Volleyball camp serves growing area sport|Annual camp concludes another successful session

Published 7:39 am Friday, July 17, 2009

Staff Writer

CHOCOWINITY — The whole point behind Southside’s annual summer volleyball camp is to generate area interest in the sport, according to Seahawks junior varsity volleyball coach Stanley Jones.
If Thursday night was any indication, a host of young girls from Beaufort County and beyond have a keen interest in playing volleyball.
The camp, conducted by Jones and Seahawks varsity coach Elizabeth Pruden, concluded the second of two summer sessions Thursday night at the Southside gymnasium with a cookout for the campers’ families and a pickup game started by over a dozen of the campers.
It seemed that even after a full-week of serving, spiking and setting, the campers wanted more. And that’s the idea, Jones said.
“We hope and pray they go out to the locals schools (and continue to play),” said Jones.
Jones believes the camps are so important because they are the only volleyball camps offered in the county.
“There is nothing there,” he said.
And none of the county’s recreation departments offer volleyball leagues. With the shortage of opportunities for volleyball players in the county, Jones said some players are joining leagues and attending camps in nearby Greenville.
Still, the annual camp averaged between 20 and 25 players for each session. The first week-long session is designed as a fundamental camp for prospective 5th and 6th graders.
Jones said a lot of the 5th and 6th grade campers showed promise this year. He noted the campers’ aggressive style of play.
The second session is for 7th and 8th graders and is supposed to prepare players for middle school volleyball. Jones said he thinks some of this year’s older players are strong enough to play at the high school level.
Some of the campers hailed from the surrounding counties of Pamlico, Pitt and Martin, according to Jones.
Megan Scherer, a camper going into 8th grade at G.R. Whitfield in Grimesland called the camp “very cool.”
The 13-year-old said it was her second straight year at the camp.
Hardy Jo, a 12-year-old going into 7th grade at S.W. Snowden in Aurora, kept it plain and simple.
“I just like to play volleyball,” she said.
And Jones thinks that many more girls around Beaufort County feel the same way.
“Volleyball, I believe, is one of the fastest growing sports in our county,” he said.