A quick check of the calendar shows that we have 7 weeks until the first basketball proactice. After a fruitful summer, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about what our guys have been doing since school has started.
As I assessed the program last spring I thought we were weak in our overall skills (especially ballhandling and shooting) and I thought we needed to get stronger. To our kids' credit, they had a great summer and made significant strides in those areas. But, we are far from a finished product, and there still is work to be done.
Since school started we have tried to step up our efforts in the weight room. I think we have an excellent strength and conditioning program. It is a comprehensive program that works on strength, explosiveness, quickness, agility, and flexibility. I've spent a lot of time researching this area and I think some of the things we do are cutting edge. Hopefully I don't sound like I'm tooting my own horn, because I am not. Everything we do has been taken/borrowed from the leading experts in the field. We have been limited a little bit by our strength training facilities, but we have persevered. The extra space that was added this summer has been a very positive addition, but there are some improvements I would like to make over time. Really, the most important aspect is not the program or the facilities, it's the effort and consistency with which the players train. To their credit, our players have been consistently giving a great effort in the weight room and they look a lot different than they did 6 weeks ago.
While skill work has taken a little bit of a backseat to strength and conditioning, our guys have been putting in extra time in this area as well. We have several regulars at Breakfast Club each morning. Breakfast Club is at 6:15 am each morning before school. Players get together informally and get out the Guns (rebounding device that helps them get up more shots) and play 1 on 1 games. We also have guys who stay after school, come back at night, or get in the gym on Saturdays to put up shots. I always challenge them to "shoot game shots, at game spots, at game speed." By the number of guys that I have seen in the gym, I can honestly say that, "The 'Gym Rat' is no longer an endangered species at Loogootee."
Golf Scramble A Huge Success!
We held the Loogootee Basketball Golf Scramble yesterday at Crane Golf Course, and it was a huge success. We had 18 teams and 75 players participate and I think everyone had a great time. It was fun for me to meet and get reaquainted with so many supporters of Lions Basketball. By the looks of things, all of the golfers enjoyed visiting with each other as well. This was my first Loogootee Basketball Golf Scramble and after seeing how much fun it was for everyone, I can't wait until next year's event!
There are many thank yous to handout for the golf scramble. Our organizers: Wayne Flick, Erick Ackerman, and Susan Jacobs went above and beyond the call of duty getting things set up. Quite honestly they took charge of nearly all of the big decisions for the golf outing. Without them there wouldn't have been a golf scramble. JV coach, Bruce Wade, lined up several sponsors, quite a bit of the food, and organized hole sponsor signs. Varsity assistant, Mike Wininger, also helped with the hole sponsor signs and was the "grill master" as he grilled all 160 burgers and 60 brats! Freshman Coach, Noah Callahan helped setting things up on Saturday and provided assistance with the food. Anita Wildman and Trish Carico helped collect muligan and raffle money on Saturday, and Anita graciously donated 60 brats! A special thanks to the Lion Backers as they donated the drinks.
As for the prizes..... The winning team of Greg Potts, Joe Potts, Mark Potts (7th grade coach), and Jordan Hawkins (8th grade coach), shot a 55 to best the field by 2 shots. Chris Reed (6th grade coach) Brian Smith (LHS girls coach), Rob Hudson, and John Michael Vincent (JMV The Fan 1070) finished in second place with a 57. The team of Cam Ackerman , Doc Strange, Mark Jeffers (Local rap artist), and Terry Butcher finished in 3rd place with a 58. Hole prize winners were: Closest to the pin on #5- Greg Potts. Closest to the pin on #18 was Casey Thompson. Longest Drive on #14 was Greg Potts.
I've listed all of the hole sponsors and special donations below. Their financial support of Lions Basketball is greatly appreciated. Please support the businesses who support the Lions.
1. The Lodge
2. Harder’s Garage
4. Ruler Foods
1. Ader Asphalt Maintenance
2. Ader Inflatables
3. Anonymous Doner
5. Blake’s Car Wash
6. Bradley's Bar and Grill
7. Brocksmith – Blake Funeral Home
8. Builders Best
9. Cash Waggner and Associates, PC
10. Century 21 Classic Realty Ed Schnarr
11. Crane Credit Union
12. Dairy Master
13. Dairy Queen
14. Dave and Linda Lett
15. Edward Jones and Associates
16. Family Dental – Angela Smith
17. Farm Bureau Chad Wade
18. German American Bank
19. Greene’s Body Shop
20. Hawkins Health Center
21. Hupp Construction
22. In Memory of Albert Ackerman
23. In Memory of Elmer Flick
24. In Memory of John Hunt
25. In Memory of Wilma Bateman
26. In Memory of Willie Walton, Ben Trout, and Eric Baker
27. Jolene and Vance McAtee
28. Kelly Ford
29. K of C #732
30. Loogootee Collision Center
31. Loughmiller Machine and Tool
32. Martin County Video/JD Shirt Design
33. Mayor Noel Harty
34. McAtee Appraisal Service
35. Midwestern Engineers
36. Old National Bank Loogootee
37. Pizza Junction
38. Rick Colvin
39. Running with Scissors
40. Strawn Insurance Agency
41. Toy’s Auto Parts
42. VU Business Department
43. White River Co-Op
44. Williams Pharmacy
Lions Players and Coaches:
Coach Chezem and Father:
Burgers and Brats at the turn:
More Burgers and Brats:
Loogootee Basketball Club
Below is a copy of a letter sento home to all boys in grades 2-8. I'm posting this in case your letter didn't make it home.
Loogootee Basketball Club
August 27, 2015
I am excited to announce the formation of the Loogootee Basketball Club. This organization is designed to provide opportunities for Loogootee boys in grades 2-8 to learn and grow in the game of basketball. We will be forming teams at each grade level that will participate in Fall, Winter, and Spring leagues and tournaments. The purpose of forming these teams is to provide additional opportunities for our players outside the regularly scheduled school sponsored season.
While the teams in the LBC will be organized and run by the Loogootee basketball program, the LBC is a self sufficient entity. We will be responsible for all of our own uniforms, tournament/league fees, and transportation. In most cases, when there is a school sponsored team at a particular grade level, the coach of that team will also coach the LBC team. Skills, as well as offensive and defensive concepts taught in the LBC will be same things taught within the Loogootee basketball program.
There are no tryouts for the LBC. Any boy who wants play is welcome to participate. But, it is important to note that the purpose of the LBC is to supplement the playing experiences offered during the school sponsored season. A child who wants to play on the school team does not have to play on a LBC team, but a child who wants to play on a LBC team must play on the school team when one is available at his grade level. When the number of participants is large enough, we field more than one team at a particular grade level. The cost to participate in the LBC is $50.
There will be an informational meeting on Thursday, September 3rd at 7pm in the cafeteria. I will be available to explain the LBC in more detail as well as to answer any questions that you might have. I have attached a registration form. If your son would like to play, please fill it out and turn it into the middle school or elementary office by Friday September 4th. Registrations will also be collected at the informational meeting on September 3rd.
Boys Basketball Coach
Loogootee High School
Loogootee Basketball Club
Name _____________________________________________________ Grade ___________
Cell Number __________________________________________________________________
Jersey Size (Circle One):
YS (6-8) YM (10-12) YL (14-16) Adult Small Adult Medium Adult Large Adult XL
Y or N I am interested in helping coach a Loogootee Basketball Club team
If “Yes” please leave your name, contact information, and best time to reach you below.
2015 Lion Backers Golf Scramble
I want to make sure that you get September 12th on your calendar. We are hosting the 2015 Lion Backers Golf Scramble at Crane Eagle View golf course that day. I expect it to be a great time for the supporters of Loogootee Basketball, and one that I'm sure that you won't want to miss. I want to give a special thank you to Eric Ackerman, Wayne Flick, and Susan Jacobs for taking the lead on this. Without their efforts we wouldn't be able to pull this off.
I have listed all the information necessary for entering a team or purchasing a hole sponsorship below. If you don't have a team, you can register as an individual and we will find you a team. If you don't have a business to advertise, feel free to sponsor a hole individually. You can also choose to honor a loved one or former player/team.
Fee: $45/ player or $180/ team. Golf, cart, drinks, and prizes are included. Registrations must be turned in by Wednesday, September 9th. If you can't find a team, we can put you on a team.
Time: Shotgun start is at 9:00 am. Please arrive early for registration.
Spikes: Crane Eagle View golf course is a non-metal spike facility. Soft spikes are available for a fee in the golf shop.
Dress: Crane Eagle View golf course has a courtesy dress code policy states that tank tops, sleeveless shirts, half shirts, athletic and gym shorts are not permitted. Halters and brief shorts are not acceptable for the ladies.
Hole Sponsorships: If you wish to be a hole sponsor, a $50 donation will ensure that you or your company will be represented with a sign. We can put your name, company name, company logo, or the name of the person or event that you would like to honor on your sign.
For registrations or hole sponsorships please contact:
Eric Ackerman- (812) 486-8786 or email@example.com
Wayne Flick- (317) 752-3048 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Jacobs- (812) 295-6199
Who Needs A Gym When You Have An Outdoor Court?
This past week the volleyball team hosted a camp in JBA. We weren't going to be able to get in the gym in the morning like usual, so I decided to move our workouts outdoors. This was something new for our guys, and quite honestly, I don't think they were looking forward to it in the beginning. As it turned out, I think they really enjoyed the change, and I expect that we will probably start seeing more pick-up games outdoors in the future.
Generally speaking, kids don't play outside much anymore, and that's too bad. I think there is a lot to be learned from playing games on the outdoor courts. Back in the day (yeah, I know that makes me sound old) I used to drive into Frankfort and play at Dorner's Park. I knew that Dorner's had the best games, and I couldn't wait until I was old enough to play there. I can still remember my Dad dropping me off at the court for the first time. There were about 20 guys there already, and they were choosing teams. D-1 players like Rick Fields (ISU) and Tom Miller (Rice) were there. Gary Goode was an Indiana all star, and Tim Roth who starred at Bellarmine were high school players at the time, but they were on the court. Needless to say, I didn't get picked up that first game. In fact, I didn't get picked up most of the afternoon.
Games were tough at Dorner's. Sometimes as many as 40 guys showed up to play. Winners kept the court, and if you lost, you might have an hour wait before you got back in a game. I remember watching those guys go at it that first afternoon. I realized that there was a pecking order. The best players took the most shots, and if you weren't one of the best players and you took a bad shot, you would definitely hear about it from your teammates. The games were as fierce as any I had ever seen. Guys played defense as if their life depended on it. They made the extra pass, they set tough screens, they rebounded like there was no tomorrow, and there was absolutely no "cherry picking."
As the day went on, I took my ball out on the court to shoot around between games. I was hoping to knock down a couple of shots and catch somebody's eye, but still nobody picked me up! I was devastated, but undetoured. I was just a young county kid who was fresh out of the 8th grade. I hadn't had a chance to establish a reputation yet, so the chances that I was going to get in an early game were slim. I figured that I would hang around until the crowd thinned out a little and eventually I might sneak into a game. Then all of a sudden I hear deep voice from across the court, "Chezem! Are you going to play today, or did you just come to watch?" It was Ron Best. He was a big man and slightly intimidating to a 14 year old Dorner's rookie. He was a businessman in town, but he was a heck of player back in the day. I noticed throughout the afternoon that Ron kind of ran things at Dorners. He wasn't the best player out there, but he still had some gas left in the tank, and he definitely had earned his stripes at Dorners. I nervously said, "Yeah, I'll play." I jogged out onto the concrete and Ron gave me my instructions. "Cheese, here is how this works. I'm not running up and down the court all afternoon to watch you guards shoot it everytime. I get the ball inside at least every other time down the court. You got it?" I nodded.
Well the first game for me was pretty uneventful. No great plays by me, but no embarassing mistakes either. I was certainly going to make sure Ron got his touches, and I was darn sure that I wasn't going to take any bad shots, or turn it over! I do remember that we ended up winning that game, and I remember how cool it was to get to claim the court for the next game. I immediately understood that WINNING was EVERYTHING at Dorners.
Those pick up games at Dorner's made me tough. The older guys pushed me around, knocked me down, and blocked my shot. But I kept coming back for more! Although I only got to play in few games that first day, I was hooked. I made my Dad drive me into town every Sunday afternoon to play at Dorners. Playing against the best competition had a positive impact on my game. I improved by leaps and bounds, and by the time I got my driver's license I had moved up the ranks to where I was getting chosen to play in the first game. Not too long after that I rose to "Captain Status."
Today we live in an era of air conditioned gyms and AAU basketball. It seems like the only time players play is when a game or practice is organized for them. I think it is making kids soft. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate air conditioned gyms, and I think there are definitely some positives to playing travel basketball. I just think that kids are missing out on a great and unique opportunity to learn the game when they don't play on the outdoor courts. Hopefully we will start hearing the balls bouncing more frequenly at the outdoor court at LHS.
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