Greenville athletics finish first annual All-Sports camp


By Drew Terhall

GREENVILLE — Greenville athletics hosted their first annual Lady Wave All-Sports camp from July 10 – 14 for girls entering grades third through sixth. The girls played five different sports, one each day, and were taught the basics from coaches and players.

Greenville Lady Wave basketball head coach Rachel Kerns came up with the idea. Kerns said it’s hard for kids to play a lot of sports and with the size of Greenville, needs kids to play multiple sports. This camp helps show the campers how many current high school athletes play multiple sports.

“We want the little kids to see the high school girls and how many different days they show up to. So they can say, ‘Oh, she plays basketball. She plays soccer.’ Letting them see them play multiple sports,” Kerns said. “Just trying to get their feet wet and get them involved in as many different sports as they can.”

The camp started with basketball. At the Greenville K-8 building, the high school players and coaches went through drills to teach the kids the basics of the game.

Kerns said she wanted to see her players be energetic and encouraging during the camp. The camp is all about encouraging the campers to pursue playing multiple sports.

After basketball, the campers went out to Harmon Field for soccer day. Head coach Dave Ernst and his players and coaches had the girls go through different drills and play a scrimmage at the end.

Ernst said Kerns had this idea last year but it didn’t materialize. He was thrilled to see it happen this year as he thinks it was a great idea.

“The goal is to possibly see girls that play basketball on Monday, they come back and play soccer on Tuesday and they’re going ‘Hey, that high school girl is playing two different sports.’ That’s not only accepted, that’s what it should be. Trying to make sure that’s apparent and an avenue kids can take advantage of to play multiple sports once they get to high school,” Ernst said.

The high school soccer players also had a good time with it. Ernst said his players loved being able to coach the girls during their day of camp. He also said it goes hand in hand with their alumni day camp.

On July 29, the boys and girls soccer programs will host a free camp at Harmon Field for boys and girls ages 5-14. Sign up starts at noon and the camp will be from 1-4 p.m. Ernst said they enjoy giving back to the community and participating in both camps does just that.

The kids headed back to the K-8 building for softball. Lady Wave head coach Jerrod Newland and some of his players took the kids through the basics of softball and ended the day with some wiffle ball fun.

Newland said the camp is a great thing for Greenville to take the kids through different sports. But most importantly, the camp helps surround the kids with good people and gives the kids a chance to have fun with the different sports.

For his players, it was a chance for them to connect with the young kids and be a positive influence on them.

“I have five or six of my kids come in and help. That’s what it’s all about, being positive role models and citizens. Those kids used to be eight, nine and 10,” Newland said.

Newland also said the kids stayed focus and had a blast through the two-hour camp.

Following up softball was tennis at the tennis courts in front of the high school. The camp was led by current boys tennis player Mason Pierri, former boys tennis player Mason Middlestetter and current girls tennis player Meadow Murphy.

The girls had the chance to pick up a racket and learn the basics of tennis. Middlestetter said while he hopes the kids come away with learning something, he just wants them to have fun with the sport.

“Honestly, I hope they have fun if they don’t learn anything else,” Middlestetter said. “But, just learn the fundamentals. Grip, following all the way through and most importantly fun. That’s all I have when I play tennis.”

All three players had the chance to interact with the kids and show them the joy that tennis brings them.

The campers ended the camp at the K-8 building for volleyball. Lady Wave head coach Michelle Hardesty and her players and coaches went through the basics and had some competition drills mixed in as well.

Hardesty said with them having a camp in the spring, she recognizes some of the girls in the camp. This was a chance to build a little bit on that camp, but also having another chance to show the girls the fun of volleyball.

“In my opinion, they saved the best for last,” Hardesty said. “It just worked out in my schedule. But, we have youth camp in the spring so I recognize a lot of these girls. (We’re) just giving them that extra opportunity to see what the game is about and have fun with it.”

The kids not only learned about each different sport, they saw how much support each sport shows to each other. Kerns was present and helping out throughout the week. Ernst showed up and helped out when he could. Even assistant athletic director Jeff Martin got out there and helped out with the camp.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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