Middle Schools Focused on Development - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Middle Schools Focused on Development

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For today's basketball players, the cycle never stops.

"You have AAU, Winter ball. For most of our kids, they play year round," said Jeron Jones, Beckley-Stratton Middle School Assistant Coach.

Last night, Shady Spring beat Beckley Stratton in the Raleigh County middle school championship, meaning those coaches are done with the development.

"We have developed these kids and they have worked their butts off for three years and they finally got it. The second county championship in 30 years," said Ronnie Olson, Shady Spring Middle School Head Coach.

The coaches hope the kids know the amount of work it takes.

"I'm going to have a lot of fun. I'm going to have to work, work, work. Hard work and dedication," said Shady Spring point guard Keith Sexton.

"That's what we try to do with all of them. We try to prepare them to go to whatever school they decide to go to," said Stratton Head Coach Rickey Dillard.

For the coaches, it's about communicating between the middle and high school levels.

"We try to teach them the same concepts that Woodrow teaches their kids. So hopefully they will be able to go over there and fit right in," said Jones.

"Coach Clark and I talk. He let's us use their gym when we have different things in here. Him and I are on the telephone, I text him," Olson said.

And the fact that the kids know what it takes, is what matter to them.

"I've worked my butt off. I've lost weight. I'm more athletic and have gotten stronger and more confident," said Shady Spring center Jon Sawyers.

"I'm going to give it everything I've got. They're going to get everything I 've got, every game," Sexton said.

"It takes a lot out of you. But you have to be patient and seeing the kids develop is what it's all about," Dillard said.