Local high school gymnasiums featured the sounds of squeaky sneakers and leather crashing on hardwood this past week.
Yes, basketball practice has arrived on the athletic calendar in Montague and eastern Clay Counties.
The first allowable basketball practice date set by the University Interscholastic League – the state’s governing body – was Oct. 22 for girls and Oct. 29 for boys.
“Since we don’t have football, we were chomping at the bit to start basketball,” said Prairie Valley head coach Jack Williams, now in his second year with the Bulldogs.
Williams said the kids were ready to go.
The players also have used the athletic period as means to get better, but now the Bulldogs and everyone else will have more time on their side.
Williams is excited to have more depth this season with 12 boys out – spearheaded by three seniors in center/forward Mitchell Eldred, forward Angelo Gomez and guard Matt Suarez.
Prairie Valley will scrimmage the Red River Rattlers on Nov. 11, and begin the season on Nov. 18 against Wichita Christian.
Most all the coaches said the most paramount activity during the first week is conditioning, getting players back in basketball shape.

Chloe Polk goes up for two inside while teammates Jordan Brightwell (left) and Madison Little provide defense during Wednesday’s practice at Bowie High School gymnasium. The Lady Rabbits have been practicing since Oct. 22. (News photo by Eric Viccaro)