K-Kids look to build off summer season
As he takes the first step toward his third season as head coach of the Northampton basketball program, Coy Stampone appears to be as confident as he has ever been.
Stampone, a former Nazareth assistant and Pen Argyl head coach, has patiently watched his program develop with its share of bumps and bruises along the way. Despite a three win campaign last winter, Stampone saw progress on several fronts as the team's underclassmen gradually began to adapt to a new system in place.
He believes some summer seeds planted over the past few weeks, and those yet to be embedded, will yield some fruitful benefits during the upcoming winter.
"This might be the best team chemistry we have had," said the ever optimistic and upbeat Stampone. "The guys have been playing well, really well. We have been very competitive and have played well against some of the stronger teams in the area and beyond."
Stampone noted the program recently completed its annual summer camp that was supervised by current players and the coaching staff. More than 60 campers participated in a series of drills and games over a five day period, and local college coaches Scott Coval from DeSales University and Jim Walker from Moravian addressed the participants.
"We had a very good camp," said Stampone. "It was upbeat and the kids were very competitive. It was a good sign for things to come for us in the future."
In addition, Northampton recently attended team camps at both DeSales and Albright College. Also, his squad had an overall 5-4 record as they began their summer league play this week.
The Konkrete Kids dropped a close 61-60, buzzer beater decision to Parkland. They also played two tight games with southern New Jersey powerhouse Bishop Eustace during their team camps.
Northampton will end its summer program with the upcoming Stellar Tournament and SportsFest tournament. Stampone was pleased with his 20 players who regularly played in the games in the league and camps.
He added how this year's squad has one football player on its varsity unit and another on the JV team.
In the past, several football players would join the team after their annual Thanksgiving Day game. Stampone also has been pleased with the team's workouts in the weight room being held three days a week.
"We have only one football player," stated Stampone. "In the past, we always had a handful who all got started late. We're getting a good deal of lifting in and we really have a solid group of kids this summer. We're also working better with the system and have been working on fundamentals."
However, Stampone is cautiously optimistic about his team's summer solstice.
"We have to remember that this is summer," he said. "Our kids have been good at showing up for the games. But we have been working hard and looking to get better. We have been more focused on everything.
"We can only hope that this effort will carry over to the winter."