BAKER — Baker School's volleyball tradition has been passed from one generation to the next in a relay that has produced 11 straight district titles and 21 consecutive playoff appearances.
One way Gator Coach Tommiko Parks keeps that tradition intact is through the Baker Volleyball Camp.
This week, 40 future Gator volleyball hopefuls from the first through eighth grades gathered at Baker School's gym for the three-day camp.
Stella Hurley, 10, was excited to be among them.
“I got to learn how to move around and get to the ball and work with my teammates,” she said.
Her favorite thing about volleyball camp?
“Serving and hitting the ball hard over the net,” Hurley said.
Eighth-grader Lindsey Stewart, who has attended the camp for three years, said it has helped with her game.
“It helps a lot playing the six-on-six games,” she said. “And hanging out with all the girls is fun.”
This was the camp's third year, Parks said. “The original idea of the camp came when we were trying to build our middle school program and get more girls involved. We decided to do a camp that allowed the middle school girls to come out and learn the things they needed to know for tryouts that would make them better volleyball players.
“And then we had so many little kids that were interested in coming that we opened it up to all ages of kids. We have a lot of our older girls that come in and help, so they get a lot of small-group attention. They are learning a lot and get a lot of positive feedback from the things they are learning.”
The most important thing was for players to have fun while learning fundamentals that will carry them through middle school and high school, Parks said.
“We incorporate the basics of volleyball while having fun,” she said. “We do a lot of passing — lots and lots of passing. We teach them how to hit and how to serve.
“And we teach them where to be on the court with the different situations going on, on the court. So we teach them pretty much all the basics of the volleyball game.”
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.