K.J. Ahern, an incoming Marysville High School freshman, hits a jumper during a drill. MHS hoopsters are going through workouts amid the coronavirus-related reopening of sports. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Basketball activities are returning to more of a normal state at Marysville High School.
Having successfully navigated its way through beginning phases of the COVID-19 reopening, the MHS boys hoop program is into the next level of operations.
The current phase could likely include more contact activities.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced late last week that contact practices would be permitted to begin today.
State officials said individual school districts would determine their own guidelines for contact practices.
“The initial phases went very well,” said Monarch head coach Ryan Grose. “During the first phase, we had guys in here who were just basketball players and who don’t play another sport.
“With that phase, we had 22 guys working through three different sessions.”
The only skills Marysville hoopsters were able to work on during that time were shooting and ballhandling.
“We assigned each guy a basketball and no one else could use it,” said Grose. “That prevented us from working on passing drills.”
With workouts opening a bit more over the past week, Grose was able to implement other fundamentals of the game.
“We were able to share basketballs a little more among the guys, so we could work on the passing drills we weren’t allowed to initially do,” he said.
The expansion that occurred nearly doubled the amount of hoopsters going through different sessions.
“We added guys from football, cross country and other sports,” said Grose. “We’ve got 41 spread out among the weight room, the main gym and the field house for social distancing.”
Grose was working with incoming freshmen and sophomore athletes during a morning session last week.
“It’s good for the younger guys to come into the gym and work out,” he said. “The summer hours are so important as the coaches get to know the incoming players’ personalities and they get to know us.
“I’ve known some of these guys from over the years at our Pit camp,” said Grose. “However, this is now a chance for us to work on a coach-to–player basis and focus on everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.
“We have 16 or 17 incoming freshmen, so we’re using this time to get to know them.”
The annual Pit camp was postponed from the first week of this month due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Grose said he hopes to be able to conduct the camp later this summer.
While things are just getting back to somewhat of a normal direction, the earlier summer phases have been an important step in the right direction for the Monarch boys program.
“At least we’re back in the gym,” said assistant coach Brock Cunningham.
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