Steamboat basketball squads eager to set sail |

Steamboat basketball squads eager to set sail

— The real deal still lies more than a week away, but area winter sports teams today will get their first official taste of the new season.

Practices start Nov. 12, but local high school teams begin today with preseason camps. It couldn’t come sooner for those eager to transition from the fall to the winter.

“I am very excited about getting started,” Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball coach John Ameen said. “This is the best time of year for me.”

Both the boys and girls Sailors squads will open their preseason camps today at 4 p.m. at the high school, and both have the same goals in mind.

Players have been working for months in open gym workouts. The next week’s work will be a significant step up, however. All the program’s players must work in the same room for the preseason camp period, which makes it the right time to focus on fundamentals, the coaches said.

“We want to re-introduce a lot of the systems we’ll be running, some of the goals of the program and some new drills,” Ameen said. “We’re just trying to get them sharper, get them thinking about the game more. A lot of them haven’t been able to be around working on their skills. The goal is to help you hit the season running when real practices start next week.”

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The plan is similar for coach Luke DeWolfe and the Sailor boys.

DeWolfe will be starting his first season as the varsity coach after taking over for long-time coach Kelly Meek.

“I’m just chomping at the bit, ready to go,” he said. “It seems like it has taken forever to get here. I have a great group of kids, and I’m looking forward to being around them and watching them progress.”

Both the boys and the girls start their season Dec. 5 at a tournament at Roaring Fork.

DeWolfe said the seven days of camp he’ll get in before real practices begin will be essential to a quick start and a good showing at that early tournament.

“This is a time to come in and really focus on the things that will make you a better basketball player,” he said.

– To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail