By LARRY GAGESpecial to the PRESSCole Pinkerton and Jason Lowe stretch during practice. Photo by Larry Gage.Practice has started for the Port Isabel High basketball team and optimism is the order of the day. The Press found head coach Mike Hazelton and the players in Tarpon Gym this week working on their shots and getting in basketball shape.“The kids have been doing a good job,” Hazelton said Monday. “We’re trying to get them in basketball shape, and that’s where we’re at for the first few days.”Actually, these guys are ahead of the game when it comes to general conditioning, because they’ve been playing the game and working out in general for months. It only became official last week.“Those games are not always as intense as the high school games, because you’re playing two, three, four games in one day,” Hazelton told the Press. He referred to the summer league games and tournaments most of the players have been playing since last spring. “You only have so much energy you can expend. So, for the most part, you’re trying to condition them for one game a day.”The change in personnel is a constant, year-to-year process: players graduate out of the program, and new ones come up from the freshmen and JV ranks.“We’ve got some kids coming up from JV. I believe they lost three games last year. It’s next man up–that’s just the nature of high school basketball.”“It’s a lot of conditioning and running,” third year Varsity veteran Cole Pinkerton said. “We need to get in shape. We’re just working on the little things right now that are important. We’re not getting too much into plays or anything.”“We’ll start mixing in some different sets and plays as we go along this week,” Hazelton said.“I was ready,” Pinkerton said. “Some people weren’t, and you can tell when they’re gasping for air and asking for water every five minutes. It just takes a little time. Some of the football kids came in today and we’ll see if they’re in condition. The football guys bring a lot of physicality.”“It’s going great,” senior guard Dennis Lozano told the Press. “It’s going to be a different offense this year.”Daniel Rinza talked about team chemistry. “We’re all just getting ready to start the season. I think we started getting the team chemistry going way before our practices started. Our chemistry’s there already. The San Benito tournament gave us a big shot of confidence.”Scrimmages start next week, and the first game will be against Brownsville Jubilee at Tarpon Gym. Share RelatedSenior Hoops Player Lozano Ready to GoBy Larry Gage Special to the PRESS Senior Tarpon basketball player Dennis Lozano can’t wait for hoops season to get here. He is one of those Port Isabel High players who never seems to stop working on his game and trying to get better. The Press found him outside Tarpon…October 18, 2019In “Sports”Tarpon Hoops Practice Starts Next WeekBy Larry Gage Special to the PRESS If we’re in the middle of the district season of football, basketball season can’t be far away. In fact, practice for Port Isabel boys’ hoops is set to start next Wednesday, October 30th. The Press found head Tarpon basketball coach, Mike Hazelton, in…October 25, 2019In “News”Varsity Hoops Player Pinkerton Eager to Get StartedBy Larry Gage Special to the PRESS Cole Pinkerton is ready to go. The third-year Varsity hoops player has been hard at work on his game ever since the end of last year’s basketball season and he is ready to hit the hard court running when practice begins this week. …November 1, 2019In “Features”
Approximately 50 children, ages nine to 14 years from the parishes of St James, Hanover, and Westmoreland were the beneficiaries of a two-day football clinic which was held in Negril by the Real Madrid Foundation and the Sandals Foundation at the weekend.The youngsters, drawn from schools across the parishes, were taken through physical, mental and technical drills under the guidance of world-famous coach, Carlos Gustavo Albert Garcia, of the Real Madrid Foundation in Spain. Garcia has been with the Spanish giants, Real Madrid, for 10 years and working with the Real Madrid Foundation for the last four years. Selection criteria “The selection of the kids was based on not just their abilities, but also their enthusiasm and so forth, and it gives them an opportunity to learn really from the world’s best at the Real Madrid Foundation academy,” Liz Kaiser, director of partnership marketing at Unique Vacations, said.“The partnership between the Sandals Foundation and the Real Madrid Foundation started in the summer of 2018. It was a year in the making. It is important for us not only to bring this opportunity for international guests staying at our resorts but equally important to be able to involve local children because both the Sandals and Real Madrid foundations align so well, and share the same common goals of empowering youth through sports.”Jervene Simpson, regional public relations manager at Sandals Negril Beach Resort and Spa, in outlining the areas from which the youngsters were drawn, said special emphasis was placed on getting participants from all over the region.“We have a number of students from Cove, Rhodes Hall, Green Island, Dias, Cacoon, and then we go into Hopewell, some [ were]sent by the coaches and institutions from St James, then from Westmoreland all over, Orange Hill, Savanna-la-Mar, Llandilo, Negril, so we have pretty much covered the three parishes,” Simpson said. The two-day clinic, which was the first to be staged under the partnership between the Sandals and Real Madrid foundations, was done complimentary for all the participants.“We are going to take it (the clinic) to Turks and Caicos in January, where other resorts are located, and then we will also have two international clinics for guests, who are paying,” Kaiser explained.“This one is open to the children complimentary. For us, it is really an opportunity to not only show them physically but also mentally, skills like confidence, teamwork and perseverance, and those skills will guide them through life.”
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