BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Spikers smiled as they continued working on their skills during the last day of Clarkston Volleyball Camp, held June 26-30.
“I say this year every year but the talent level is just getting better and better,” said Clarkston Varsity Volleyball Kelly Pinner about the campers in the two camp sessions held for grades 9-12 in the early morning and grades 5-8 in the late morning.
“The kids are becoming more prepared – that’s a good thing,” she added. “In terms of my planning I am always adjusting and making sure we are meeting their needs. The last day is fun because we do a lot of competitions. They enjoy it.”
Clarkston Volleyball Camp had over 150 players who worked on improving their skills and learning techniques.
Players were from Clarkston, Lake Orion and surrounding areas.
Pinner explained there were more fifth graders, the youngest group, than previous years and were very energetic and passionate.
“They love working with the coaches,” she said. “They’ve gotten so much better. They are sponges – they soak it all in. They are trying everything and do what we ask them to do.”
Campers learned from Pinner, the coaching staff for the Clarkston program, and previous varsity players including those who play on the collegiate level.
“We had good staff members this week,” Pinner said. “We had three girls from Oakland University working with them. It was nice to have some higher level volleyball players. We also had a coupl other college players from different areas work with them this week.”
She added the camp helps players going into grades 9-12 for the upcoming fall season.
“It’s our first chance to really work together,” Pinner said. “We have had some open gyms in the spring, but some of those kids are doing other things. It gives us an opportunity to start working together a little bit and seeing where our strengths and weaknesses are so we can start working on it come August.
She added it also helps the players see where they stand.
“It fosters some competitiveness within them which is always good,” she explained. “If you know someone is vying for your spot, they can see it here in camp. Hopefully it makes them work harder in the next couple of months.”
Receiving this year’s camp awards in the two sessions were Alana Watlington and Lauryn Sajan for Best Camper; Sam Wycoff and Brooke Cicero for Most Spirited; and Sydney Hasenfatz and Adalynn Phonsana for Most Improved.
Clarkston Volleyball Camp is hosted by Clarkston Community Education and Independence Township Parks, Recreation and Seniors. For more information or to check out activities offered, please visit www.itpr.org.