The end of a short but successful era in Sardis secondary school basketball sees Kyle Graves stepping down as head coach.
The Sardis grad coached the team for five years, three of them while working as a teacher-on-call in the Chilliwack School District.
Changing job prospects this year forced his hand.
“I am unable to provide as much of the energy and time that coaching the team requires, as the assignment given to me by the school district has me away from Sardis secondary,” he wrote, explaining his decision. “The unfortunate reality is that it will be too difficult, both personally and professionally, to not be at the school every day developing and strengthening the great relationships I have built over the years with each of the returning players and all of the new players.”
Graves led his Falcons to back to back provincial tournament appearances.
He groomed Hayden Lejeune (now at UVic), Eric Rogers (now at Trinity Western) and Cam Servatius (now at UBC-Okanagan). Collectively known as the Big Three, they helped Sardis to a fourth place finish at the 2014 AAAA Championships, held last March in Langley.
His teams were the first local senior boys’ squads to earn a spot in the tournament in move than 60 years.
“We broke new ground by finishing eighth in 2013, fourth in 2014, having multiple home-game crowds of over 400 and earning back to back titles of having the best fans in the province,” Graves said. “We sent three student athletes onto university basketball last year, and in the last two years we have had 12 graduating seniors go on to study in university. These accomplishments should be shared by all of those who have supported Sardis basketball and I look forward to the continued success as this year’s team continues the tradition of success we have built over the last five years.”
The school has not named a replacement for Graves.