OHS sports break for summer


By D. Mark Mitchell

Sports Coulmnist

The Opelika school system is out for summer break. The average student is enjoying the time off. Some have part-time jobs while others simply enjoy their days relaxing,
Student athletes spend summer preparing for the 2015~16 athletic year. The football players work out four days a week at 6 am to avoid the heat. The girls and boys basketball teams are practicing shooting and defensive skills.
Coach John Wadsworth has taken his boys basketball team to LaGrange and Atlanta for games. The Dawgs played six games in two days. The boys will  conclude their play dates  at the Auburn University team camp next week. Some of the elite teams across the South will participate in this camp. The Bulldogs will play two days in Auburn.
The Lady Bulldog basketball team traveled to Brewbaker Tech High School in Montgomery this week, playing three games. Coach Devin Booth will take her team to Starkville for the Mississippi State Team Camp this weekend. This camp will help create team chemistry and allow the girls to learn in a college environment.
Both teams will play in big arenas if they advance deep in their respective playoffs. These team camps help the players adjust to the the bigger arenas and this helps when they get into the state tournament..
The Bulldog baseball team is working hard and playing in summer leagues to help improve. Coach Jones, starting his third year as head coach, took his team to the final eight last year before losing to Spanish Fort. The Dawgs must replace their top three pitchers due to graduation.
Coach Jones will coach his team during the allotted four play dates.
New softball Coach Tina Deese started working her team out this week. She will evaluate players daily. This is an important time for Coach Deese because she was hired only a few days before school was out.
This is her first chance at looking at the players returning from last year’s team. The Lady Dawgs have two play dates scheduled in the coming weeks.
The girls and boys cross country teams have a few days off from school workouts but continue to run on their own schedule.
The volleyball team will start camp in the coming weeks. Coach Bennet continues to work her team to be ready in the fall.
The other sports are preparing for next year’s season over the summer.
It is important to have a balance between workouts and time off in the summer. You do not want  to burn out the student athlete but at the same time, you want each person to improve.
Today’s high school athletes work year round to be successful. Years ago sumner meant relaxing and enjoying the time off. Today, summer is used as a time for improving your skills and working to improve all around.
A number of student athletes attend camps to improve. These camps range from invitation only to paying a price to attend. College coaches attend and host camps so they can see a athlete one-on-one. Many university camps are used as recruiting tools.
The Opelika All-Sports Booster Club is currently signing up Corporate Sponsors. Existing Sponsors received a renewal packet for  the 2015-16 school year.
The Sponsor packages remained the same price and benefits.
The Sponsorships range from $500 to $3000. Each level receives benefits for the Sponsor, including:
Reserved football season tickets, ad in the Athletic Program, reserved parking at Bulldog Stadium, recognition during home games on the jumbo scoreboard and website and passes for all other OHS and OMS home sporting events.
We also offer a option to have your business logo on the marquees and big board.
The Corporate Sponsor plans fund the All-Sports Booster Club each year.
Money is transferred to each sport in the fall to help meet their financial needs. Coaches can also submit requests for additional money as needs arise.
The All-Sports Booster Clubs help provide the “extras” to make each sport successful.
The All-Sports Booster Club will be purchasing 25 rings for the state champion track team at a total cost of $9000. The policy is that each sport or individual that wins a state championship will receive a ring compliments of the All-Sports Booster Club.
If you are interested in becoming a Corporate Sponsor, contact me, D.Mark Mitchell at foxonthemark@yahoo.com
West Ridge Park will host three tournaments next weekend. The Opelika Dixie Youth Pee-Wee league will host the district tournament, the Opelika Dixie Boys will host a sub-district tournament and the Opelika Ponytails will host a district tournament. All three tournaments will start Friday and continue through the weekend.
Radio Show
You can keep up with local sports weekdays by listening to the “On The Mark” radio show weekdays from 7-9 am on WTLM 1520AM.
Jeff Sasser and I host the sports show with special guests each day.
You can also listen on the web at iheartradio.com search WTLM.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media and vice president of the  A-O Sports Council. 


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