Storm hopefuls preparing for first intersquad game Saturday in Souris

Jason Malloy
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Intense was the word Island Storm forward Mike Martin and head coach Joe Salerno used to describe the first three days of training camp.

“It’s been very intense, but in a very good way,” Martin said Friday.

Salerno said the intensity is different than a year ago when he saw nervousness amongst the hopefuls.

“I think the focus we tried to put this year on the camp, not thinking about cuts and not thinking about a 12-man roster, just thinking about the basketball, has really helped,” he said.

The bench boss has been pleased with the energy level as guys compete to show what they can bring to the team while working well as a unit.

“Guys want to see the best out of each of other and they want to push each other,” Salerno said, adding they have also been supporting one another.

While talks about cuts are not happening publicly, the coaching staff meets after each practice and discusses who stood out.


The team has had five practices in three days. Salerno told the players he would give them Friday night off if the morning session went well. At the end of practice he delivered the good news.

“They’ve earned that,” Salerno told The Guardian.

It was a reward for their efforts, he said, but also to give them time to be physically and mentally prepared for Saturday night’s intersquad game in Souris.

“We’re hoping we see some good performances from these guys and we get everybody’s best,” Salerno said. “They can put themselves in the best position to make the final roster.”

There are 18 players in camp and the team will be taking 12 for the season. The first cuts are expected Sunday.

Martin said he would be doing a lot of resting on Friday night.

“The bodies, of course, are sore, but we’re professionals,” he said. “We have to take care of our bodies (by) doing a lot of stretching, a lot of replenishing it with water and protein.”

Martin attended training camp last year with the Halifax Rainmen. After six games, he joined the Storm. The six-foot-eight, 230-pound from Chicago, Ill., said it was the best thing to happen to him.

Martin said he sees a more aggressive team on defence this season and more positive attitudes.



A look at a couple of key dates for the 2015-16 Island Storm training camp.

Dec. 9 – Storm players had their first on-court training camp sessions.

Dec. 12 – Team holding a clinic with Special Olympians at Souris Regional High School in the afternoon and an intrasquad game at 7 p.m.

Dec. 18 – Halifax Hurricanes vs. Island Storm in exhibition game at Centre 200 in Sydney, N.S. The city will become home to the Cape Breton Highlanders for the 2016-17 season.

Dec. 21 – Island Storm at Moncton Miracles in exhibition game.

Dec. 26 – Storm opens regular season on home court against the Saint John Mill Rats at 2 p.m.

Dec. 27 – Storm travels to Moncton to play the Miracles at 2 p.m.

Dec. 31 – Storm hosts the Halifax Hurricanes at 7 p.m.

Organizations: The Guardian, Souris Regional High School, Centre 200

Geographic location: Souris, Chicago, Ill., Sydney Moncton

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