Athletes and coaches prepare for winter sports and tryouts

Hannah Young, Writer

With winter tryouts starting in November, athletes are sloping and sliding, dribbling and diving, to prepare for the upcoming season. Coaches advise athletes to be prepared with the proper skills and equipment in order to make the cut.

“Girls basketball and cheer both start on Nov. 6,” Athletic Director Mike Bakker said. “Hockey starts Oct. 30-31. Gymnastics start Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. Boys basketball, bowling, skiing and wrestling start Nov. 13. Swimming starts Nov. 20.”

Athletes are expected to have the physical requirements (including the MHSAA physical) before tryouts begin and to bring the necessary equipment.

“Basketball for both [boys and girls] are going to need traditional basketball gym apparel,” Bakker said. “For wrestling they need the required headgear as well as wrestling shoes and running shoes. Cheer requires general gym attire and shoes. Swimming would have suit, cap and goggles and anything else that Coach Jones wants them to have. The hockey team has to supply their own equipment. Gymnastics would have whatever special equipment that would practice or train in, probably shorts and tee shirts. Ski, we don’t provide any equipment. Bowling we don’t supply the balls or anything like that.”

Aside from proper equipment, each sport requires certain skills needed to get onto the teams. JV-bound players may want to consider asking varsity players for advice.

“Varsity players have been through it all,” varsity basketball coach John Gilbert said. “It’s the younger people that have to figure out their best attributes to bring to the team. If they haven’t played a lot of basketball then they have to compete against other people, and that’s the challenge, while varsity knows what they are getting into. Usually we give them three days to try out unless it’s blantely obvious, [that they’ll make the team] then sometimes after two days or one day. Then we try to eliminate after two days and then final cuts are usually after three days.”

Besides from basketball, ski season is coming up and skills and preparation are also needed.Training drills, workouts and skills could be used to prepare. New members can ask coaches or former skiers how to be ready before the season begins.

“We start dry-land training on Nov. 12,” senior Nathan Rumbles said. “[Which includes] workouts in the weight room and lots of different agility focused training drills. It obviously helps to have some skiing experience but we have had people that have basically never skied before join and get pretty good. You just have to be willing to put the effort in if you want to improve.”

Tryouts for hockey are held in Hartland. A roster will be posted soon afterward on Tuesday evening.

“Tryouts are on Oct. 30 – Oct. 31 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. both days,” varsity hockey coach Kyle Marchand said. “At Hartland Ice Arena. Tuesday evening, the roster will be posted and players will be contacted. A parent’s meeting is held for the players who make the team on Oct. 27. Players will need the full hockey equipment, hockey helmet with cage, neck guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, shin pants, skates, athletic cup, and mouth guard. We select 24 players for the team. Usually two goalies, eight defenseman, and 14 forwards.”

Winter sports are coming while fall sports are going into the metros and playoffs. The first winter sport contest is on Wednesday Nov. 15, boy’s Varsity Hockey against the Skyline High School in Hartland at 5:30. Schedules can be found on the Fenton athletics or on the Fenton InPrint websites.