CM alums help out at JV camp

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 3:51 pm on Friday, July 22, 2016

STANTON — While the Central Montcalm varsity volleyball team was away at a camp this week, the JV team had a camp of their own at the high school.

Central Montcalm graduate Katie Kearney, left, gives instructions on setting to a Central JV player during the alumni-JV camp Tuesday.

The camp had some very special teachers.

The more than 20 campers were taught by former varsity volleyball coach Amy Tasker, and she brought in some of her former players to help teach the camp.

“Our varsity kids went to Grand Rapids and to give these guys (the JV team) a little camp I called in some of my old players, kids that I coached back when I was here before,” Tasker said. “They (the former players) were more than excited to come in.”

The camp started Monday with full group instruction, Tasker said.

Tuesday “we went down into smaller groups and we nailed down some specific skills,” she said. “ The younger kids have watched the alumni in movement and attitude and skill and it’s neat to see that those conversations happening between the alumni.”

Those conversations have shown the JV players how to get better at volleyball, according to Tasker.

Central Montcalm’s Shalie Shank bumps during a practice at the alumni-JV camp Tuesday.

Tasker loved having some of her former players back. There were five alumni coaching the group the first two days.

“I told them (Monday) it was an absolute honor to share the coaching responsibilities with them. I have some fond memories of working with them as a varsity coach and watching them develop as players. For them to come back and share their passion with the younger kids I’m coaching now, it’s amazing. It’s a true honor to work with the ladies.”

Tasker hoped the JV team would have a better work ethic after the camp.

“One of the things I told the younger kids that I feel they need is the intensity and passion for the game,” she said. “Whether these kids have been out 12 years or two years, the second they stepped out on the floor (Monday) you could see that passion fire back up. Just by observation the JV kids still want to play the game.”

One of the alumni, 2006 graduate Jenna Kimball, had her first day back Tuesday.

“Tasker posted something on Facebook about it and I showed some interest in it and happened to be on vacation this week so I thought, ‘Woo hoo!’ It’s exciting.”

Kimball admitted she’s been out of volleyball for a while.

“I haven’t touched a volleyball in years, but it’s always been one of my favorite sports,” she said. “I have a little girl coming up so it will be really cool to catch up to today’s techniques and be able to take it home to her.”

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