Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer is far from a break for Lea County prep athletes

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Kennedy Sims goes up for a shot during
the Lady Eagles' team camp Saturday in Hobbs.
  Team upon team and player upon player poured into Tasker Arena this weekend to participate in the Lady Eagle Basketball Team Camp.
  Black, blue (of all shades it seemed), red, green and purple practice jersey-clad girls littered the legendary gym, its back gyms and the Hobbs Freshman School gyms from morning until evening Friday and Saturday.
  Hundreds participated in what is just the beginning of a busy summer ahead for prep athletes of all sports.
  While we often enjoy the fruits of their labor when their sports season comes around, it’s easy to forget the hours of work these players put in – particularly during the summer.
  It’s hardly a summer break.
  Take the Hobbs girls basketball program for instance. The Lady Eagles will be competing in team camps all over the state for the next month – playing approximately 50-60 games according to coach Johnny Casaus.
  It’s this dedication to the game that’s helped the Lady Eagles to back-to-back state semifinal appearances.
  Hobbs football will get underway Monday with its summer workouts and will be participating in 7-on-7 events throughout the summer.
  Hobbs boys basketball players start getting after it Monday with the Hobbs Nite League. While others in the state go to tournaments across the nation with AAU teams, the Eagles get better as a team by playing former Eagles and others in the uber-competitive Nite League. No other prep team in the state benefits more from its alumni and the surrounding community with a league like this than Hobbs.
  Sports such as soccer, volleyball, wrestling, golf, tennis, softball, baseball and others across Hobbs, Lovington, Eunice, Jal and Tatum will be training throughout the summer to improve for the upcoming season as well.
  Of course there has to be a balance.
  Part of being young is enjoying the summer – hanging out with friends, taking vacations with the family and just relaxing. It does no good to drive an athlete into the ground and burn them out. It’s important to let kids be kids.
  With that being said, the motivation of each school, each sports program and each athlete is knowing (insert rival school) is in their town working hard, doing the extra reps, getting the extra time in and getting prepared to beat you.
  Whether it be in the weight room, on the field, in the gym or wherever – Lea County’s high school athletes are working hard to do one last exercise when the 2012-13 high school sports season comes around.
  Lift the blue state championship trophy over their head.

This column appeared in Sunday's sports section of the Hobbs News-Sun. To read more coverage of your favorite Lea County teams, subscribe to the News-Sun's print or online edition by calling 575-393-2123.