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"Row The Boat"
Coach Chezem
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[Posted: September 19, 2016]
Golf Scramble A Big Success

We held our annual Boys Basketball Golf Scramble on Saturday, September 3rd, at Country Oaks Golf Course. We were fortunate to have the weatherman cooperate as it was a wonderful day weather-wise. We had 20 teams play this year and by all accounts everyone had a great time.

I’d like to thank Bruce Wade and Mike Wininger for all the hard work they put in setting up the event. The Lion Backers, Helen Dearwester, Anita Wildman, and Terri Restler all went above and beyond the call of duty in making sure this event went off without a hitch.

We had many sponsors who made donations to our scramble that enabled us to raise quite a bit of money for our program. These sponsors include:

Scott Wagner
Chad Wade
German American Bank
Jolen’s Décor
Gasoline Alley, Ed, Bob Harder
Thrivent Financial, Todd Baker
Knights of Columbus Lady Auxiliary
Bradley’s
Crane Credit Union
Toy’s Auto Parts/ Napa
Stoll’s Lakeview
Martin County Co-op
Lett and Jones Attorneys at Law
Angela B. Smith DDS
Marathon
Builders Best
Loughmiller Machine,Tool, and Design
Key Associates
Kimberly Bowling
Hawkins Healthcare
Millstreet Grill
Eric Ackerman
Little Scholars Pre-School
Blakes Funeral Home
Bailey Brothers Used Cars
Loogootee Collision and Repair
Rosie’s
Knights of Columbus
Buehler’s IGA
Dairy Master
Studio 21, Chassidy Bridges
Lonnie Hawkins
Elmer Flick/ Wayne Flick
1974 Sr. Lions
Old National Bank
Biggins Pizza
Noel Harty
Dave and Linda Lett


[Posted: August 22, 2016]
Golf Scramble September 3rd

The Loogootee Boys Basketball Golf Scramble is going to be held at Country Oaks Golf Course on Saturday, September 3rd at 8 am.  As usual, this will be an ABCD format.  Cost is $50 per player/ $200 per team.  Hole sponsorships are $50.

Team registrations or hole sponsorship money can be sent to:

Loogootee High School
201 Brooks Avenue
Loogootee, IN  47553
      C/O Loogootee Basketball

If you have any questions please contact me by using the contact tab at the top of this page.  You can also contact Mike Wininger ( 812)296-1961, Bruce Wade (812)709-2074, or Noah Callahan (812)709-1759.


[Posted: July 31, 2016]
Are You Ready For Basketball To Start?

I've had several people around town ask me recently, "Are you ready for basketball season to start?" My usual response is, "Basketball season never stops."  I'm not trying be a "wise guy" by saying that.  I'm actually just trying to remind people that our players have been working hard in the off season.  In fact, most of our kids have made tremendous strides this summer.  

As I've stated on this blog, June was a very busy month for us.  We definitely made a lot of progress in June.  But as a coach, I never know what kind of comittment I'm going to get from players after Moratorium.  This year our attendance in July was pretty good. We averaged 11 high school players per day at Breakfast Club which meets 5 days a week at 7:15am. Those same guys stayed after and lifted weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  We also averaged about 15 kids in the weight room on MWF afternoons.  So, in total we were around 25-26 kids per day on MWF.  I would say that was a pretty solid July.

Basketball takes a year round committment to be good at it.  I think it's impossible for a player to put the basketball away when the season is over in March, get it back out again in November, and expect to experience any kind of success.  With that being said, I'm also not a supporter of players specializing in one sport, and playing only that sport for 365 days year.  Research shows that kids who specialize in one sport when they are young have a much higher risk of injury and burnout.

So as summer winds down and fall sports begin, we move into the 3rd phase of the off season.  Fall sport athletes will focus on their sport while hopefully finding some time to get in the weight room before school.  Basketball players not in a fall sport will be working on strength and conditioning after school and finding time to play at open  gym from time to time.  

I think the challenge for our players is to take their work ethic to the next level in this third phase of the offseason- especially in the weight room.  There are 14 weeks until the first basketball practice.  That means 42 different days to be in the weight room.  A guy could certainly make some significant strides before basketball season starts….. (as if it ever ended.)


[Posted: July 20, 2016]
7th, 8th, and 9th Grade Strength and Conditioning

7th, 8th, and 9th grade strength and conditioning will be on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays at 
3pm in the weight room.  This will run through July 29.


[Posted: July 06, 2016]
Busy Month For Coaches

Without question, June is my busiest month as a basketball coach.  With camps, practices, touraments, etc…. finding room for everything on the schedule can be a challenge.  I often hear colleagues of mine complain about all the summer hours they spend in the gym, but you won't ever hear that from me.  I really enjoy my time working with all our kids in summer, and I think it goes a long way toward making us better.  As I look back at the past month and compare it to where our basketball program was a year ago, I definitely see quite a bit of progress.  Last year I was impressed with the overall work ethic of our kids, but realized that we had a long way to go in terms of skill development and understanding the system.  As I watched our players/teams perform this summer I witnessed improvement in all areas.  I'm definitely excited about the direction in which we are heading.

Probably the biggest factor in our improvement this summer is our assistant coaches.   In terms of knowledge of the game, work ethic, and relating to kids, I would put our guys up against any staff in the state.  First, we were lucky to get Conner Wittmer back this summer.  He was instrumental in helping with camp, taking teams to tournaments, and supervising the weight room.  I know Conner wants to get into coaching some day and it wouldn't be going out on a limb to say that I think he is going to be a great one.  Secondly, Mike Wininger, Bruce Wade, and Noah Callahan were back again to help out in all areas.  These guys deserve a lot of credit for any improvements that we've made, and they should be commended for all the extra hours they spend making our program better. They come straight from work each day to work with our players both on the floor and in the weight room.  They have graciously given up their weekends to take our kids all over the midwest  to play in tournaments and team camp.  I'm lucky to have them on staff, and our players are lucky to have such great role models to work with.

I

 

 


[Posted: July 05, 2016]
D-1 Camp and Hoosiers Gym

We ended June with a hectic 5 day stretch that started with D-1 Team  Camp in Fort Wayne on June 25th and and ended with a trip to the Hoosiers Gym in Knightstown, IN on June 29th.  It was a tough 5 days for our kids but a fun and productive time for them as well.

D-1 Team Camp
There are many "team camps" held around the state, but D-1 is the original team camp.  It started at St. Joseph's College in Rensellaer, IN nearly 30 years ago and is currently held at St. Francis University in Fort Wayne today.

I like this camp because it is the only team camp where we can take our entire program the same week.  This year we took five different teams.  We took the 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th grade, JV, and varsity teams.  Overall it was a great experience for our kids.  

The varsity finished camp with a record of 7-4.  More important than our record was the level of improvement that I saw in our team.  As the only 1A school in camp, we played a really tough schedule.  Every team we beat was from a 2A or 3A school.  Two of our losses came at the hands of 4A defending state champion New Albany and 4A Columbus East.  We played very well in stretches of both games and the experience we gained was invaluable.  We did lose a heart breaker in the championship game of the tournament to Western.  They are a 3A school from the Kokomo area who beat us on a last second shot in 2 OT.  It was disappointing because we had beat them the day before, but they have a solid team.

We had 3 players perform well in the contests.  Out of 23 total varsity teams Tye Collins finished second in the 1 on 1 contest and Bailey Dearwester and Cade Chezem finished in a tie for second in the 3 point shooting contest.

The JV and 9th grade teams both finished under .5oo on the week, but they played some pretty stiff competition.  Some minor injuries also kept them from playing at full strength in several games.  I think both teams gained some valuable experience that should serve them well once our season starts in Novemvber.

The 7th and 8th grade competed in a 15 team junior high division.  Most teams in this division were made up of 8th grade players and several teams came from big schools.  The 8th grade had a phenomenal week going undefeated in league play and by also winning the tournament.  In the championship game they defeated a strong Forest Park team by 20 points!  Not only did they have success as a team but Levi Pendley won the dribbling competition and Jordan Wildman was the free throw champion.

The 7th grade finished under .500 but was "playing up" vs older competition most of the week. Their claim to fame came in the Crunch Time Tournament.  This is a single elimination tournament where the games are only 3 minutes long.  The 7th grade pulled off the upset of the week as they bear our 8th grade team in the semi finals.

Overall it was a great week at D-1.  I'm hoping to make this a annual trip for our program.

 

Hoosiers Gym

On Wednesday, June 29th we took the varsity and JV to Knightstown to play in the Hoosiers Gym.  What a great experience for our players.  They all have seen the movie Hoosiers and it was a thrill to be able to play on the same court.  I think the day proved to be  the perfect way to end a very productive month of June.


[Posted: June 22, 2016]
D-1 Team Camp Info

I have had several questions about D-1 team camp.  Hopefully the info below will answer your questions.  If not, please use the contact tab at the top of the page and I will do my best to answer any questions.

Departure: We will leave at 7am sharp on Saturday morning.  We will be taking a school bus and a mid-bus.  

Check-In: Check-in is 11am- 12:30 pm.  All players must fill out the form at this link prior to check-in:  http://goo.gl/forms/Wh5CEyXY9SC2r6zE3

Payment: Cost of the camp for Loogootee players is $180.  Most players have turned in a $25 deposit, or paid the entire amount.  The balance is due at check-in.  Make checks payable to D-1 Camps

Physical:  We will make copies of physicals of players who turned one in last year to participate in school sports.  If your son did not turn one on to the school last year, you will need to get physical prior to camp.  Physical forms can be picked up at the HS office.

What to Bring: Bring enough shorts, socks, t-shirts, etc to play basketball for 3 days. We will be playing as many as 5 games per day.  Fresh socks will help fight blisters. Bring your own pillow, sheets, blanket, towel, toiletries, and phone charger.  Extra money for snacks, gatorade, etc… The first meal included with camp will be Saturday evening.  The last camp meal will be Monday breakfast.

Return: Monday is “tournament day.”  Every team will play at least one game.  We are taking 5 different teams.  We will stay until the last team is eliminated.  Players are welcome to ride home with their parents.

Schedule: Schedules will be issued to the coaches on Saturday afternoon.  I will try to add those to the website Saturday evening.  Players should be ready to play their first game early Saturday afternoon.


[Posted: June 19, 2016]
Solid Week For The Lions

This past week was a busy week for the basketball program.  In total the high school basketball teams played 22 games at 3 different locations.  If my calculations are correct, it was also a  pretty successful week in terms of wins and losses.  As a program we finished the week 17-5.

The week started last Tuesday as the varsity and JV traveled to North Daviess to play Clay City and the host Cougars. I did not get a chance to see the JV play as they played in the auxillary gym, but they finished the evening 1-1.  The varsity jumped out to an early lead in the first game vs Clay City and were never really challenged.  In game 2 we played North Daviess and again jumped out to an early lead.  ND did pick up their play in what ended up being a pretty physical summer basketball game.  I don't recall the final margin of victory, but it was in double figures.  I don't want to make too much over winning a couple of summer games, as these games aren't played using the same rules in regards to length of game, free throws, fouls, etc…  Also most coaches don't use the same substitution pattern as they do during the regular season, and often times teams are missing players for one reason or another.  While we did have our full roster, Clay City and North Daviess were both missing key contributors.  With all that being said, I still was pleased with our overall performance and thought we showed some improvement over our play at Indiana Wesleyan last week.

On Wednesday and Thursday we sent a two different groups of JV and freshman players to Olney Central to play in the their shootout.  Coach Wittmer gave postitive reports on our teams' performances.  The group we sent Wednesday finished 4-0 and the group that traveled to Olney on Thursday finished 2-1. The only loss being to an Illinois team who was playing with several varsity players.

Friday morning we packed up the mini busses and headed to my almer mater, Olivet Nazarene University.  ONU is located in Bourbonais, IL which is just about an hour south of Chicago.  I have taken teams to this shootout in the past and have always found it to be a quality tournament with top-notch facilities.  I believe that we were the only Indiana team at the tournament, so it was nice to play some teams that we have not seen before. The tournament is also not divided by enrollment size, so we played a mixture of small schools, large schools, and private schools.  The JV finished the weekend 3-2 against some pretty talented JV teams.  The varsity played some of its best basketball of the summer and finished 5-1 with our only loss coming by 6 points in the championship game.

All in all it was a great week for us.  Our teams got better and we we were able to spend some time together and bond.  It has been a pretty good summer so far.  This week will be another big week for the entire program.  Tuesday we head to Hancock County Kentucky to play 5 games.  We will be taking our 7th, 8th, 9th, JV, and Varsity teams to play across the river. On Saturday we take those same teams to Fort Wayne to play in a 3-day team camp at St. Francis University.


[Posted: June 16, 2016]
Team Camp Accommodations

I have had several parents ask me if it was ok if they attend  the games at D-1 Team Camp in Fort Wayne next week.  While its not necessary for parents to go, all parents are welcome to attend. I realize thaty some parents will likey use the weekend as their own "vacation", while others might prefer to go watch a little summer basketball.  If you would like to go, we  have reserved a block of rooms at the Towneplace Suites in Fort Wayne.  Rooms are reserved for both Saturday and Sunday nights.  You don't have to stay both nights, so if staying one night works out better for you feel free to stay either Saturday or Sunday.  Room rates are $120 per night and the group reservation is under "Loogootee High School Boys Basketball."    You will need to make reservations no later than Tuesday, June 21.  The phone number is (260) 483-1160


[Posted: June 16, 2016]
Lions Headed To Kentucky

The Lions are traveling to Kentucky to play at Hancock County HS on Tuesday, June 21.  This is kind a unique trip as we will have 5 different teams playing.  The 7th and 8th grades will both be playing at  10am.  The 9th grade and JV teams will play at  11 am, and the varsity will play at 12:15 pm.  The bus leaves at 8am and will return approximately at 3 pm.  All times listed are Indiana times. 

Darren Lynam is the varsity coach at Hancock County.  I'm familiar with  Coach Lynam as we coached against each other back in the late 90's when he was at Turkey Run.  His teams were always well prepared and hard-nosed.  Hancock County should be a good test for us. They have an enrollment of 475 in the high school, which would place them solidly in 2A in Indiana.  Last year trhey finished 16-11 and only graduated 2 players.


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