Andrew Delisle looks for his shot (more photos follow this article)
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
Webster - The BHS Sweat & Desire camp was certainly the place to be this past week if you are a youngster (ages 6-17) working on developing your basketball skills.
Run by Bartlett High School head basketball coach Tony Paranto, who took over the helm from the legendary Don Cushing 13 years ago, the BHS Sweat & Desire camp is an outstanding four-day event that really helps kids develop their skills and their desires while working up a good sweat. In other words, it lives up to his advertising.
Paranto, who himself was a former camper under Cushing, has seen the camp grow in size year after year. “Since I took over this camp our numbers have increased every year, which has been tremendous,” he said.
“We started off at maybe 40-50 campers, now we have over 100. I think it’s a benefit, people can go elsewhere, I understand that, and I appreciate that people come back here year after year.”
“I think it’s because we give everyone the best bang for their buck around here too,” said the camp director. “With a low cost of $175 and an early fee of $150, it also a good, economical deal in this day and age.”
The low cost of the camp has been a real factor since many summer basketball camps are double the price to attend. Camps such as Holy Cross’s camp are as much as $600 per attendee.
Another major factor in the BHS camp’s success has been the outstanding coaching staff that Paranto has put together year after year.
“My coaches are the backbone; these camps would not be successful if I didn’t have the distinguished coaches that I have right now. We have former high school 1000-point scorers, high school coaches, collegiate coaches. They have a good time here. Kids come here and they work, we go four days, six hours, and they work tremendously hard.” He said.
One of the coaches is former Oxford High School three-sport star and current Douglas High School teacher Paul Bolio, who has been on Paranto’s staff all thirteen years.
“I have been doing this Bartlett camp for many years all the way back to when Don Cushing ran it,” said Bolio. “I am good friends with Tony Paranto and I like to bring the Douglas kids here. The kids are great and its coed and that makes it fun. It’s a really cool camp to be part of.”
Bartlett 2012 graduates and star athletes Lindsay Bond and Nick Kobel have transitioned from former campers to coaches as they both prepare to attend college in the fall.
“Being part of this camp, you learn a lot about basketball,” said Bond, who will be attending Anna Maria College to play basketball in the fall.
“Some of the kids are very coachable, they learn more than just the basics of basketball,” said Bond. “Some are better than others and they all try hard and they do everything they can do to get better. I love seeing their faces light up when they do well. It’s a great feeling to know that the kids enjoy their time here.”
Kobel (above), who became a member of the elite Bartlett 1000-point club this past year and will be attending Springfield College in the fall, is also enjoying the experience.
“I went to this camp growing up, so this is my first year on the other side being a coach. This is a great camp; I have been going to it for I don’t even know how long. Coach Paranto does a great job. Kids get a lot out of it.”
“We have a great coaching staff with a lot of credentials,” said Kobel. “When I was going here as a camper it was a blast. Our whole team was here, Oxford kids and kids from other schools came and we had great battles. When I was asked to come back as a coach, I was very happy. It’s nice to give back to the kids and work with them in the summertime and be on the other side of the fence,” said Kobel.
One of the current campers is Oxford High School senior three-sport star Tyler Barre, who is looking for that extra edge to improve his game. “It’s a great camp and I love being here. It has helped me with my shooting; it helped me with my ball handling. It makes me a better player.”
When asked if it was strange being at a camp with some of his rivals like Bartlett’s Matt Huberdault and Akeem Belnavis, Barre said, “I think its awesome being here with guys I play against during the season. It helps me learn how they play and how I can shut them down during the season.”
BHS Sweat & Desire Coaching staff
Paranto’s outstanding staff this year also included former Oxford High School and Anna Maria College star Anthony McDonald, Bartlett jayvee coach and former Anna Maria College star John Prunier, former Bartlett 1000-point scorer Brian Henderson, who played Division 1 soccer for Temple University, former Bartlett High School football coach and current girls’ tennis coach and current assistant football coach at Worcester State Chris Nasis, former 1000- point scorer and 1000- rebounder Jason Miglionico, who played at Franklin Pierce where he also scored 1000 points and had a 1000 rebounds, Seth Loconto, who averaged 43 points a game in high school at Marianhill and was a 1000-point scorer both in high school and at Anna Maria College, former Shepherd Hill football and basketball star Nick Bolio, Bartlett jayvee coach and former Shepherd Hill player Brian Saad and former Bartlett player Mark Dixon, who starred under Paranto.
The BHS Sweat & Desire camp has a winning formula and should be the summer basketball camp for years to come.
Coach McDonald gives instruction
Matt Huberdault and Anthony "The Bull" Cafferelli
Just one big happy family
Campers get instruction
- Monday, 02 July 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports