Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
The month of May was filled with basketball camps at all four Adams County high schools and on May 30 and 31, one of the spotlights belonged to Head Coach Nathan Copas and his Boys Basketball Camps at North Adams High School. Always spirited affairs, this year’s Green Devils’ camps were split into two sessions, with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders coming in the morning and then third, fourth, and fifth graders appearing after lunch.
If you stop by the NAHS gymnasium during one of Coach Copas’s camps, expect to see non-stop action as they campers are kept quite busy, with the mixture of fundamental skill drills and then always popular competitions. One of the things that Copas did at this year’s camps was appoint some of his high school players to be coaches to teams of campers as they competed in five-on-five action and one of the most enthusiastic of those high schoolers was Michael Gill, who led his team of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to a team title and celebrated accordingly with a victory lap around the court.
“It is so much fun coming out here and helping everybody,” said Gill. “This is our basketball program in a few years and I want to see it do well even after I am gone. “My senior year is upcoming but I have a younger sister so I will still be coming back for the next few years to watch ball games. I want to see another Final Four banner on the wall in this gym.”
“I think we had another pretty successful camp,” said Coach Copas. “What we try to do is get as may skills and drills out there that these kids can work on at home on their own as individuals. We have our competitions and stuff and that’s always fun but what I want them to take most from this is the skills and drills part of it to hone in on those things and add them to their games.”
“We put a lot of emphasis on offense moves with ball-handling and moves, trying to combine the two together, but it’s up to the kids whether they take it any further than this camp. Overall, I thought we had a very competitive camp with a lot of basketball in two days.”
“My belief is that if you can get these kids doing this stuff a little out of the box early, they will pick up on it quicker,” continued Copas. “We want to give them that challenge of understanding that they will fail sometimes, but to stay positive, and sooner or later they will get better.”
The third, fourth, and fifth grade campers included: Christian Flowers, Dalton Pence, Preston Call, Collin Tolle, Beau Hesler, Xander Thatcher, Caleb Brown, Bradley Rhoden, Thaddeus Moore, Connor Young, Breestin Schweickart, Carson Osborne, Colton Bowling, Caleb DeAtley, Jayce Rothwell, and R2 Dunkin.
Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade campers included: Bransyn Copas, Alex Shupert, Cody Hesler, Jacob Campbell, David Raines, Dillon Ragan, Hunter Brown, Logan Shupert, Wyatt Applegate, Brayden Allen, Landon Swayne, Kelby Moore, Ian Young, Connor Rhoden, Dominic Webb, Asher Young, Trey Hoop, Caleb Rothwell, Lane Wagner, Dylan Groves, Kamden Buttelwerth, Brady Lung, and Christopher Young.