New coach for WRCA

A new head coach has been hired to lead the senior boys’ basketball program at White Rock Christian Academy – and his name might sound familiar to Peninsula basketball fans.

John Dykstra, former coach at Elgin Park Secondary – and, more recently, at Surrey’s Kwantlen Park – was selected this week, ending an exhaustive, month-long search to replace longtime coach Scott Allen, who is leaving his post for a head coaching position with Trinity Western University’s men’s team.

“I’m super excited,” Dykstra said.

“It was an easy decision because of the opportunity to lead an established program and keep it going, but at the same time, it’s tough to leave my guys at Kwantlen Park.”

Dykstra will also serve as the school’s athletic director, as well as teach P.E.

“We aggressively pursued a number of candidates over the past month, and John really stood out,” WRCA principal Dave Loewen said.

In addition to his high school coaching experience, Dykstra has also served as an assistant coach at the University of B.C. and with Basketball BC’s under-17 program.

This past season, he guided the Kwantlen Park Timberwolves to the B.C. AAA Boys Championship. In their first-ever trip to the provincials, Kwantlen Park placed ninth after winning three of four games.

Dykstra is also a former player, having played at UBC and also in the NCAA. He has already met with many of the players he’ll coach next year, and Loewen said, so far, everyone’s reaction has been that of excitement.

“The guys kind of gave him a bit of the tour of the school the other day, and there was a real positive response from the kids,” Loewen said.

Dykstra, who currently runs a character-building workshop for the Surrey School District, inherits a talented young team, as well as a program that’s considered among the best in the province. Under Allen, the Warriors won two single-A basketball titles, as well as three at the AAA level, the most recent coming in 2005.

This season, WRCA finished second, losing in the championship game to Abbotsford’s Yale Lions.

“You call it pressure, but I call it expectation, and I’m looking forward to trying to get this team into provincial finals every year,” Dykstra said.

Though Allen’s are big shoes to fill, Loewen joked that – at six-foot-five – Dykstra at least has the height to fit in on a basketball court.

“Scott keeps joking that, with him leaving, the kids will finally be coached by someone who actually looks like a basketball guy.”

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