MEDICINE HAT, AB – Past, present, and future Medicine Hat College Rattlers all collided at the school on Saturday at the women’s basketball team’s spring identification camp.
Around 20 high school and college age athletes were put through the paces by head coach Clayton Nielsen, as the program looks to fill a handful of spots on their 2018-19 roster.
A number of Grade 12 students battled to impress the Rattlers coaching staff, but the camp also featured students from Grades 10 and 11 wanting to put themselves on the college’s radar.
It’s a camp that Rattlers rookie Katelyn Rozdeba knows well, after attending as a local high school student in years past.
“I think it’s really fun to get the high school girls to come in and experience it,” said Rozdeba. “I remember when I was in high school I loved coming to these, working with the Rattlers to make myself better, and hoping to become one.”
There were a few players with collegiate experience at the three-day camp however, including former Lethbridge College Kodiak Hayley Lepard.
Hailing from Taber, Lepard and her friend Natalie Hoyt participated in the camp after committing to the team earlier this year.
“Clayton talked to me after my high school [career] and I was like, ‘No I’m done,’” said Lepard. “And then, my best friend is coming to play. We came here for the first time and it was like a super good vibe, the girls were super kind, it was just a good environment. So, yeah we’re excited.”
A few departing Rattlers including seniors Kennedy Werre and Courtney Henry made an appearance as well, providing instruction for some of the younger, prospective Rattlers.
Medicine Hat is coming off their best season in a decade, finishing with a silver medal at ACAC provincials and playing in nationals last month.
Rozdeba said it’s great to see the level of talent in southern Alberta, with prospects coming out from Taber, Lethbridge, and everywhere in between.
“It gets people from not just Medicine Hat, but all around Medicine Hat, to come here and show their skill,” she said. “Usually we just see people in Medicine Hat, so now we get to see outside and what they have.”
Nielsen and his coaching staff will now take the summer to determine who will slot into their final few spots, with the 2018-19 season kicking off with pre-season games in September.
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