As the summer continued this week, two more high school programs held their annual youth camp as Calhoun High Softball and Sonoraville High Soccer hosted groups of youngsters in hopes of teaching them about their respective games and having fun at the same time.
Each camp ran from Monday through Thursday with high school coaches and players serving as instructors for the campers. For more pictures from both camps, see Saturday's Calhoun Times.
Here’s a little info about how each camp went:
The Lady Jackets hosted their annual youth softball camp this week as they tried to pass along some of their championship knowledge, skills and attitude to the next generation of softball players.
Calhoun coaches and high school players hosted campers from from grades kindergarten through eighth, and they were broken up into two sessions each day during the four-day camp. Kindergarten through fifth-graders went from 8-10 a.m. each day, and sixth through eighth-graders went from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Calhoun head coach Diane Smith said the camp every summer is always something she looks forward to.
“We love it,” said Smith. “We try to make it fun but go over the fundamentals at the same time. We worked on several different things and had some game situations the last day. We talked about teamwork as well.
“I think all the girls enjoyed it. There’s a big difference between the younger group and the older group. Most of the middle school girls can do a lot of the basic things and are really talented, and the younger girls are really just learning the game. It’s fun to see all of the campers, and I think we had a very successful camp.”
Combined between the two groups, there were 36 total campers this week according to Smith. She also had the help of 19 of her high school players along with Calhoun High assistant coach Kayla Ralston and Calhoun Middle head coach Tony Lindsey.
Smith said she enjoyed the entire group of campers and believed they all learned and had a great experience at camp this week.
“It was a very good group,” said Smith. “The majority of the older girls in camp are travel players, and this is one of the camps they chose to be a part of this summer. A lot of them had come to previous camps, and when they do that, they usually come back.”
Smith added that she was impressed with the skill level displayed by the campers and looks forward to the future for Calhoun softball.
“The middle school group was very good,” said Smith. “They really knew what they were doing and have a lot of talent. The younger one’s were fun to work with as well, and they had a lot of fun.”
Each camper received a t-shirt at the end of camp on Thursday for completing the four days.
The Calhoun softball team will begin practice in late July before opening the season in early August. They will be in search of their fourth straight state title this Fall.
The Sonoraville High soccer program hosted the Rising Phoenix Soccer Camp this week at the Sonoraville Recreation Department.
The camp was open to rising first through eight-graders and Sonoraville High girls head coach Kenny Walraven said they had 40 total campers and high school players combined during the four day camp that ran from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Walraven said it was a very fun week to be a part of.
“It’s always fun to see these little kids and also seeing our high school girls jump in there and work with them,” said Walraven. “They really took the lead and taught them the fundamentals by doing drills and playing games with them. We had a big group so it was fun to work with them and see them learn and have some success during camp.”
Walraven said he thought the group overall learned the basics and many had their first introduction to the game of soccer.
“The focus with the little one’s was to have fun,” said Walraven. “For most of them, it was the first time they had been introduced to soccer so they learned a lot and put it all together by the end of the week. Hopefully their interest and love for the game will continue to grow and they’ll be playing soccer for a long time.”
Each camper received a t-shirt at the end of camp on Thursday. Walraven said he hopes the campers are the next generation of Sonoraville players.
“Many of our girls playing now started playing by coming to the camp that coach Kristen McGuire started several years ago,” said Walraven. “My girls really learned how to teach this week, and they really enjoyed seeing the campers have some success. You could see it in their eyes when the campers scored a goal or made a good pass.”