Children get into the swing of it

Morgan Knob's options in the morning this summer were limited.

"I could either sit around and do nothing, do something boring or go to tennis," the 11-year-old said. "I'm glad there was tennis."

Knob was with five other 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds at the Lincoln Street Courts Wednesday morning for the Craig Parks and Recreation tennis camp.

Moffat County senior-to-be Taylor Reed is in charge of the camp.

"I like to see them have fun with it," Reed said. "When you can build enthusiasm for a sport in a town where it's not very big, it helps the sport grow."

Reed knows about Craig tennis first-hand. He plays on the Steamboat Springs High School tennis team because there isn't one at Moffat County. He also does most of his playing in Steamboat Springs.

"Everything I learned I learned in Steamboat," he said. "I never had a chance to learn at a clinic here in Craig."

Reed and Parks and Recreation are giving young tennis players an opportunity.

"They've all gotten better," Reed said.

Reed co-hosted the camp with fellow Moffat County/Steamboat Springs tennis player Brian Berhman last summer. Berhman's commitment to summer baseball didn't allow him to help this year. Actually, Reed wasn't sure he was helping until the day before the camp.

"They called me the night before," he said.

The camp runs throughout June. There was no camp last week because Reed was gone for his own camp.

There are two sessions with a total of nine students.

The second week into camp, the campers were noting a difference in their game.

"I can hit the ball into the opposite box," said Kaitlen Bird, 11. "Before I could barely hit the ball."

Five of the six campers in the first session from 9 to 10 a.m. were first-time tennis players. The only camper who had played before was Dylan Reed, Taylor's younger brother.

"He goes with me sometimes and has lessons in Steamboat," Taylor said.

"I'm sort of like his assistant," Dylan said.

All of the first-timers interviewed said they had been playing tennis in their spare time now after learning the sport.

"I think my aim has gotten better," said Katelyn Kline, 12. "I can hit it to a specific point."

Knob said learning tennis has been both harder and easier than she thought.

"I'm in the middle trying to decide if it was hard," she said. "It was hard because you have to learn how hard to hit it, but it was easy because I can hit it."

The camp will continue through June and is an annual summer opportunity offered by Craig Parks and Recreation.

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