While basketball squads used Saturday for tryouts, not every sports team chose to get underway.
Spanish Springs wrestling coach Joe Imelli decided to give his grapplers an extra weekend off before hitting the mats hard Monday since there are no tryouts for wrestling. There are dropouts.
“We go from Day 1 and see if the kids have the moxie to stay with wrestling because it’s not an easy sport,” Imelli said. “We’ll sit for the first 20 minutes and then we’re pretty much non-stop until the end of the season.”
Imelli said the first 20 minutes of Monday’s practice will be spent doing administrative stuff as well as explaining to the kids what the expectations are for Cougars wrestling.
The expectations are high due to the success the program has achieved with back-to-back Northern 4A championships.
Spanish Springs has held open gyms two days a week in the offseason and Imelli has noticed the eagerness to continue that success. He expects about 70 kids will be in the program this year.
“It’s starting to build. You can tell the kids not only believe in us but also the program,” Imelli said. “We have goals in place, and they really want to be part of the program, which is nice. We have a good energy coming up.”
The first official practice didn’t go smoothly for everyone though. Reed basketball was forced to move its tryouts to Mendive Middle School at the last minute because of JROTC needing the gym.
The Reed girls basketball team still had about 50 girls turn out for the first day of practice even though some could not make it due to the change in location.
Even though it was a little chaotic, Reed girls basketball coach Sara Schopper has her routine in place after years of coaching, so that helped.
“The system is in place. The girls who have been with me all four years know what to expect. Even the sophomores know. They all sort of teach each other,” Schopper said. “It goes pretty smoothly because since I’ve been there, I’ve been using the same type of tryouts and grading on scales.”
Still, it was an exciting day for coaches who have been chomping at the bit to get going and preparing for the upcoming league season.
“The first day is always the most fun day because everyone is 110 percent being competitive,” Schopper said. “The atmosphere is awesome. They all drive off each other’s energy. It makes a great day of competition just to go out there against each other and get after it. It’s fun to coach when the energy level is that high.”
Most coaches don’t use many days for tryouts. SSHS boys hoops coach Kyle Penney held two practices Saturday and will make cuts after Monday’s practice.
Sixty-three players came out to try to make one of the three teams in the program and all of them were excited to start the season.
“The kids are excited. There was a lot of energy. We had a lot of kids,” Penney said. “All our kids are working hard. It was just a good day and a good start.”