Springwood School boys return to conditioning after lengthy holiday break

Published 9:14 pm Thursday, January 3, 2019

LANETT — Outside of the three-day Lakeside Tournament Dec. 27 through Dec. 29, the Springwood School boys basketball team hasn’t played a game in four weeks.

The holiday break can be a tricky period for a student-athlete. For Springwood junior Coleman Hull, the break allowed him a chance to feast on Christmas Day and to take a trip to Dallas to watch his Clemson Tigers dominate the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff semifinal. On Thursday, he was back on campus practicing with his team to finish out basketball season.

“Coming out of Christmas break is always a hard time to keep your stamina up,” Hull said. “Over the break, about two or three times, our team went down to the Sportsplex in Valley and we got shots up. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of keeping ourselves in shape. Playing in the tournament kept us in shape too. It’s always hard, but I think in terms of keeping in shape, and getting back in shape, we’ve done a good job.”

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Many players on the team have spent three seasons together, and have picked up a couple of methods of dealing with the mid-year break over that period. During Thursday’s practice, the team opened with lots of running to get the group’s conditioning level back to where it was before the break and finished the day in the weight room. The adjustment from the holiday back to the school year isn’t one that just the players have to make, however.

“It’s easier for me because I’ve been out of education for four years, so I know how good we have it,” Springwood boys head basketball coach Drew Dorsey said. “Now, when I got up this morning, I still felt like, ‘man. I’ve got to go into work, I’ve got to get the kids ready.’ There’s a hump you have to get over, but [educators] really do have it made.”

Hull, the team’s leading scorer, supervised his teammates’ workouts on Thursday holding a pad and pencil toward the end of the session. While Dorsey occasionally got the players’ focus back on the task at hand, Hull quietly sat back taking note of player’s reps and if any drills remained during the day.

“He’s the leader of our team,” Dorsey said. “I wouldn’t say that he’s a vocal leader, but whenever he talks, the guys listen. He’s definitely a leader for us on and off the court.”

Dorsey encourages his players to step up and lead for a more effective method of success.

“I’m not saying that the coach is not in charge, but it’s the players who are holding each other accountable,” Dorsey said. “When Coleman was telling the guys that ‘these are your sets, these are your reps,’ that’s a player telling them instead of a coach. That good, positive peer pressure is a great thing.”

Springwood got off to a slow start this season, but only needs to win one game in the regional tournament to qualify for the state rounds. The team hopes that this past winter break marks a new chapter in the Wildcats’ season.

“We’ve been going pretty hard since October, so it’s pretty good for the guys to relax,” Dorsey said. “Now that we’ve got our break, we just want to focus on some very small things with the game. Again, we want to get back in the shape we were before the break, and we’re trying to make sure that we have a good possession every time. Whether it’s on offense, whether it’s on defense, [we want to] search for the small wins. That’s what we’re doing right now. That’s my job as a coach to keep everybody encouraged.”

Springwood returns to the hardwood to host Evangel on Jan. 10.