BHS boys enjoy summer camp
Beginning and ending summer basketball is all part of Baldwin High School coach Eric Toot's plan for his team.
Hence, the BHS boys' basketball coach held his annual summer camp last week. The Bulldogs worked out two hours a day for four days.
"I like to do it early because once you get into July, football season starts to roll around," Toot said. "I don't want to interfere with football camps. With basketball, we'll be mostly done by the end of June."
Several BHS players are also involved in the Baker University summer basketball league, which ends in early July.
The other camp for the Bulldogs will be a team camp in Iowa next week.
"We are going to a team camp up at Creighton University next week," Toot said. "We've got nine kids going. I'm really looking forward to it. I think the kids are excited to play and that's the most important thing about the summer."
The Bulldogs took to the gym last week, but mostly to have fun and just get used to playing basketball again.
"The camp went really well," Toot said. "We had about 30 kids there and had a good mix of freshmen through seniors. We were able to introduce some things to get us ready for the league and the varsity players that are going to Creighton next weekend. It was a chance to get back into the groove of basketball. I thought it went really well."
BHS seniors-to-be Drew Berg and Zach Durr each enjoyed their final BHS summer camp experience.
"It felt really good to pick up a basketball again," Toot said. "It has been a long time since most of us have had the opportunity to play in an organized setting, so it was nice just to go out there and get after it."
Berg was also glad to be back playing basketball with his teammates.
"Camp was awesome," Berg said. "It went really good. We all played hard and got better. We did a lot of conditioning. We mostly just went through plays and did a lot of drills."
During the four days at camp, the Bulldogs installed a couple of offensive sets and worked on some conditioning. Toot wants his players to improve their individual skills during the offseason.
"We did a lot of competitions," Toot said. "We reviewed some stuff that we did last year. We didn't get too involved into details. During the summertime, I feel they need an opportunity to work on their own games and get away from all of the set plays."
However, it was not all work at the camp, there was some fun involved, too.
On the final day, the players competed against each other in several contests and a few even took home some camp prizes.
"We had a day of competition where we gave away some prizes," Toot said. "The kids really enjoyed that."
Durr was a fan of the contests, because they brought the competitive spirit out of the Bulldogs.
"I thought the competitions were a great way to end camp," Durr said. "Coach had a lot of different prizes that we could win, so that really made things competitive."
Last week's camp was the Bulldogs' second under the Toot regime. He coached the Bulldogs to a 17-6 season this year where they came up just short of winning the Class 4A sub-state championship in March. Toot was named the Lawrence Journal-World's all-area coach of the year as a result.
"I thought we continued to give a good effort, just as we did most of last season," Toot said. "We stressed that we need to continue to build on that and I think for the most part we did at camp."
Durr enjoyed Toot's second year of camp, because the players understand his style a lot better.
"The team had a great time at camp last week," Durr said. "In our second season with coach, everybody seemed to know what was going on already, so we could get through the drills much more smoothly.
The Bulldogs will officially begin practice for the winter season in November.