From summer workouts for football to the formation of high school summer baseball leagues, athletes across the state have been able to continue working on their skills despite being out of school for nearly three months.
Now, basketball teams are getting in on the action.
Under the bylaws of the LHSAA handbook, the coach of a school team may conduct practice sessions during the summer months, but that school team cannot participate in games against other schools or other teams when using their school’s name, wearing their school’s uniforms or using their school’s equipment.
Locally, the Notre Dame Pioneers, the Midland Rebels and the Northside Christian Warriors have all gotten in on the action and all are participating in a summer league at North Vermilion High School .
“You know, (the time) where you make your most improvement is the summer time,” said Midland coach Todd Briley, whose team defeated Notre Dame 55-26 Tuesday in a summer league contest at North Vermilion. “Nowadays, I find that if you don’t get those kids up there, they won’t do a lot on their own and this is the time to get them better.”
The league and team camp play is an added bonus to summer workouts.
“What’s good with league play is there’s no pressure - the kids can kind of just go out there and have fun,” said Briley. “I kind of just sit back and relax and let them play. But then you can go back the next day and work on some of the things you saw. Then you have a few days before you play another little game and you can work on some of your weaknesses.”
Notre Dame assistant coach Donald Adams, who played Tuesday’s game with just seven players, agrees with Briley’s assessment.
“With the youngsters we have and the inexperience we have, we really need to play some games this summer and it’s going to be a plus for us during the season,” said Adams. “We don’t have any veterans out here, but even when the season starts, we’re only going to have one senior.
“Right now, it’s good to work the younger kids out and have some fun. I have seven kids out right now who are willing to come in and work. So that’s a plus.”
While summer league play is beneficial to all teams involved, schools like Midland and Northside Christian benefit from having nearly their entire team on hand for practice and games.
The same can not be said for schools like Notre Dame and Crowley High, whose basketball team consists of a number of athletes who also play football.
“Being a football school, we don’t expect to have all our guys out here,” said Adams . “But, hopefully, once football is over, we can put them all together and we will have a fairly decent team. And this summer league is going to help us get much better.”
Crowley High isn’t playing in any summer league, mainly due to the abundance of football players on coach Derrick Boone’s roster.
“We’re not doing any organized camps or anything like that,” said Boone. “I could have our guys participate in some camps later this month, but after that, football really starts strong. After that, my guys won’t touch a basketball again until November. To me it’s just kind of pointless to play a few games in June and then not pick up a basketball for five months.
“I want all those guys to focus on the sport at hand and then when I get them, they will have enough time to get where I need them to be.”
However, Boone does plan to get his squad, especially his non-football kids, together a few times in July and play a few scrimmages against some local schools.