Brownstown Central’s hardwood has seen plenty of action during the past two weeks.
Around 105 total boys combined participated in the sixth- and seventh-grade as well as eighth- and ninth-grade basketball camps at the high school.
The camps have run under Benter for the past 17 years.
“The numbers this year were pretty similar,” Braves varsity coach Dave Benter said. “We’ve been blessed with great participation. We have large numbers, and the kids work hard and listen well.
In the first 90-minute segment, the sixth- and seventh-grade unit took the floor. The eighth- and ninth-graders followed with a two-hour segment.
“We focus on team defense and different situations they’re going to see,” Benter said. “We start talking more about our high school offenses and focus on some stuff they will be running once they get to high school. They’ve been coming to our junior varsity and varsity practices, also, so they get to see the first few weeks of the summer.”
Many of the kids that attend the camp have played in the Braves’ younger camps in previous year.
“You see a lot of the same names, I keep my rosters and compare them from the previous year,” Benter said. “We know the kids who play on the middle school teams and make sure they’re coming to the camps as well.
“You see a lot of the same kids from third grade on to their eighth-grade year. Sometimes you have some late bloomers and some kids who are the best at that age carry that through high school.”
In the second week of the camp, the Braves played games against other schools, including Salem and Silver Creek.
Everyone who attended the camp was able to play in the competitions.
Benter said he was assisted by junior varsity coach Marty Young, freshman coach Brandon Allman and Brent Hattabaugh during the two-week span.
The camps allow the coaches to see the progression of the athletes from the winter.
“Kids’ bodies change so much; there are so many different factors that determine how good a players going to be,” Benter said. “You have their body and physical development, mental work ethic and approach, and some kids lose interest in sports sometimes.
“We’ve been pretty fortunate here that some of your younger kids continue to develop.”
This weekend, the incoming seventh- through ninth-graders will compete at Hanover College for a team camp.
Benter, a Hanover alumni, said that they have attended the camp the past 15 years.
At the camp, the Braves’ coaches will get to know the players on a more personal level while analyzing the athletes’ games.