(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Although half of their team isn't present, the Sikeston Bulldogs basketball team is still enjoying the opening week of basketball practice.
"Our kids have really been looking forward to it," Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield said. "They're working hard and we're anxious to get going."
The official start to basketball practice began Monday across the state, giving those who aren't in pads for the Sikeston football Bulldogs a chance to get back in the gym.
"It gives us an opportunity to spend more time with the kids that are out here," Holifield said. "We wish our football team well but we do have several players (with them). We've got plenty of time, it's a long season and we look forward to improving each day."
Last year, Sikeston was plagued with the same predicament, although it didn't seem to set them back any once basketball season began. The Bulldogs rattled off seven straight victories before losing their first game of the year to Notre Dame, 66-61.
They finished with a 21-4 record losing to Borgia, 64-51, in the Class 4 quarterfinal round of the state playoffs.
"We've got half of our kids still in football but, the kids we have, are working hard and doing a good job," said Holifield.
As they practice different drills and conditioning, some players that may not receive much playing time once the season begins is given added attention without the full team present.
Role players are given a chance to improve, which, in the long run, helps everyone.
"It's gives them the opportunity to see more action," said Holifield. "They get more individual attention and from that standpoint, it's a positive."
Sikeston's varsity season is scheduled to start on Nov. 30 at Blytheville, Ark.