COOS BAY — With Marshfield High School operating as home base for the week, six schools — Marshfield, North Bend, Coquille, Reedsport, Myrtle Point and Astoria — are taking part in an annual performance team volleyball camp in preparation for the impending season. But while summer camps are associated with joy and a general sense of happiness, this is not that type of camp.
Coquille's Spencer Gallino taps the ball over the net Tuesday. Teams from six schools are taking part in the annual volleyball camp at Marshfi…
“This isn’t a fun kumbaya camp. This isn’t like ‘Oh my gosh, we’re weaving.’ There is none of that. They hate their lives,” said North Bend head volleyball coach Jessica Randle on Tuesday afternoon. “They go 9 a.m. to noon, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. They are like, ‘Coach… this sucks so much.’ Yeah it does baby, every part of this sucks.”
From the start on Monday afternoon to Thursday at noon, campers will have completed a total 23 hours of volleyball. From stretching to drills to a small tournament at the end of camp, every detail is gone over. And then gone over again.
“Just the amount of ball contact that each kid gets, the repetition. You don’t do something for one or two times, you do it for 100 times. You can’t help but get better if you’re going to touch the ball that many times,” said Myrtle Point head coach Tami Brown.
Put on by Sports Performance Volleyball Club from Aurora, Illinois, the camp is in its 27th year of serving area teams. Normally taking place at Southwestern Oregon Community College, renovations to the campus rerouted the camp to Marshfield High School. Teams from out of town normally stay in the dorms at SWOCC which meant the amount of teams participating this year is smaller than years past.
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Troy Gilb, the Associate Director of Performance Volleyball, is in his 10th year of coming to Oregon to help put on this camp. With a group of coaches at his side, Gilb tries to provide the best possible experience for the over 100 campers. Even if, in the moment, they don’t enjoy the camp.
“When we first start the camp we tell them right away this is going to be difficult. They know it is going to be. And we push the kids hard, make them go fast, but we don’t yell at them or degrade them or anything like that but our expectations are high and we do a lot of teaching,” said Gilb. “And even though everything is fast-paced, we’re still doing teaching as we go. And I think once they get into a rhythm of things they realize yeah this is hard but I’m starting to get it. I’m starting to understand it and know what I’m doing.”
Marshfield senior Makenna Anderson started going to the camp during her eighth grade year. This is her fifth time participating in it. And even with experience, it still is a challenge.
“I feel it’s got harder every year,” said Anderson after Tuesday’s afternoon session. With about an hour and a half until she had to be back in the gym, Anderson was looking to get in a hearty meal and, if she was lucky, a 20-minute nap. While difficult, she values the yearly camp. “It’s tough but it helps our mentality. It not only helps us physically but it helps us be stronger-minded.”
Practice for the fall sports season officially begins on Monday.