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Local Regina basketball rivalry turns into partnership: ‘It felt really special’

Click to play video: 'Crosstown rivalry becomes partnership'
Crosstown rivalry becomes partnership
WATCH: It's not every day that crosstown enemies become friends, but that is the case for the Senior Girls basketball teams at Thom and Sheldon Williams – Feb 2, 2024

In Regina, the rivalry between anything and everything south of Dewdney Avenue versus north of Dewdney Avenue has been going for ages.

But in the case of the senior girls basketball teams at Sheldon Williams Collegiate and Thom Collegiate, that rivalry has been set aside.

The reason being that Thom did not have enough players this season to field a team.

But thanks to the joint efforts of Thom’s athletic director, Scott Bridgeman, and Sheldon’s Senior Girls basketball assistant coach, Mackenzie Williams, the two teams merged into one.

“He contacted me and let me know that these couple girls wouldn’t have a team and he really wanted to find a place for them, so we decided to bring them over and co-op them and it’s been really great,” said Williams.

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Grade 11 Jessica Malowany and Grade 12 Patience Benjoe made the switch from Trojans black and white to Spartans red and gold, and they were made to feel right at home from the get-go.

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“As soon as we got here everyone was saying hi and introducing themselves, and it just made all of us feel very welcome, especially me. And it was a very happy feeling that they were able to let us in and be a part of their team,” said Benjoe.

The team participated in the Moose Jaw Crosstown Classic in early January, and the Spartans captains surprised the Trojans duo by bringing out their Thom jerseys for the whole team to wear.

The idea was spearheaded by Spartans captain and point guard Issy Langford.

“I just kind of thought, if I had to go to a different school to play, obviously I would be grateful to be able to play my last year but that would be hard not wearing my jersey or my number. So kind of finishing off on a note and getting to wear that one more time, especially for Patience,” said Langford.

“We thought that we were never going to see those jerseys again and especially it being my senior year, I thought I was never going to be able to play in them again. And then once they surprised us with the jerseys it felt really special,” said Benjoe.

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The northside and southside amalgamation will now set their sights on coalescing to win the Regina High School Athletics Association B side gold medal.

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