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SVHS teams cram in summer training to prep for next season


(Photo by Tracey Martiny)

• Off-season work often pays in-season dividends

Summertime is a busy span for area residents as the lingering winter often claims much of what is considered spring. When the summer days are rolling, so are the many activities both personal and recreational and before we all know it, the Lincoln County Fair marks the beginning of the end of a sunshine-laden sprint.

Here is a look at a few of the SVHS sports teams and what they’ve been doing over the past month during this frame of time. *Editors note, other teams will be added as conversations continue.

• Boys Basketball

A regular season for a high school team in Wyoming is 23 games. The returning players from this past season played at least that many in the last month alone according to head coach Matt Shumway.

“We just finished up our last tournament for the summer,” he said. “I don’t know if we quite got to a full 25 games but it was just about at that number.”

According to Shumway, the Braves played four tournaments over five weeks at Madison High in Rexburg, another at Preston High, one more at Century High School in Pocatello and this past weekend went to Boise.

“It’s been good, we’ve seen a lot of different schools,” Shumway added. “A big part of summer is you are always dealing with a little bit of a new team in some respects. We played ten deep last year so we have four back who played quite a bit. It was more about getting them on the same page and getting them on the court and working out the kinks.”

Also on the agenda was making sure Star Valley played bigger schools. The new reclassification numbers go into effect this next school year and with the Average Daily Membership (ADM) figures for Star Valley at an average of 919 students, this puts them  11th overall in Wyoming for size. The new classification cutoff will have schools under 700 in the 3A class which will put an end to the Cody rivalry outside of football. The next ten schools in the state range from 1,120 (Laramie) all the way up to Kelly Walsh (2,035).

“I wanted to put us against as many big schools as I could and we didn’t play a single school smaller than us in those tournaments,” Shumway reiterated. “One main focus was defense. I wanted to see us really get after it and they did that so that’s been good to see.”

According to Shumway the rest of the summer will include open gym time and weights which will coincide with other programs such as football.

“At this point they are on their own to do their own thing,” he added. “Many of them play football so they will be lifting weights with coach Young. It’s also a time for them to improve their own individual game.”

Kylee Linford and Gracey Visser enjoy some well-earned watermelon after a summer run. (Photo courtesy of SVHS Cross-Country)

 • Cross-Country

The area harriers don’t have the luxury of taking too many days off when it comes to summer miles.

“I try and remind them that cross-country is a summer sport that competes in the fall,” said head coach Ty Draney.

The SVXC program held a team camp right after the conclusion of the school year and meets each week for area runs. Draney tries to work the whole length of the valley into this schedule.

“One of the biggest things we’ve always tried to overcome is when we’re not at school we are all so spread out,” he said. “It’s a long way from Smoot to Alpine so we try and build a little community and have some positive peer pressure. We don’t have to but it makes the workload a little easier.”

So far this summer the runners have been up Swift Creek Canyon and up Spring Creek as well.

“Last week we met at the Ace Hardware in Alpine and ran up the Greys River Road to get on some dirt and loose material,” Draney continued. “This week we are meeting at Dry Creek. I think we have some of the best training ground in the world for this sport so we just load up on the popsicles and watermelon and go for it.”

Still yet to come for this summer is the Summit View High-Altitude Running Camp (SHARC) which will run July 18-20 at Summit View Campground with Soda Springs High School as the host.

“This is the 19th year of SHARC,” Draney stated. “It would be interesting to know the number of individual state champs and state champ teams that have come out of that camp. Soda alone has a a record that anyone would love to have.”

With less than two months before the first practice of the fall, Draney summed up the program’s summer goals.

“Everybody wants to ride the firetrucks in October but we have to remember that’s what we want in June.”

• Football

Perhaps the most natural transition for fans to make from summer to fall is that of paying attention to the gridiron. The staff at SVHS has tried to make sure the players for the Braves are not only busy but productive. From football training itself to community service, the team tries to round out their off-season.

“We did a 7-on-7 at West Side and then one more at Madison,” said head coach McKay Young.” Those are the two that we do this summer. We’d like to have another one at home but that’s probably not realistic to have more at home with the construction at the field.”

Construction to update the stands at Braves Field are among projects underway for the LCSD No. 2 staff. The bleachers at the facility had come from the old high school. The current SVHS was opened in 1998.

Rather than have a group where some play and most are waiting to get in, Young and the staff fielded several different 7-on-7 teams.

“We had five teams at both of those events,” he said. “Two varsity, two junior varsity and a freshman team. We like our guys to play the whole time and I think we get better for it. They get tons of reps and all five levels played really well at both locations. We were pretty close to undefeated.”

In addition, the linemen also competed at a lineman camp in Preston so far this summer as well as many other community projects.

“We did some volunteer work at the food pantry and unloaded the food trucks,” Young added. We did the Dyers Woad fundraiser where the county has a grant and we helped out with that. We’ll be looking for opportunities to buck bales in the next month. We can’t help everybody but we try and make that part of our program.”

The team is currently working out three times per week in the evenings with the weight room open in the morning. Still yet to come is the team camp which will be at SVHS July 27-August 2.

“That’s where the kids get locked in the school with no cell phones or anything like that,” Young said. “It’s the most important week we have in my opinion.”

One more note for the football team to note as what had been an open week in the schedule on September 20 will now be filled with a trip to Teton High School in Idaho to face the Timberwolves.

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