Bump, set, spike

The bump, set and spike were present along with a shark attack, chicken coup and a four-girl rowboat.

They were all part of the fun and games Wednesday at the volleyball camp hosted by the Moffat County volleyball program for fifth- and sixth-graders.

"They keep it fun, and we learn a lot," fifth-grader Jodi Hoeland said.

The girls finished Wednesday's camp with a game called Ships and Sailors. Moffat County coach Becky Howlett called out different terms such as "shark attack," in which the campers all screamed like, well, they were being attacked by a shark.

"It's good to see smiles on their faces," Howlett said. "I love the fact that they're hanging in there and having fun."

Most fifth- and sixth-graders have had little or no exposure to organized volleyball. Howlett recognized that.

"It takes some empathy and patience," she said. "Volleyball is technical, so we try to simplify as much as we can."

Every player on the Moffat County roster had come to help at the camp at one point during the week. Junior April Sanchez was one of them.

"It would have been nice to have someone older teach the fundamentals when I was in fifth grade," she said. "The sooner you start, the better you know stuff later."

The campers liked that they were learning from high schoolers.

"They're good," Hoeland said.

"The coach is really nice, too," said Abbie Reid.

Both of the campers agreed that one of the hardest things to accomplish was getting the serve over the net all the way from the baseline.

The also agreed that spiking was their favorite part.

"The hardest thing for them to get is the three-step hitting approach," Sanchez said.

Howlett said that the camp is just as valuable to her players as it is to the campers.

"It's especially good for the underclassmen when they have to break things down," Howlett said. "They have to analyze what's being done correctly or wrong."

Camp participation doubled from last year in the fifth- and sixth-grade numbers. This year, 23 campers are participating, while 11 took part last year.

Next week, the high-school program will host a camp for seventh and eight graders. Spots still are available for the camp. Flyers are available at Craig Middle School and can be turned in to Courtney Jenison at CMS or Howlett at the high school. The cost is $35 a person, and the camp is Monday through Friday at the high school.

For more information, call Becky Howlett at 824-7036.

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