ROSEPINE – In the fifth year of the BWS Summer League, girls and boys from across the Vernon Parish have been fine tuning his or her skills to prepare for the coming season.
Thursday afternoon, Pickering and Hicks boys started off a slate of games at Rosepine High School, aiming to build on what they started last season and before.
Will Norris heads BWS Sports, which provides camps and leagues for different age groups across Vernon Parish.
"The coaches get as much as the kids out of it, because they get to have a more organized practice because I only use LHSAA officials," Norris said. "You match them up against teams that they don't normally play in district or their regular season schedule. You can see small, fast or big teams to see what you got. A lot of coaches bring 20-25 kids to the summer league, and when school starts, that gives them a 10-game tryout to see if they can play on the varsity roster.
"The players get to stay in shape and see different types of defenses. It really works well because they can't play on AAU teams or can't play because their parents are working or different situations."
Norris also calls games on the radio and has a weekly talk show featuring local coaches during the seasons.
"I get the satisfaction of when I do a show for the radio of KJAE 93.5 or do the sports show (Vernon Parish Sports Authority) I know every kid on every team's name," Norris said. "We don't need a roster when we call a game on the radio. Our summer league helps us provide for our youth summer leagues. On our awards day, we gave away over $2,500 worth of rings and trophies at our youth basketball league."
The leagues this year include boys and girls basketball and softball. Games like the ones at Rosepine High School on Thursday can give a preview of what is it come.
"Last year, there was a small turnover," Norris said. "Hicks won district and lost one kid, Hornbeck lost one kid and Pitkin lost one or two. So many teams in our parish didn't have a lot turnover. The competition this year will be tough across the board. I think the Vernon Parish Tournament will be exciting. I can't even give you a prediction on who will win because everybody has looked good at times and the teams that didn't win much last year, have looked extremely improved and have picked up confidence."