’11||Rothesay, NB|
|4||Shawn Lucas||G||6’1||Sackville, NS|
|5||Eamon Morrissy||G||6’2||Halifax, NS|
|6||Daemar Thomas||G||5’10||Scarborough, Ont|
|7||Trevone Grant||G||6’2||Nassau, Bahamas|
|8||Orlando Palmer||G/F||6’3||Brampton, Ontario|
|9||Terrence Brown||G||6’1||Nassau, Bahamas|
|11||Aaron Robbins||F||6’7||Stratford, PEI|
|12||Alex Howlett||F||6’8||Halifax, NS|
|14||DJ Wright||F||6’7||Sault Ste Marie, Ont|
|15||Chase Bowden||F||6’5||New Glasgow, Nova Scotia|
|–||Matt Mitchell||F||6’6||Bridgewater, NS|
|–||James Hicks||G||5’11||Salisbury, NB|
|–||Noah Mutabaruka||G||6’||Toronto, Ont|