Coach Buckelew seeks intensity from Shoal River Mustangs

basketball mustangs buckelew jalen curlei shoal river

Shoal River's Jalen Curlei works his way through traffic on his way ot the basket as his brother, Kalee, watches.

RANDY DICKSON / News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 06:30 PM.

CRESTVIEW — June was a busy month for the Shoal River Middle School boys basketball team.

The Mustangs, who hosted a summer league on Monday evenings, managed to play eight games in four weeks. They also had workouts throughout the month.

More than 30 players participated in the June practices.

“We’ve got probably 22 kids working out on the varsity,” coach Mitch Buckelew said. “And I’ve got 11 or 12 working out on the incoming sixth-grade team. So we are pleased with kids showing an interest in coming over to us from the elementary schools and all.”

Buckelew saw enough positives from his team to be cautiously optimistic as the 2013-14 season approaches. “We’ve had a good summer,” he said. “We’ve had some new kids out that have come out in eighth grade. The question is how quick can they catch on. “If they can jump in there and make a difference, then it’s good. We’ve got a good group of seventh graders that have played a lot for us this summer. We have some potential.”

Buckelew cited some typical concerns. “We have to work on some defense and boxing out,” he said, “but I’ve been pleased with the summer. The summer has been good. It has passed fairly quick.

“I think our younger guys had 12 or 15 days they’ve worked out with us. And what we call our varsity — our seventh and eighth grade — had 12, maybe 14 days. We have a lot of work to do, but it’s always that way.”

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