The week marks the end of the school year for many counties in the region, but it also signals the beginning of a phase for several student-athletes.
Netherlands head coach Monte Barrow said he sees the summer program as a continuation of the work done in the spring.
“We met on the last day and said we wouldn’t talk about a lot of things because we wouldn’t see it as a stopping point and start something new,” he said. “As it is now, with the UIL giving you time to practice sport-specific skills, you treat it like spring.”
Barrow said the only real difference is working with children on a different schedule that isn’t centered on school.
“We have kids who go on vacations and other kids who work,” he said. “We have different options as to the time of day so they can get into the weight room and stuff like that.”
Barrow wants to ensure his players have active, fulfilling summers while also being dedicated to the team.
“That was the last thing I told them,” he said. “We shared our expectations with them, but also told them that they are still teenagers. Some of them are only 14. It’s summer. You go through a lot in a school year and you have to switch off and start over.”
Memorial spent most of the spring working on strength and speed as many of the program’s skill players competed in the track season.
Head Football Coach Brian Morgan said the summer allowed his team to focus on skill-specific drills
“We’ll probably get more football in the summer,” Morgan said. “The way the rules have changed has worked in our favour. We feel that the way our summer has gone over the past few years sets us apart from other teams. Everyone across the state works hard, but we feel like our structure, consistency and how many kids are here in the summer gives us an advantage.”
Morgan said adding seniors and juniors who have been in the program for several years allows coaches to focus on new student-athletes.
Port Neches-Groves head coach Jeff Joseph and his program concluded the Spring Ball this month with some inter-team competition.
“For us, this is an opportunity to look back on what we did in the spring and start installing things again,” Joseph said. “We’re going to polish everything up and get it ready for the fall. It gives us the opportunity to narrow our scope and know exactly what we need to do and who we are going to be.”
Joseph said his program included weeks off.
“We’re trying to do our best to communicate which days we’re completely free,” he said. “We’re letting them know when those days off will be so they can try to plan their holidays around those times. At the same time, we don’t tell them not to travel or anything like that. Everything is fine with us. If you’re in town and here, get the job done. If you’re going to be out for a long time, find a way to stay in shape.”