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Friday, June 15, 2012

Register-Mail- Summer Programs

At this point, no rosters are set in stone, but summer activities -— camp and league — for the possible members of the Galesburg High School freshmen, sophomore and varsity girls basketball teams began last week in preparation for the upcoming season.
Girls who will be in the second grade through the junior high level have also been participating in a summer camp with just the junior high level players also playing in a summer league.
The camps end today, but the leagues, which mostly take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, run through July 6.
On the varsity level, two freshmen, two sophomores, four juniors and six seniors have been taking part in the activities.
The varsity group will be traveling to Madison, Wis. on Saturday to play games at the University of Wisconsin, as well as the University of Notre Dame and then Maine West High School in Des Plaines later this summer.
“We have a good varsity group coming back,” said Evan Massey, who is entering his 35th year at the helm of the Silver Streaks varsity girls basketball program. “Eight of the girls were regulars last year. During the regional tournament, they were on the floor and that’s great experience. Right now, we have six other girls playing with us this summer.”
Massey stressed that just because someone doesn’t play a lot with the prospective varsity team during the summer it doesn’t mean she won’t get playing time with them when the season rolls around. Casey Williams, who will be a sophomore this fall and played for the varsity team last season, is a prime example according to Massey.
“She didn’t play a lot with us last summer,” he said. “Once the season starts, I don’t know where we will be.”
Massey set a theme — 212 degrees — at the beginning of the varsity camp, which came about from a motivational book put out by Simple Truths. The book examines the difference between 211 and 212 degrees.
“We used that initially when we started camp,” he said. “We challenged them to set goals beyond their comfort zone — set goals higher than what they are comfortable with. There is not much difference from 211 to 212 — not much heat — but the case with them you never know with a little bit more invested the results or the improvement.”
Over the summer, Massey wants the varsity level girls to concentrate on a few things.
In general with the varsity kids, we really in the summer and fall try to motivate them to improve their shot. If they shoot it better it will help us,” he said. “In camp on the varsity and sophomore level we try to do individual skill work and team concepts they’d have so as they play this summer they are working on the things we want. Hopefully when they start at the beginning of the season in November it’s review for them. Hopefully, you are ahead of the game there.”
Massey said over the years the summer activities have changed a bit.
“When I first started, we did the young kids the same camp as the high school kids, but the high school kids was a six week summer school program and they received a P.E. credit; That was a long haul,” he said. “Other than that it’s pretty much stayed the same.
“Five or six years ago, the contact rules changed and now we can go coach kids in games and stuff,” Massey added. “Our numbers total in the grade school through the high school in the first 10 years we probably didn’t get 100 kids and then we were getting 220 kids. The numbers went down some, but now we are back up to about 150 kids.”
Massey doesn’t like to speculate, but he thinks two things — parents and the implementation of “The System” several years ago — have helped pushed the number of Galesburg girls attending summer basketball activities back up.
“You look back in the 70s and 80s and for the high school kids we had the same numbers, but not as many younger kids involved,” he said. “Today, it’s more the norm in all sports that parents want their youth involved. I think it’s benefited all sports in that way. It’s dangerous making conclusions, but for us on the high school level we have close to 50 kids involved when maybe five years ago it was 35. With our style, I think kids think they have a chance to be more involved.”
Despite the time commitment, Massey hopes all the girls involved in the summer league enjoy it.
“I think sometimes with the time it’s work but hopefully fun, because kids are getting to play and there isn’t much pressure on winning and losing,” he said. “It’s about the process.”

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