TAYLOR COUNTY—Starting next week, you may catch some of your favorite Taylor County athletes mastering their skills during the state’s three-week summer practice window.
The new rule, which was finally adopted in 2016 and passed after three straight years where similar proposals failed to gain enough momentum to garner sufficient votes, allows coaches more flexibility with their players in the off-season.
As it currently stands, a school’s administration may schedule a three-week window anytime from the end of baseball season to the week before the start of fall practices. The weeks must run consecutively and each county sets the specified dates.
The “dead week” where no practices or games can occur will fall on the week of July 4..
“The three-week period is a very busy time period because each sport is trying to utilize the opportunity” shared Grafton High School boys’ basketball coach Mike Johnson. “As for the basketball team, we will play 18 games in those 3 weeks. We will play 12 summer league games at the Armory in Fairmont, three games at a one-day shootout at Lincoln, and three games at a one-day shootout at RCB. It will allow us to develop some depth for the upcoming season. It is a good experience for everyone.”
Andrew Moore, head coach of the Grafton High girls’ basketball team, had this to say, “We will be utilizing the three-week period a little differently this year. In the past, I’ve scheduled practices for all three weeks while competing against other sports.”
He noted that this year, the ladies will use the second week to practice a couple of days, while attending a couple of shootouts.
“It’s a great chance to get the girls back in the gym to review some things that we want to implement this upcoming season. We return a very experienced varsity roster,” Moore expressed.
During the third week of the live period, the Lady Bearcats will be hosting a middle school camp for girls in grades 6-8.
“This will allow us to get a chance to work with the upcoming athletes and allows Coach Davis and I to implement some terminology and philosophy to them,” Coach Moore said. “We are excited to host them and even some of our varsity athletes will be on hand to assist us in drills and demonstrations.”
In addition to the three-week live period, six flex days are also granted. These days allow coaches to have practices outside of the three-week period and can be used at their discretion.
A coach or principal designee from each sport may also be present to observe or lecture at each summer camp, as well.