Digging Dogball

Moffat County High School hosts camp for local youth

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During the high school basketball season, Moffat County freshmen Bobby Jorgensen and Cass Thompson were learning what it took to make it at the next level.

This week, they are the ones teaching what it takes at the MCHS Dogball basketball camps for first through seventh graders.

"It's different because as a freshman, you're not used to having too many people look up to you," Jorgensen said. "With all the little guys, they all look up to us to show them how to play."

At Sunset Elementary School, the basketball camp for the younger age group of first through third graders had 14 attendees Tuesday afternoon. After going through the fundamentals of jump shots, dribbling and shooting, the campers were turned loose for a game of four-on-four.

"I like that we get to play a lot," said camper Tyler Hildebrandt. "We don't get to have teams at school very much."

After the guys spent 15 minutes trying their best to hoist a ball almost half as big as they are to the basket, MCHS coach Jeff Simon had them all sit down.

"What did you learn today?" he asked.

"We learned to beat high schoolers," was one response, which the four freshmen teachers denied.

"We learned jump pass," a technique that Simon had never heard of but agreed with and moved on before too many new names for techniques were created.

"If we can get the opportunity to teach the fundamentals early, it makes our job easier when they get to us," Simon said. "The camp also gives us a chance to keep basketball fresh in their minds and keep them interested."

After the end of the second day, at least one camper was interested.

"I want to keep practicing so I'll be really good in the winter," said Braeden Sullivan. "I'm not quite better than the high schoolers, but I want to be."

Coach Mike LeWarne started the Dogball camp with the hope to fuel aspirations to be good basketball players.

"We have a lot of competition with other sports," he said. "We tried to have the camp during school instead of in the summer to reach more kids."

LeWarne was at the camp for the older hoop dreamers, which was held simultaneously at the high school.

"We've got some seventh graders who can play," he said. "It will be fun to see them

come up."

In the past, the camps have been held during the summer but LeWarne said he wanted to change things up to see if more participants would attend during the school year.

"There hasn't really been a difference in numbers," he said. "If a kid is interested he'll come anytime the camp is held."

As Tuesday's session wound down, Simon handed out shirts and water bottles to his campers, which were admired by 14 first, second and third graders.

"I'm going to were my shirt to school tomorrow," Hildebrandt said.

"Me too," said Sullivan.


David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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