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Blue Devil boys use offseason to get stronger

By August 6, 2010

Enterprise staff writer

With apologies to former NFL coach Jim Mora …

Basketball? Basketball? Who said anything about basketball? YouÕre talking about basketball?

Well, yes. Even though itÕs the middle of summer and basketball drills donÕt start for another three months, the sport at Davis High hasnÕt taken a rest.

Davis Hoops teams Ñ known as the Wildcats Ñ are just back from a brilliant Las Vegas AAU tournament. Other areasÕ teams are now to the point where they cringe when they see Davis registered for competition.

The Blue Devils spring/summer squad went 16-9, including 7-1 in the Dixon League.

And after a 2009-10 regular season in which DHS went 15-12 and made the playoffs, youÕd think itÕs business as usual in Devil Hardcourt Land.

Not even close …

To wit: next weekÕs preseason conditioning and gym workouts.

DHS and UC Davis graduate David Butterworth will be conducting strength-and-stamina sessions, starting Monday, going three days a week.

Mixed in will be court fundamental work, administered by head coach Dan Gonzalez and his staff.

ÒThere is no doubt that with proper strength and conditioning comes confidence,Ó Gonzalez explains. ÒIn making another run at the playoffs, we feel that in order to make it to the next level, we need to properly prepare our players in all facets of the game.

ÒHence, as part of our goals, we would like to finish every game Ñ and the season Ñ as strong as possible.Ó

Translation: No more back-to-back losses to a lowly team like Kennedy and being able to bang with super-physical teams like Rodriguez, which sent Davis packing, 62-31, in its the Sac-Joaquin playoff opener.

ÒThat was a real wake-up call for us,Ó assistant coach George Sousa said during a recent workout.

Sousa and Gonzalez concur that the strength aspect of next weekÕs sessions will be key since the Devils were one of the more-conditioned Sacramento Valley teams last winter Ñ twice knocking off No. 1-ranked schools while playing strong late in the contests.

ÒWe began a more organized conditioning program last year, but this definitely will be an improvement to what we had originally started,Ó Gonzalez added.

Butterworth, the former Pioneer football coach, has partnered with fitness expert Jah Bennett to create his own business, MAD Training & Fitness.

One of ButterworthÕs first gigs in his new venture has been to work on quickness and burst strength with the Blue Devil football team.

His basketball sessions will run Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, beginning at 5 p.m. An hour later, Gonzalez and company will take over, running scrimmages and doing skills instruction.

Gonzalez encourages all high school-aged basketball players to participate. Cost of the workouts is $25.

ÒThis is a chance for all potential DHS (players) to become well-conditioned and ready for the upcoming season,Ó Gonzalez said.

Notes: The sessions will be conducted in the North Gym on campus. … Interestingly, as the Blue Devils get stronger for this season, kamikaze rebounder Peter Smith will not play basketball this season Ñ the brilliant tight end is concentrating on football. Sousa, the former coach of Archbishop Mitty High (and owner of a couple of 25-plus-win seasons), says the closer schools get to the Bay Area, the more physical the style of play. He hopes the established motion finesse of DHS will mix with some inside muscle as Grant and Monterey Trail replace Kennedy and Valley in the Delta Valley Conference. … Contact Gonzalez at dgonzalez.djusd.k12.ca.us or visit http://www.MADTAF.com.

Ñ Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or (530) 747-8056. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

Bruce Gallaudet

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