Happy campersPublished 7:19pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013
A good coach is never afraid to copy a winning game plan and after seeing the advantages of early participation in softball Washington volleyball coach Kelly Slade is hoping that by introducing volleyball to athletes at a young age the sport can experience similar success in the area.
That was one of the goals in mind when Slade created the first annual Beaufort County Volleyball Skills Clinic this summer for girls 9-13-years old.
“I love softball and I know we’re in a softball community but I would like for it to one day be a softball and volleyball community where everybody is just as excited about volleyball as they are about softball,” Slade said. “A lot of our local girls are having to travel to places like Charlotte and Raleigh and other places out of town to go to a lot of the college camps and we didn’t have anything going for the girls in our area. So we wanted to start this to get the girls in our community excited about volleyball.”
So far so good, as Slade said she was shocked by the number of athletes that signed up for the three-day camp that began on Tuesday.
“We have girls from Terra Ceia, Pantego, Belhaven, Bath and Washington at the camp and it’s great to see all these communities excited about volleyball,” Slade said. “The turnout has been really good, it’s probably double the number of kids that I expected. I’m really excited by the groups of girls that have come out.”
The camp, which is being held at P.S. Jones Middle School, featured 34 girls on Tuesdsay and Wednesday. Helping instruct the camp are P.S. Jones volleyball coach Kristen Slade, Kelly’s sister, along with future Pam Pack JV coach Hillary Taylor, Sammy Corey and a host of Washington volleyball varsity players.
Slade, who coached volleyball at P.S. Jones before becoming the Pam Pack’s varsity coach, said that when she was coaching the Demons there were a lot of girls that went out for the team that had no experience with the sport. She is hoping to change that with the camp.
“When I was coaching at P.S. Jones we had seventh and eighth graders who were playing for the first time. They never touched a volleyball before they came out to tryouts,” Slade said. “So hopefully this gets a volleyball into the hands of the kids a lot earlier. Whether it’s in Washington, Belhaven or Bath its just about getting the community excited about volleyball.”