By Eric Bourque
Another season has begun for the Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School varsity basketball teams, who have home games coming up in their new gym on Forest Street.
The Viking girls are scheduled to play Par-en-Bas this Wednesday (Dec. 12) and both the Yarmouth girls and boys are slated to play host to Park View a week later, on Wednesday, Dec. 19.
With its bigger school population now, YCMHS has joined the Division 1 ranks, Park View being one of Yarmouth’s Division 1 rivals.
The Vikings will still play games with non-Division 1 schools within the Yarmouth-Shelburne district.
Coaches with both the YCMHS boys and girls describe their teams as fairly young.
The boys started things off by losing three games at a tournament hosted by Horton District High School, the Vikings losing to Sackville, Horton and Halifax West.
A week-and-a-half later they defeated Lockeport.
The YCMHS girls also opened things up with a tournament at Horton, where they defeated Park View but fell to Cole Harbour and to Horton.
More recently, the Viking girls defeated Barrington.
Dana Cunningham is coaching the Yarmouth boys squad this season with Dave Atkinson. Craig Minard is assistant coach.
“We got started a bit late,” Cunningham said, referring to the boys team. “We started a little bit behind the eight-ball, so we’ve been trying to catch up.”
The Horton tournament was a learning experience for the Yarmouth team, she said.
“They’ve got great potential and they’ve got great heart and they’re a good group of boys,” she said.
This is Cunningham’s first year coaching the YCMHS team. She and Atkinson succeed Tom MacMillan and Joel Durling, who coached the Viking boys in recent years.
On the girls’ side, Kelley Lacroix is back as the YCMHS coach – her fourth year – with Dave Phillip as assistant.
Referring to the makeup of this year’s squad, she said, “We have one Grade 9. We have a couple of Grade 10s, predominantly Grade 11s, and maybe two Grade 12s.”
As for Yarmouth’s move to Division 1, she says the Vikings can compete with some Division 1 clubs and may struggle against others.
She said she was looking forward to having the team play its first home game in its new school.