Scott 2 is focused on the future and giving its students the best programs. This year, Scott 2 expanded and added to its athletic program for elementary students.
Elementary students starting in kindergarten to fifth grade were able to participate in the expanded sports program this year. In the past, the district had an elementary sports program, but many of the sports were only available to the third, fourth, and fifth grades. This year, the expanded sports program featured coaches from the varsity high school programs and provided students with opportunities to learn the fundamentals, to enjoy the game, and to decide whether they like the sport or not.
“Having a feeder program in place, like we have now, gives us a chance to allow our SCSD2 students a chance to experience different sports, from team sports (volleyball and basketball) to more individual sports (track and cross-country),” said William Best, Scott County School District 2 elementary school sports coordinator. “The biggest thing is they have to learn to enjoy the game first. All of our sports we have, from elementary to varsity, is just that, a game. If you don't enjoy it, you're not going to work hard or stick with it.”
Best, along with the high school coaches and Scottsburg High School Athletic Director Jamie Lowry, worked together to create the expanded program or additional camp offerings in basketball, volleyball, cross-country and track, football, soccer, and tennis.
“I'm proud to say we do not charge kids to participate. Each kid and coach gets a shirt to keep after the season. All money raised during the season at the doors goes into our programs to help support all, from the lowest grade all the way up to seniors,” Best said.
To kick off the basketball season, Brent Jameson, Scottsburg High School boys varsity basketball coach and a teacher, held a training camp before students started playing either in the travel league or school league.
“It allowed us to have 100 more kids involved,” Jameson said. “These kids play simply for the joy of the game. They just have a ball.”
After the camp, the elementary players played in a travel league, for grades second through fifth, or a school league, for grades kindergarten through fifth. The travel league played 40 to 50 games around the region and included elementary school students who were further along in their basketball skill set. Like the boys elementary travel league, the girls elementary basketball league competed for a similar number of games throughout the region.
“We want to give those kids an activity. We want them to fall in love with the game,” Jameson said. “They just go out there and play and have fun.”
The school league helped other students who were still developing their skills. The school league players competed in six Saturday games and each elementary school in the district faced each other on the court. The girls elementary basketball school league began in January with the same number of games on Saturdays.
“It allowed kids to develop skills to shine in the school league,” Jameson said. “That was neat to see.”
In addition to the two leagues, the elementary boys also participated in incentive clubs, focusing on ball handling and shooting.
“One of the goals of the program is to give them opportunities and to make memorable experiences,” Jameson said. “We want them to leave feeling good about Scottsburg basketball.”
The dribbling club showed off their skills during the New Albany-Scottsburg boys home game. The group of boys spent at least an hour each week working on ball handling skills and doing fundamental drills.
“The place was packed. I’d be pretty excited about that,” Jameson said.
The shooting club was based on how many attempts one took between May and November.
“We wanted to encourage them to practice,” Jameson said. “It gives a kid a good competitive experience.”
Starting at an early age will help students, who want to pursue athletics in high school and beyond, because the more concerted time one puts into an activity, the better the mastery over time.
“[With elementary programs,] we can put our system in at a young age,” Jameson said. “If you don’t put together a program, you’re leaving it to chance.”
Girls interested in basketball will have an opportunity to attend a basketball camp starting April 18. The camp is open to girls in kindergarten through sixth grade.
Jameson will host another camp during the summer — June 5-9 — for grades kindergarten to eighth grade.
For more information on these camps, visit www.scottsburgcamps.com.
This year was the first year for elementary volleyball. The response from third- through fifth-grade students was tremendous.
“We had [more than 100] girls play,” said DJ Zipp, SHS girls varsity volleyball coach. “It sparked some interest. Some girls signed up for club volleyball.”
Before this year, the volleyball program began in sixth grade.
“We had 60 girls tryout for the sixth-grade team,” Zipp said. “[By having an elementary program,] it helps girls decide if they really like it and whether they want to pursue it. This gives us a better idea who is serious about it.”
Not only did the elementary program allow more than 100 elementary girls play volleyball — many for the first time — it also helped create some momentum for the high school program.
“It created a buzz around the high school program,” Zipp said about the elementary parents and players attended some of the high school matches.
Each week, the elementary volleyball program focused on teaching the girls fundamentals while giving them a chance to compete.
“The best thing about the program was to see the girls getting better each week,” Zipp said. “This year, we have a record number of girls playing club. Many people do not realize it, but Indiana is the second biggest state in the country for volleyball behind California.”
During spring break, Zipp will hold a basic skills camp March 27-29 for girls in grades third through eighth. For more information on this camp, visit www.scottsburgcamps.com.
Brandon Tormoehlen, the SHS boys varsity baseball coach and a teacher, wanted to provide elementary school students with a camp during winter break, before the season starts, and during summer break, so they could still play in baseball for the Scott County Little League while getting to know him and the Scott 2 baseball program.
“The students learn a lot of the terminology and techniques in our camps,” Tormoehlen said. “By attending the camps, those kids are getting to see that and that always helps in the future.”
The camps Tormoehlen hosts feature basic fundamentals in hitting, pitching, fielding, and base running.
“Nationally, 10 percent of Little League players play high school ball,” Tormoehlen said. “We want to provide more involvement at the lower levels, so it will keep more kids playing.”
During the baseball season at SHS, elementary school students are given chances to attend some of the games during Little League Day and other events. The young players will have lunch, watch the game, and run the bases with the high school student-athletes.
“It gives them a chance to be involved and hang out with the older kids,” Tormoehlen said.
The SHS baseball team also hosts a military appreciation night and a “pink out” game to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Tormoehlen will host two baseball camps — for the spring and for the summer. The first camp, which starts Feb. 28, will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and is open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The summer camp will start June 12 and is open to students in kindergarten through sixth grade. For more information on these camps, visit www.scottsburgcamps.com or http://www.warriorsbaseballcamps.com.
This year, the elementary school sports program will offer opportunities for students to participate in cross-country and track. Scott 2 will offer camps in other sports, such as soccer, tennis, and football, for elementary students to participate in over the summer.
Kyle Mullins, SHS football coach and a teacher, hosts the Scottsburg Football Academy for players in grades kindergarten through eighth and an open gym for high school players. The Academy is held every Monday starting in January and ending when Spring Break starts.
“This gives our high school, middle school, and youth league coaches the opportunity to build relationships with our young players and to attract additional players into the game,” Mullins said. “This eight- to nine-week program is free of charge.”
During the summer, Mullins also hosts a camp for students in kindergarten to eighth grade. This year, it will be held July 17-20.
“We feel these opportunities are absolutely necessary and beneficial to our program as most of our players are first-generation football players,” Mullins said. “Creating a feeder system and investing in the long-term success of a program are crucial in program development.”
Along with the football program, elementary students will also be able to take part in camps this summer. Camps will be held in soccer, tennis, baseball, basketball, and football. The soccer camp will be for elementary girls in grades second through fifth and starts June 13. The tennis camps will be open to boys and girls in grades kindergarten through eighth and start in June. For more information on these camps, visit www.scottsburgcamps.com.
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