Sports Columns

June 3, 2013

A Look Ahead: School’s out with lots to do

The 8-year-old version of me started counting down the days to summer vacation once April Fools’ Day showed its shadow.

Swimming pools, summer camps, video games, Little League baseball games, longer days and anything else that drives a parent insane.

No doubt about it, though. The best part was the summer camps, particularly those involving sports.

In New Orleans, it was Shaw High School’s annual kids basketball camp that I always looked forward to most. I’d spend the maximum two weeks — the first week was the “individual skills camp” and the second was for “team play” — and was one of the best on the floor. It’s insane I wasn’t good enough to make it to the NBA.

Or get a college scholarship.

Or make my ninth-grade team.

Aside from basketball, and fitting in baseball leagues, I also attended numerous soccer camps during the summmer. And by “numerous,” I mean “three or four.” Again, it’s stunning I didn’t play for the U.S. Men’s National Team considering how much time I put into the sport.

I continued going to summer camps until I started high school. And if I grew up in Dalton, it would have been the same.

There’s tons of local opportunities for young athletes who want to attend sport-specific camps. There are 21 total youth sports camps — for everything from basketball to cheerleading to soccer to volleyball — currently listed in The Daily Citizen’s Local Sports Calendar at daltonnow.com/events. So there’s really no excuse for sitting around spending the entire summer playing video games.

• Did I mention swimming? The Dalton Dolphins begins the Chattanooga Area Swim League season today with a 5:30 p.m. meet against the Ooltewah (Tenn.) Tidal Waves at the John Davis Recreation Center in Dalton. Also this week, the Dolphins swim against Fairyland Country Club on Thursday in Lookout Mountain.

Last season, the Dolphins won the CASL title and the City Meet championship, their first time claiming the latter since 2006.

• It’s National Fishing and Boating Week, and one way to celebrate is by attending the area’s annual kids fishing rodeo — for ages 15 and younger — from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday at Johnny Peeple’s pond on CCC Camp Road in Murray County. Registration starts at 7 a.m. and is free, but participants must bring their own equipment, including a pole, bait and tackle.

For more information, call the Conasauga Ranger District’s office at (706) 695-6736 or the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Game Management office at (706) 295-6041.

• The Boys and Girls Club will host the Murray County Golf Classic on Saturday at Spring Lakes Golf Club. A four-person team can enter for $225 — or $350 with a hole-sponsorship package — and proceeds benefit the clubs’ after-school and summer programs. For more information, contact Jason Finnell at (706) 529-5032 or visit bgcgmw.org.

Devin Golden is fairly dependable at the foul line, but his trick shot skills leave something to be desired. Have something you think he should highlight in “A Look Ahead”? Write to him at devingolden@daltoncitizen.com.

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