The start of basketball is basically six months away, but there's some growing excitement among the Calvary Lutheran girls for the upcoming season.
That's because the Lady Lions have a freshman class that will basically double the size of the team's roster.
Calvary's roster listed just seven players last year, while there are six freshmen who took part in this week's summer camp for the team at the Trinity Lutheran gym. Calvary coach Jonathan Kueck said this week was a good introductory period.
"I wanted to see what we have - how are we going to use the girls we have coming in with the rest of the team," he said. "They're going to help out tremendously. I'm excited about what they're going to bring to the table."
Kueck said the roster could swell if the team adds any transfers they don't currently know about, which happens each year.
"We're looking forward to a larger team, all of the benefits of that and being able to scrimmage against each other," he said. "... With that many girls, we have a great opportunity to build an excellent program. The competition at practice goes up and makes them work harder, and that turns into wins."
And the freshmen might not be the only additions to the roster.
"There were some that, because of other obligations, couldn't play last year who had played in the past, so they will be filling up some spots," Kueck said. "It would be a blessing to have 12 or 13, that would be great."
There's also some nice variety to the group.
"We're looking forward to having some height, which some of those freshmen have," Kueck said. "It will be nice to write down "6-footer' on the roster. I've got some ballhandlers as well, as really all the positions are covered with who's coming in. I don't just have all point guards, I've got some post players and power forwards and wings, too."
The players will get a chance to play seven to 10 games together this weekend at the Licking Team Camp, and will also play a few more games this summer in a small league Calvary is putting together. The Lady Lions also helped out during the two other sessions in their camp, as there was one for grades 4-6 and another for grades 7-8.
"The fourth- through sixth-grade camp has gone really well," Kueck said. "We had quite a few girls in there, which is really great for activities, drills and stations. We did various things to work on dribbling, passing, shooting, defense. The afternoons with the seventh- and eighth-graders was a little bit smaller, but we were able to do more one-on-one with the girls."
And with Calvary's on-campus gym set to open some time early in 2014, the campers were abuzz with that topic.
"They're very excited that next year we'll be in our own gym," Kueck said. "... The gyms and churches we've used in town have been great, but now we won't have to (travel all over), which will be nice."