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April 24 , 2007

Camosun College welcomes Brett Westcott as the new head coach of the Chargers women’s basketball program.

Westcott served as the program’s assistant coach last year, working under Chargers rookie head coach, Dawn Smyth, who took the team to record-breaking heights following a near winless former two seasons.

“Working with Dawn and Gord [Thatcher] this past year has given me a great start in checking out the BCCAA league and teams,” stated Wescott. “People are really excited about last year’s accomplishments. I hope to build upon that and help Camosun build a program that will help keep talented student-athletes here in Victoria.”

Westcott’s long-time coaching history and recruiting abilities will be key assets in maintaining the program’s momentum and developing it further.

“Brett has over 20 years experience coaching and has played a significant role in the basketball community,” remarked Graham Matthews, Coordinator of Recreation and Athletics at Camosun College. “Over the past 10 years, he’s helped 20 girls from Mt. Douglas and over 80 girls from the South Vancouver Island Basketball Association club program advance to play at the post-secondary level.”

Westcott is off to a great start, and to date, has already secured seven Lower Island AAA league all-stars from the Victoria region. Included are 5’11” forward and two-year starter Teresa Hartrick (Claremont), 5’9” forward and three-year starter Jessica Hickey (Oak Bay), 5’11” forward and three-year starter Carmen Lapthorne (Mt. Doug), 5’8” guard and one-year starter Kady Dandeneau (Stelly’s), plus 5’11” forward and two-year starter, Niki Hodgkinson (Oak Bay) and 5’9” guard and two-year starter, Rachel Griffin -- both of whom spent one season red-shirting with the UVIC Vikes women’s team.

Vancouver Island AAA tournament all-star Tawni Roberts (Carihi) joins the list of local recruits. The 5’8’ left-handed guard and three-year starter will move to Victoria from her home in Campbell River to attend Camosun this Fall. Lower Island AA League All-Star Kymber Gale from Lambrick Park has committed to the program but will sit this season out to recover from ACL surgery. Gale will return to the court wearing the Chargers colors in 2008-09.

Westcott also has a number of returnees participating in this year’s program. Included are 5’7” wing Kendall Allan (Lambrick Park), 5’6” guard Kate Carlson (Spectrum), 5’9” wing Kayla Morris (Spectrum), 5’8” guard Drew Crout (Claremont), 5’10” wing Julia Fisher (Cowichan Secondary), 5’10” post Jill Proudfoot (Oak Bay) and 5’9” post/wing Ashley MacKay (Claremont).

“I feel very fortunate and confident about the upcoming season,” stated Westcott. “We have a great group coming back and a great group coming in!”

Camosun wishes all the best to former head coach Dawn Smyth who will soon begin her new position as head coach of the Red Deer College Queen’s women’s basketball program.

In one short season, Smyth directed the Chargers program - which included only one veteran and only one win in the previous two years - to a fourth place finish at the British Columbia College’s Athletics Association Provincial Championship.

“It was a great year for the women’s basketball program,” reported Graham Matthews. “The team won its first double-header games this past January, they finished the season with a win-loss record of 6-10, they placed 13th on the Canadian Colleges’ national rankings and qualified for Provincials where they upset one of the top teams earning them a shot at the bronze medal!”

“It was incredibly rewarding seeing the players develop especially in light of the challenges we had. I loved having the opportunity to experience the successes that we did. It makes for a great story and a wonderful experience,” said Smyth.

Smyth will face a very similar set of circumstances when she arrives in Red Deer. The Red Deer Queens finished last season with a 3-17 record and two of those wins came by default when Briercrest Bible College dropped out of the league at Christmas.

But Smyth is optimistic and looking forward to the challenge. “The experience at Camosun has prepared me well! It’s a matter of getting into the community and bringing back interest in the program and the school.”


Graham Matthews
Camosun College Recreation & Athletics
Phone: 250–370–3601

Last updated: April 25, 2007 11:58 am

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