Moffat County basketball camp part of effort to promote uplifting atmosphere on court
The summer sessions continued this week for Moffat County High School sports as the boys basketball kept things heating up in the gym.
Following MCHS girls hoops’ camp for middle school ages earlier this month, it was the guys’ turn recently as new head coach Steve Maneotis and the members of the program provided instruction for younger ages.
“We’re working on individual fundamentals and team skills,” he said. “We’ve spent 45 minutes on just ball-handling, we’ve worked on defensive breakdown, one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three, up to five-on-five. We’re also trying to show them a base offense with a lot of the drills we’ll be doing at the high school level. When we get them as freshmen, they’ll be that much further ahead.”
Besides running basic drills each day, Maneotis got athletes in game mode as well, in a shirts and skins scrimmage as teams simulated the NBA Finals action between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.
The fast-paced fun was a learning experience for players as they picked up skills on the spot, adapting to the game’s rhythm.
“It’s been awesome, I’m learning a lot in shooting and game situations,” Bryant Carlson said. “I’ve done a lot with defense, too.”
Going into eighth-grade, Carlson said he’ll be using the abilities he’s sharpened this week when Craig Middle School basketball picks up in the winter.
Blake Tupa said the same, although this will be his first time suiting up for the Bulldogs in the sport as an incoming seventh-grader, and he expects the junior high level will be far more challenging than recreation league ball.
“I’m really looking forward to the more technical part of it and learning more,” he said. “My favorite part of being out here is making everybody else feel good as a team.”
As for the high school players, Maneotis has seen them attend regular open gyms in the evenings, as well as early morning workouts alongside the MCHS football team.
The Bulldogs will be hitting the road later this month with upcoming camps and tournaments, including next weekend’s Gold Crown Foundation in Lakewood, with a huge tourney the following weekend in Loveland.
“Man, there’s 170 teams there, so we’ve got a lot going on,” Maneotis said. “I’m excited. These kids are working hard, and they’re learning.”
He added that for the high school team, he is “building from the ground up” with a solid response from a receptive group.
“We’re setting up a culture to be uplifting, positive and our motto right now is ‘next play,'” he said. “When you make a mistake, don’t hang your head, don’t look over your shoulder. Go work harder on the next play. We’ve gotta be family and love one another.”