Basketball teams still working during summer break
School is out for the summer, but that isn't stopping area basketball teams from staying busy during the off-season. The Berryville Bobcats are hosting their own summer league and they will also be going to camps at North Arkansas College, West Fork, Alpena and Fayetteville throughout the summer.
"We are mixing it up and doing a few other things," Berryville coach Brent Compton said. "And of course we are having practices and workouts throughout the summer. Our kids are very dedicated and are trying to improve. Hopefully that will pay off come off in the winter."
Despite skipping out on the Berryville summer league for the first time in seven years, Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said the Highlanders will also be plenty busy this summer.
"We just want to change it up from playing the same teams over and over and over during the summer," Rambo said. "I thought we would do something different this year. We are going to go to Gravette this year. We are going over to West Fork and we are going to go up and play in Branson for a few days."
After losing J.M. Gregg to graduation, Rambo is hoping to see some players step up and take on a leadership role in his absence.
"We have to develop some scorers," Rambo said. "We are looking for Garrett (Cross) to move up to the frontcourt next year and take some pressure off of our basketball team to score the basketball. We have to replace Avery Walker as a shooter and we are hoping Slade Clark, who didn't get a chance to play much last year, but hopefully he can develop over the summer. And then hopefully Carter (Drennon) can continue to develop as a post player. If those three guys develop, along with Brandon Ray and Dalton Arnold, who will both be seniors, then we have a chance to be pretty good. But we have to play together and that's what we are doing this summer."
Compton is encouraged by what he has seen from his team so far.
"I'm very encouraged by our kids on how they have been working and how they are playing," Compton said. "They have an enthusiasm for getting better and looking forward to the next summer league game or practice. Our kids seemed to be really engaged and enthused about what is going on."
Even though many of the Eureka Springs players have played together for a long time, Rambo knows how important is is for the Highlanders to adjust to playing with one another on the court during the summer.
"It's probably not as important this year as it is others when you have guys moving in, but with the scoring we have to replace, it's pretty imperative we get them on the floor together and see how they react before October gets here because once that starts it's for real then," Rambo said.
Compton hopes to see the Bobcats improve during the summer months.
"We have quite a few threats on the floor offensively all the time," Compton said. "As many as five. We just build on that every day in practice and try to improve on that. They guys are very bought in."
Green Forest and first-year coach Donnie Smith are competing at the Berryville Summer Summer League.