Head coach Rikki-Lynn Baxter is entering her sixth year with the Lady Cougars and said the camp went great.
“We’ve got some great potential for our program next year and we’re really excited about it,” Baxter said.
The camp took place June 17 through Friday and was coached by returning varsity players with Baxter, freshman coach April Willis and JV coach Leanne Tompkins serving as facilitators.
This year’s camp brought out 50 participants – 36 rising freshmen, six rising sophomores, two rising juniors and six ages 12 and under.
“The majority will be at Alexander next year, but we do have some from all over who just attend the camp for the fundamentals,” Baxter said.
For the first four days, the “coaches” worked with the campers on the basic fundamentals of volleyball such as passing, hitting and serving. On the final day the campers played a tournament to put their new skills to the test.
“It’s not nearly enough time to get them where they need to be, but it helps get them ready for tryouts,” said Baxter.
With no middle school program in Douglas County, Baxter said some of the campers over the years have needed the fundamentals broken down as much as possible.
Alexander is the only school in the county that has a freshman team. Baxter said the first year she hosted the camp she had such an influx of freshmen — and didn’t want to cut them all — that she developed a freshmen team.
Since beginning the camp, Baxter said 90 percent of the freshmen that make the team also have attended the camp.
“There are even freshmen here that could make a higher team,” she said. “This group is very promising.”
Aside from learning the basics of the game, the participants also learn good sportsmanship and how to be good teammates.
“[They learn] how to be a team player and how to be positive. They develop friendships and relationships with people they’ve never had relationships with before,” Baxter said.