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Sweat equity for fall

For most high school students, summer is a time for a part-time job or an increase in leisure.

However, for the athletes of Selma High School, summer is when the hard work begins.

Basketball scrimmages in sweaty gyms and wind sprints are a common part of the rigorous, voluntary workouts in which these athletes willingly participate. Though most students their age would complain under such conditions, these athletes understand the purpose of the workouts and even enjoy them.

“I like to work out in the summer. What I do in the summer is going to tell me where I’ll be in the fall,” said Selma football player Darrius Moore. “Get conditioning now because it’s going to be too late when the season starts.”

This summer is also a good chance for new boys’ basketball coach Woodie Jackson to get familiar with his team. So far, he likes what he sees.

“This time of year the workouts are voluntary, but the coaches kind of insist that you be there,” said Jackson. “If players want to get better, they’re going to come.”

Jackson’s players have heard his message, and they have responded. None of them have missed a workout.

Though the workouts are voluntary, their unwritten meaning is clearly understood by all participants. Attendance and hard work can equal a starting position. However, missing them guarantees a position on the bench.

On this day, Moore and his teammates were fortunate. A layer of cloud cover blocked out the sun, providing a brief reprieve from Selma’s sweltering summer.

“It’s tough. We’ve been going in at basically 5 p.m. every afternoon, and when I walk in the door, I start sweating,” said Jackson.

But like the football players, the basketball team does not mind the heat or voluntary workouts.

“I look forward to them. It’s a change,” said basketball player Jacoby Shannon. “We’re up and down more, and it allows me to elevate my game.”