For three weeks every June, the WVSSAC allows high school athletic teams the chance to get the whole gang together, along with the coaching staff, and hold practices. Any other time before or after the season coaches are not allowed to be with their teams. Most spring sports actually don't participate, but that's because their seasons just ended.
Robert C. Byrd Boys Basketball Coach Bill Bennett worked out players on the first day, Monday afternoon.
The Eagles lost just two seniors and return a pretty young team. Extra practices are key for the younger players.
Byrd works on a lot of fundamentals during the three weeks.
Coach Bennett is known to have several good shooting guards each season. Coach said he tells his players to not limit themselves to one position and players agree with Coach Bennett that this is a great time to work on things like ball handling.
"It helps everybody get better and it helps everybody learn what they need to work on during the summer because everybody needs things they have to get better at. So when coach gives you what you need to do then that's what you do every day when we don't have the three weeks," said sophomore Cameron Carvelli.
"You know, we just want to impress upon the kids that this is when basketball players are made. We told them, we're not smart enough, we're not intelligent, we're not good enough coaches to make them players once the season is here. Our job then is to put a team together. Right now is when they're supposed to be working out and improving their skills," said Coach Bennett. "We're doing basic fundamental stuff, trying to challenge their ball handling ability, trying to challenge their passing and their shooting and work on things that can make them better players by November. That's the big thing we're trying to impress upon them, to work on their strengths and increase them and to make their weaknesses stronger as well."
Coach Bennett said he likes balancing the three weeks between workouts and summer league games. The Eagles will get about 18 games in with the coaching staff.