Open gyms aren't fun. They are often held during the summer, in hot gyms, during late afternoon hours that seemingly would be better spent by a lake.
But they are beneficial, especially when a team is welcoming a new coach.
Three new varsity coaches have been hired in Hayden, while Soroco added one new varsity coach to its staff over the summer.
With fall practices set to begin on Aug. 11, the few months leading up to the 2003 season have given the new coaches and their players a chance -- albeit a limited one under Colorado rules -- to learn more about each other.
Shawn Baumgartner replaces Scott Parker has Hayden's head football coach. Amber Carney replaces Kipp Rillos as Hayden's head volleyball coach, while Valerie Remick replaces Amy Pankonin as head volleyball coach at Soroco.
Basketball practices don't officially begin until late fall, but Jayme Adams has already opened the gym for her Hayden girls basketball team to shoot around as well.
Baumgartner and Remick both served as assistants for their respective teams last year, making the transition to head coach easier. Each is familiar with the team he or she is taking over, and the players are familiar with the coaches.
"The girls came to me and said please apply," Remick said. "I'm excited. We'll have a blast."
Both Remick and Baumgartner said changes should be expected with regards to on-court play, as both look to instill offenses better suited for the players they inherit and more conducive to their styles of coaching.
"We had that three day camp at the end of July and started putting a lot of base stuff in," Baumgartner said. "We will really review that and hit it hard again during two-a-days and aggressively put everything in."
This is Baumgartner's second head coaching stint. He previously served as head coach at Highland High school for two years. This is Remick's first head coaching job.
The upcoming Hayden volleyball season will be the first exposure Carney has had to coaching varsity volleyball, but she is far from inexperienced when it comes to the sport.
She's a 12-year veteran with college-level experience, having played for one season at University of Redlands near Los Angeles before transferring to the University of Colorado -- Boulder to play on and coach the school's club team.
She grew up in Golden.
"I already see a lot of potential in these girls," Carney said.
Hayden athletics director Kevin Kleckler said even though his summer was busy trying to fill coaching vacancies, it was worth it with the promoting of Baumgartner, and the hiring of Carney and Adams.
"Shawn will do a great job," Kleckler said. "And I'm really pleased with the two gals I hired. They are healthy females that are good role models for our girls."
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208
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