By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Volleyball, football, basketball players busy during June
During a break in between drills, varsity volleyball head coach Shay Beam, center, offers some instruction and outlines the next series of skills the young volleyball clinic attendees will work on, with coaches and assistants also listening in. - photo by Times Photos By Marg Jackson

Some current – and future – Escalon Cougar athletes got in workouts during June, as volleyball, football and basketball players had a packed schedule.



The volleyball team hosted a series of four Saturday clinics during the month, wrapping up on June 29.

“We had clinics for Escalon girls ranging from second to tenth grade,” said varsity head coach Shay Beam. “We had Escalon alumni, coaches and varsity girls run the clinics so it was fun to see those high schoolers interacting with the younger girls in our community.”

The final Saturday saw a smaller group taking the court for the morning session, but they still took part in passing drills, worked on serve receive and focused on communication. The first clinic of the day featured players Tinley Lombardi, Kennedy Van Dyk, Aaliyah Anderson-Castro, Rylee Hawkins and Brenyn Beam.

“I asked each of the girls at the end of the clinic what their favorite part was and it was by far being able to play with the varsity girls at the end,” noted Beam. “We listened to music, gave lots of high fives and were able to share the love of volleyball with up-and-coming Escalon High School players.”



For the football team, varsity head coach Andrew Beam said they took part in several tournaments during June.

“We attended the Fresno State, Stagg and UC Davis 7-on-7 tournaments,” Beam said. “We were also lifting, conditioning and practicing four days a week.”

The coach said there is a very large incoming freshman class of 51 players.

“Varsity has really improved from June 3 to now,” Beam added. “We have a lot of new faces in positions and it took some time to get some of them up to speed, but we felt really good at our last 7-on-7 tournament at Davis, we made it to the final round of 16, out of 44 teams.”

The squad will be able to resume preparing for the season ahead on July 15 with limited action permitted, following the required ‘dead period’ for all high school athletics. July 29 will be the first day of practice. Prior to that, Tuesday, July 23 will be the Escalon High School Sports Physicals Night, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., in the high school cafeteria.

“All other fall sports officially start on August 5,” Beam said.



“We were pretty busy; it was a productive month,” varsity head basketball coach Nate Bartelink said. “We had practices twice per week from mid-May through June; 40-plus participants across all three levels. We hosted varsity scrimmages every Monday and Wednesday in June and freshman/JV scrimmages on Mondays in June.”

Later this month, Escalon High School Boys Basketball in cooperation with Escalon Elite Basketball Club will present their Summer Basketball Youth Skills Clinic. The event is set for Wednesday, July 24 at the Escalon High School gym. Offered for beginner and intermediate boys and girls, the incoming sixth through eighth graders will have their clinic from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; the incoming fourth and fifth graders will meet from noon to 2 p.m.

There is a maximum of 30 players per session. Cost is $25 if registered before July 24 and $30 if registering the day of the clinic. For more information, contact Bartelink at 209-613-3818 or email

Working on their skills, Brenyn Beam, left, and Rylee Hawkins were teamed up for this drill on Saturday morning, June 29 as part of the summer volleyball clinic sessions hosted at Escalon High School.
Young players warm up on the court inside the Escalon High School gym on Saturday morning, June 29, during the final volleyball clinic of the summer.