People won't be forgetting these Titans for a long, long time.
South Kamloops secondary honoured its provincial champions Tuesday, and it was the Titans senior girls basketball team that got the biggest ovation. The Titans are a month removed from winning the provincial AAA championship in Langley, their second title in as many years.
Around 500 students crammed into South Kam's JP Gym before lunch to celebrate the champions.
"It's really awesome to know that the whole school is behind us," said senior centre Emma Wolfram, who is headed to Spokane to play for the NCAA's Gonzaga Bulldogs next season. "They've supported us the whole year, and it's great to see how proud of us they are."
What the Titans did over the past two seasons hasn't been done by a Kamloops basketball team in a long time. The last time a South Kam/Kamloops High senior team won a provincial title was in 1964, when the Kam High Red Angels won their third title in five years.
Those Kam High teams won titles in 1960, 1962 and 1964. The 1960 squad was inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and all three teams are remembered fondly around town.
"Kamloops is small, and people remember things like this," said senior forward Maya Olynyk, whose postsecondary future will be with the Saskatchewan Huskies in Saskatoon. "Coming back for reunions in 20 years or whatever, it's going to be cool to know that we went down in history as back-to-back champions."
The Titans 2011-12 team, which was ranked No. 4 heading into provincials but went undefeated in Vancouver, was named the Kamloops Sports Council's team of the year on Saturday. During the same banquet, four individuals and a team - the North Kamloops Mohawks baseball club - were inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame.
It's not a stretch to think that these Titans teams will get a similar nod a few years down the road.
"When I heard about (the Kam High) team that won in the 1960s, I was excited for them," Wolfram said. "I can't wait to see what people think of us 50 years down the road."
The Titans' roster for the 2012-13 team featured Wolfram and Olynyk, the lone seniors, along with Daylynne Agar, Elizabeth Anderson, Christine Clyde, Mieke DuMont, Anna Frenkel, Ashley Lamoureux, Becca Peters, Emma Piggin, Kanesha Reeves and Emily Vilac.
South Kam has been consumed with winning since Olynyk and Wolfram were in Grade 9 and led the Titans to a junior provincial title in 2010. The pair led the Titans to a third-place finish at senior provincials in 2011, and won in 2012 and 2013.
But winning hasn't been everything, and it likely won't be the lasting memory for the two graduating Titans.
"I'll remember the friends I've made on the team the most," Wolfram said. "We're going to be friends forever."
"I'll remember my teammates," Olynyk agreed. "That's a big part of it. Winning a provincial championship is always big, but you remember the team you did it with."
The Titans have penned a great story so far, but there may still be a few chapters remaining. With 10 players returning to the team next season and a strong group of juniors moving up, South Kam could have another contender on its hands.
Granted, it loses its top two players in Olynyk and Wolfram, but that doesn't mean the goal has changed.
"They'll do well," said South Kam athletic director Corey Yamaoka, who was part of the Titans' coaching committee alongside Jane Wolfram (Emma's mom), Ken Olynyk (Maya's father) and Sean Lamoureux (Ashley's father). "Like Ken said (during the assembly), a three-peat would be incredible, and I don't think it's happened in a very long time, at least not at (the AAA) level."
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