Cochrane basketball coach Randy Peron never seems to shy away from the sport he loves.
After guiding the Cochrane High Cobras senior girls team to a fifth place finish at the 2018 Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA) Provincial Championship in March as well as helping the U-14 Zone 3 girls win a bronze medal at the Alberta Summer Games in July, Peron is back on the bench as an assistant coach with the U-15 Team Alberta boys team at the Canada Basketball Under-15 National Basketball Championships in Kamloops, B.C. The tournament began on Aug. 6 and will run until Aug. 11.
The tournament has had mixed results for Peron and the fourth-ranked Team Alberta. They lost in their opener to the top-seeded team from Ontario before bouncing back and defeating third-place Saskatchewan in their second preliminary game.
“Our game against Ontario was our first legit game since we’ve been together and it showed. Ontario ended up winning 102-45 over us, which was a very good eye opener as to where we need to be if we get the chance to play them again in the gold medal game,” Peron said.
“Our rebound game was Aug. 7 against Saskatchewan, who beat us last year for the bronze medal … we have a couple returning players and from that team including myself who wanted payback by beating them this time around. We were successful with that goal, beating them 82-30, which was a great rebound game for us. The kids played so well and it put us in third place at the end of the preliminary round which will pit us against the sixth-seeded team from New Brunswick heading into the medal round.”
“We want another chance at Ontario and if you want the gold medal you’re going to have to beat the top dog and that’s who they are right now.”
Peron has represented his province a number of times since he’s started coaching, but said the feeling of wearing the Alberta colours of blue and white never gets old.
“I take great pride in the opportunity to be one of the coaches for Team Alberta. Whether it be as the head coach or an assistant, to represent your province … I take great pride in that,” Peron said.
“There’s only three coaches that get to coach a provincial team and I’m one of them. I feel very honoured to have that privilege asked of me … it happened last year, I coached the Alberta Summer Games team and to represent your province, I’ll do it every time I’m asked to coach a team. I just love representing our province at national tournaments and there’s only one bigger achievement and that’s coaching or playing for Canada and representing your country.”
“This is my third time helping coach the U-15 boys as well as four years with the (Alberta) Summer Games team so I’m very excited to be part of Team Alberta for sure.”
Peron is also the only representative of the Town of Cochrane on the team, something he is equally as proud of.
“I think it’s an honour to be part of the Cochrane community. Not only coaching at the high school level with Cochrane High, but representing our town as a member of Team Alberta … as coaches we keep reminding the kids that you are representing your province, from every area (of the province) and they take great pride in that,” Peron said.
“Word gets out on how well we do based on our effort and our effort is there. I relish the opportunity to represent our province, the Town of Cochrane and to be part of the provincial program we have set up here.”
With the medal round getting underway on Aug. 9, Peron said the team only has one goal on their minds moving forward.
“Our goal is to go after gold. We’re the fourth ranked team based on our performance from last year and we want to move up to the first or second positions,” said Peron.
“We want gold and that has been the goal since we selected this team. We’re going to work hard, take all the necessary steps and make sure we put our best foot forward in order to go for the championship.”