"My belief is football season comes before basketball season, so if there's a day where we have conflicting days I encourage my guys to go ahead and go to football stuff,'' he said. "To me, I kind of like that.
"It gives me a chance to look at other kids who don't get much playing time. You've got your guys that are solid and you know what they can do because you've seen them. We have found some kids that have really impressed us in the summer and earned that good look in the winter.''
GW girls basketball coach Jamie LaMaster takes a more frenzied approach to the three weeks.
The last several years, the push in girls basketball during the three-week practice time has been to attend one- and two-day shootouts, playing three games each day. The Patriots will host their sixth shootout Friday while St. Albans will have its 11th the last week of the practice period.
"We're pretty loaded up,'' said LaMaster, whose team will play in 36 games over 18 days. "We're doing a long list of things.
"We're going to start out by going to Fairland, Ironton and Marietta [in Ohio], Parkersburg, the WVU team camp [and] the SA Shootout. We try to treat it like a mini-season and get the most out of it. We want [our players] worn out with basketball when it comes the end of it.''
LaMaster said this year's June practice period is critical to the Patriots' development.
"Right now it looks like I'm only bringing in one freshman,'' he said. "There are definitely some holes to fill.
"I've got to get the most out of the summer period to know what I'm working with [and] see where these kids fall in place. I've got some freshmen that played JV last year and it'll give me a chance to see what they can do, too. Especially when you lose some kids, it gives you a chance to evaluate.''
The inaugural High School Summer Classic will give soccer coaches in the Kanawha Valley a different approach to the practice period. The event will bring together about 20 teams from across the region for 7-on-7 play at Trace Fork. The boys teams will play June 14-15 while the girls hit the pitch June 21-22.
"It's going to be nice because the grind of practice gets tough,'' said Charleston Catholic coach Amy Mullen, who led the Fighting Irish back to the state tournament last year.
Mullen said this month allows coaches in fall sports to set the tone early for their teams.
"I hope to be able to introduce the freshmen to the new players and just iron out where we're going to be in August,'' she said. "It's real difficult because of summer vacation. It's kind of hard to get [everybody together]. I just look forward to seeing everybody and starting to get geared back up for the fall.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.