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Posts Tagged ‘summer camp’

Wolf spikers put in a lot of work, and reaped a lot of benefits, at a four-day camp at Western Washington University. (Photo courtesy Cory Whitmore)

Having tasted big-time success, they want more.

Coming off the program’s first trip to the state tourney in more than a decade, Coupeville High School volleyball players want to keep the good times rolling.

While the Wolves lost seven seniors and jump into a new league this fall, the North Sound Conference, there is still talent to burn.

And, even better, those players who will be the heart of the team, are deeply committed.

CHS coach Cory Whitmore and 11 of his players spent the 4th of July holiday putting in work, refining skills, bonding as teammates and preparing for the season ahead.

Whitmore’s report from the front line:

We had a very strong and productive camp at Western Washington University this past week (July 4-7th).

Year-after-year, the coaches, staff and players of WWU put on a phenomenal camp for athletes of all skills levels and classifications.

Teams are pushed through rigorous individuals position drills, focused team games and practices and special attention from top level college coaches.

One of the facets about this camp that draws us every year is not only the level of intensity of various skills and tournament play, but also WWU’s emphasis on the “overall game.”

This includes a session with the team’s sports psychologist, a goal-setting session, and many different team mini-challenges.

These aspects of the game are crucial to the success of a team in season and few have better team chemistry and cohesion than WWU.

This group was a fun and eager group to travel with and watch grow over the course of four tiring days.

Ashley Menges was voted as a team captain at the end of Wolves Skills Camp in June and did a fantastic job of guiding the team through.

Emma Smith is taking on a heavier load, both physically receiving a strong number of sets at her position as well as becoming a vocal leader for the team.

Both seniors have the most experience and are very inclusive to their younger teammates.

I am really proud of this team’s versatility – team camp is a great time to try different lineups, different offensive and defensive systems and their ability to adapt as a unit was very impressive and encouraging to me as a coach looking forward to the 2018 season.

Sophomore Chelsea Prescott played two different positions over the course of camp and showed her ability to handle a variety of responsibilities and being her first time to this camp, this was especially promising.

Maya Toomey-Stout has worked incredibly hard in the off-season and received the coaches award from our WWU coach – she received accolades for her ability to play a six-rotation and fly around the court, no matter the fatigue or the drill.

Emma Mathusek, Lucy Sandahl, Raven and Willow Vick all played and worked incredibly hard at team camp – camp is a great chance for players to showcase their hard work from the off-season and begin to develop their role and responsibilities on the team.

Zoe Trujillo went down with an ankle injury on the first day, which was rough for her and the team, but she of course remained positive and contributed whenever possible (goal setting, team discussions, mini-challenges, etc.). She should be back at 100% come August.

Before having to leave, Scout Smith and Hannah Davidson too worked very hard and improved upon their respective positions – both received impressed comments from the players and coaches at WWU.

Overall, team camp was exactly was we needed it to be.

Losing seven strong seniors always leaves a large number of “question marks” up in the air. But this camp helped to answer some and challenge players to rise to the occasion presented before them.

This group works very hard and well together. They know the challenges that lay ahead and have great attitudes toward them.

I’m really looking forward to the fall season after a very strong showing this off-season.

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Coupeville players confer during a break in the action at a summer hoops camp in Eastern Washington. (Photos by Amy King)

Lunch time, with senior Ema Smith (center) shepherding the freshmen.

   Smith, fully embracing a leadership role, offers an assist to injured teammate Audrianna Shaw.

Mollie Bailey (left) and Anya Leavell work on a word search during a team bonding exercise.

   Shaw, Ja’Kenya Hoskins (center) and Kylie Van Velkinburgh beat the heat with icy treats.

   18 Wolves made the trip East, the biggest turnout for summer camp in many years for the CHS girls.

The wounds of war.

CHS varsity coach David King draws up a play for the Wolf JV players.

Work in the summer to prosper in the winter.

That’s the mindset for Coupeville High School girls basketball players, who spent a chunk of vacation time this past week putting in time on courts at Eastern Washington University.

The team’s annual trip to summer camp, while breaking from tradition by not being at Ocean Shores, was still a big draw.

CHS coaches David and Amy King had 18 players show up, the most in years.

Almost every returning varsity player was on hand, and the incoming freshmen came out in force like never before.

Overcoming two sprained ankles, a concussion check and “quite a few bruises,” the Wolves survived playing many of their games in a converted hockey rink, returning with knowledge, game experience and team bonding memories galore.

David King’s thoughts on the trek East:

What a trip it turned out to be.

We as coaches don’t necessarily go to camp for the wins.

We go for the team bonding and building teamwork. Stretch players into roles they may not have played before. Along with working individual skills and improving our overall game.

We also wanted to work in mental toughness.

With such a big freshman group, our goal was to learn more about each player and what skills they have. It also helped them get to know us and our way of coaching and expectations.

Overall, it was a great camp and we accomplished what we wanted.

Each day we saw improvement throughout the games, with Tuesday evening and Wednesday’s games being our best.

Lindsey (Roberts) and Ja’Kenya (Hoskins) had a block party over the three days.

Lindsey started it with a run down from behind on a fast break and spiked the ball out of bounds. Ja’Kenya, game after game, had what seems like multiple blocks.

We had Mollie (Bailey) and Lily (Leedy) dazzle us with behind-the-back dribbling.

Lily pulled hers off in the last game. The varsity team went wild.

Toughness was brought by Hannah (Davidson), Nicole (Laxton) and Ella (Colwell). All three improved their post defense and post offense.

With better understanding about positioning, Ema (Smith), Chelsea (Prescott) and Abby (Mulholland) came up big for us with hitting some outside shots, along with improved defensive play for each.

Sammi (Streitler) and Kylie (Van Velkinburgh) are both solid players that help the team in many ways.

We challenged both to look for their shots.

By day three, both started looking at the basket and knocking down some shots. They understand that being an offensive threat helps the team.

Audrianna (Shaw) and Scout (Smith) led both teams from the point guard position. Looking to set up teammates along with taking their shots when open.

Tia (Wurzrainer) played with the varsity group.

This experience really helped her and showed she can play at a higher level. She also mixed it up with grabbing rebounds against much taller opponents.

Kylie Chernikoff, with one year of basketball under her belt, played on both the JV and varsity teams.

She, along with Mollie, led the JV team and gained good experience getting into games with the varsity group.

Anya (Leavell), like many other players, is a competitor. Hates to lose and will give her all.

Something we have been working on is her shot, getting more arc. Sometime on Tuesday it clicked for her and her shot started to transform.

During camp we talked about playing with the correct energy with all of the players.

Anya corralled her energy and had her two best games of camp. Others also showed progress and their games improved as well.

Morgan (Stevens), never played before. I believe one of the first to sign up for camp.

Talk bout growth over three days.

Came in very quiet and unsure. By the end of game three, her defense had improved, she was diving on the court for loose balls and battling for rebounds.

We had great leaders in Lindsey, Ema and Scout. Varsity players that put team over individual and willing to help each and every other teammate.

To prove this point — during the last JV game, Ema came over and talked with Morgan about defense.

The next time out, Morgan was aggressive when guarding her player and channeled Kylie C. with being vocal along with aggressive.

There are things that we know we need to work on; camp helps bring this to light. But the positives far outweighed the areas to improve.

Lastly, we couldn’t have done this without the support of Sherry and Jon Roberts, who let us borrow their car.

Then two freshman moms stepped up big time. Alysabeth Leedy Bonifas and Stephanie Grimm

Both took their time and vehicles to help get these players to camp! The support was outstanding! We can’t thank them enough.

Of course I can’t leave Amy out without thanking her.

She is the hardest-working person I know.

She does all of the behind the scenes stuff that keeps me on track and us organized. This year she even sacrificed more by having to stay in a dorm room while I took the easy route and stayed in a hotel.

I’m just very happy and proud of the players and how they represented themselves and Coupeville.

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   CHS track stars (l to r) Henry Wynn, Thane Peterson and Allison Wenzel spent four days working with UW coaches. (Photo courtesy Susan Wenzel)

A trio of Wolves took the next step in their evolution as track stars.

Coupeville High School seniors Allison Wenzel and Henry Wynn and sophomore Thane Peterson recently attended a four-day camp at the University of Washington to hone their skills.

The camp, run by U-Dub coaches, gave high school athletes insight into several components of being successful.

They each trained in specific events, while also getting advice on stretching, personal fitness and wellness, mindfulness, treating and preventing muscle injuries and health and nutrition.

The hunt for scholarships and what it’s like to be a college-level athlete were also addressed.

Wenzel used the camp to work on javelin and discus, while Peterson joined her in discus and Wynn was schooled in short distance running.

It was Peterson’s first trip to the UW camp, while Wenzel and Wynn were making their second visit.

The Wolf athletes came away impressed with what they gained from the camp.

Allison said she highly recommends it!,” said mom Susan Wenzel.

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   Lucy Sandahl (left) and Scout Smith are thrilled to be at volleyball camp. (Konni Smith photos)

Scout reunites with Maya Toomey-Stout (left) and Emma Smith.

   Sandahl, Ashley Menges (center) and Payton Aparicio come well-equipped for the multi-day stay.

The Wolves cap a successful camp with a group photo. (Cory Whitmore photo)

Coming off of its best performance in a decade, the Coupeville High School volleyball team is primed to make an even bigger splash this fall.

Helping the Wolves get ready to defend their Olympic League title, coach Cory Whitmore and 11 of his spikers attended an intensive four-day camp at Western Washington University July 5-8.

The view from court-side, courtesy Coupeville’s second-year coach:

Camp lasted a very full four days by normally being on the court by 8 AM and working until 8:30 PM at WWU’s newly remodeled Carver Gymnasium.

Our camp was the first open to summer camps – this put the WWU players and coaches in very excited moods and was fun to be able to have a sneak peek into the new facilities.

This year, we were able to bring along Lauren Rose, Payton Aparicio, Hope Lodell, Mikayla Elfrank, Kyla Briscoe, Ashley Menges, Emma Smith, Scout Smith, Maya Toomey-Stout, Lucy Sandahl and Zoe Trujillo.

It was a great mix of experience and upcoming talent. 

It’s hard for me to choose any one particular stand-out for their growth and/or effort, because every single one grew in some way or another and all put in a huge amount of effort.

I’m proud of the growth this group made as a whole – taking a new mix of girls to camp, some playing different positions, a lot of questions try to get answered while at team camp and I’m encouraged by the direction we took in both meshing as a unit and competing against other teams

Coupeville has been attending WWU Volleyball Team Camp for years now and that kind of familiarity creates consistency for planning and comfortability for coaches and players.

Their program is extremely successful under their coaching staff with a wealth of knowledge to instill upon each program that attends.

I also like the proximity and familiarity our players have to their program. Our players have gotten to know a number of their player over the years which has been fun to watch their progression.

And being that Bellingham is only an hour and a half up the road, we are able to return during the fall season as a team trip and see the Vikings compete themselves.

We were also lucky enough to have the same camp coach from the previous year, senior setter Kristina Tribley.

She was fantastic working with the girls and the two-year connection made the experience even more special for our team.

Another part of this particular camp that I like is that it is not simply a tournament – players work on skills based on individual positions, in small groups, as a team and then regularly compete as a team.

With various type games and focuses, it is not just scrimmaging. Our players were able to grow on numerous levels for various skills.

Throughout the camp, we learned out to focus on “the process” – the WWU program values growth over results and that mentality was instilled into us.

Players had to learn how to be patient and look at the little victories over the results and that fostered a comfortability in making mistakes as a part of growing.

We also made a focus to improve our communication style. As a team, progress was definitely made this camp.

Our last goal was to improve our hitting efficiency.

This was where “the process” was especially key – player had to learn how to lose a point due to a mistake, while celebrating a success in another area of the hit.

By the end of camp, that comfortability in letting mistakes go, translated into confidence which then led to kills.

In addition, our “volleyball IQ” was improved as well (where to place the ball, when to swing away).

After a post-camp, nearly full day of sleep, I’m energized toward our fall season.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing the girls take the lessons learned at camp, implementing them throughout the season and spreading that message to other players in the CHS volleyball program.

We have strong leaders on the team that grew as leaders but also helped to teach our younger players how to lead.

That experience is invaluable because it carries throughout summer, this season and into future volleyball season, being further passed down.

At the end of camp, the WWU players (camp coaches) recognize one player from their team deserving of recognition.

Coach Kristina said it was very hard for her to choose just one but she was incredibly impressed with Payton.

Payton was very strong from the service line, extremely consistent in the passing formation, made growth as an attacker and was a rock mentally for the rest of the team.

I could not agree more and I’m very happy Payton was recognized – her efforts in the off-season deserve notice.

Even though Kristin Bridges will not be able to coach this upcoming fall season, she had planned on attending camp with us, but due to early contractions she was hospitalized and roughly two weeks later she gave birth to Grayson Reid Bridges!

We are so excited for her and her family and can’t wait to meet the newest Bridges!

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   While waiting for the ferry back home after summer hoops camp, Mikayla Elfrank goes for a little stroll. (Amy King photo)

Summer basketball camp is about far more than wins and losses.

Take a look at the previous article and you’ll get a rundown of how the Coupeville High School girls squad did (scores, stats, etc.) on the court at a recent four-day jaunt to Ocean Shores.

For this story, we turn the mic over to CHS assistant coach/team mom Amy King, for her thoughts on what the camp meant to the players and coaches in terms of intangibles.

We had a kind of strange mix of girls but they all did very well together.

The first part of creating team is to divide the girls into rooms with others they may not really know.

It forces a communication that otherwise may never be there.

The girls in each room had to come up with a cool door poster – something fun and creative. Work together in who they are.

Next, David (King) is mentioning a chip – we were at a coaches clinic a few weeks back and this was a great idea that we really wanted to try.

Each side has a theme to it (on one side the name of someone who inspires them, on the other a word which describes the player), so we broke up each side onto different nights.

The girls listened to what we were saying and really put thought into it.

Every one could ask any player or coach what their chip represented to them.

Their explanations for their chip were well thought out, nicely explained and meant a lot to each of us.

The other side was done as well as the first.

Just listening to each girl with their process and answers were very touching and made us so happy to have decided on this particular exercise.

Our beach time — this year it was actually very windy and cold but we had a time slot in between games and took it.

The teams were five girls on each team. Their task? Work together to build a great sand sculpture.

Oh, and we threw in a few surprises this year — one team got a pack of dinosaurs and the other, barn animals. Oh, and two characters to try and fit in.

The girls threw themselves into their work, running around the beach looking for shells or wood to add to their sculptures.

Both unique and impressive in their own way. Each with a story behind it.

This year we established “Story Time with Coach King,” just little stories to give the team something else to think about.

The first story was Mr. King and Mongoose Mentality. It was based on how all these little mongooses come together to defeat the cobra.

The next day was Mrs. King and an original story in poem format, recapturing a playoff game she was a part of — the emotions before, during and after.

Basically talking about holding each other and yourself accountable for your own game.

Aside from all of this, we had spotlighting after each game (each player pointing out one positive from the game to a teammate).

After this we threw a new wrench in — self awareness. Say one thing that you did well.

Talk about difficult. We found it was not easy for the girls to tell themselves they did something well.

That was a whole other discussion, but after the first few times, they did get better.

The coaches and our one crazy fan (Sherry Roberts) participated in all.

From this, to the games, the camp was definitely a success.

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