|New Mingus boys’ basketball head coach Dave Beery talks with the Marauders following a practice. VVN/Travis Guy|
|Fabian Navarro floats a shot during practice. VVN/Travis Guy|
With not even a full week under his belt, Dave Beery, the new Mingus Union boys' basketball coach, has June ball in full swing.
"It's been a little bit of a scramble," Beery admitted. "We need to do some fundraising, we tried to throw together a car wash but apparently there's something else the same day ... this thing at Flag High (summer tournament) has been fortunate and going to Camp Verde next week, because they're both pretty low cost, they're local, or relatively local, so we're not driving to Tucson and spending $500 bucks. Its been a little bit of a scramble, finding uniforms, finding basketballs, some of those things you don't think about when you think about the big picture stuff."
He was officially hired on June 3, later than he was expecting, and since then it has been almost smooth sailing to make arrangements with tournaments and summer leagues. Luckily, because of his contacts from already being in Arizona, setting up games has been relatively easy.
"We're going to play at Flag High tomorrow (Yesterday, June 8), kind of a last second thing that coach [James] Kirk put together up there," Beery said. "We're not going to be able to run anything ... but I just want to see them get out there and compete and see how they respond to that."
With games at Prescott, Flagstaff and Camp Verde High Schools on the agenda, the Marauders are ready to get rolling.
"We just got to practice on our stuff, get to know each other really well and just have fun and play basketball," said junior Fabian Navarro.
The returning Marauders from 2013-14's team are happy to have a coach again and cannot wait to get on the court. As with any new coach, the boys are getting used to a new coaching style and system. Beery's approach is more laid back than they are used to.
"A lot of work to be done still, a lot of getting used to a new coach and a new system," said senior Adrian Valenzuela.
"We're used to doing certain things a certain way and with him its more of a laid back system," Valenzuela said.
They did not stress about not having a June ball schedule, but Valenzuela said the players were not too happy about being kept in the dark about the hiring process and how long it took.
"We weren't really stressed out about it, we just wanted to get stuff going in the process," Valenzuela said. "Its kind of all late notice and then they could have done a better job of letting the boys know when the process was going to be done, stuff like that."
One of the round-robin tournaments on the docket is a three-way match-up with Camp Verde and Sedona Red Rock High Schools. Because of the different divisions, the Marauders did not face the Cowboys on the court during the season. Valenzuela said that it would be fun getting back on the court with them because many of the players know each other from middle school and other outlets.
"We're looking forward to playing over at Camp Verde this coming Tuesday," Valenzuela said. "It's been a while since we've all played on the court as one."
The Marauders travel to Camp Verde for their round robin on Tuesday, June 10. The first game is at 5 p.m. and the Cowboys and Marauders square off at 7 p.m.
"Its nice to familiarize yourself with the players," Beery said. "I'm already starting to see some good habits and some bad habits from different individuals and it allows you to fine-tune the way your teaching and coaching, get players to play to their strengths and improve things they need to work on."