BHS volleyball players staying busy during summer
Although the Baldwin High School volleyball season doesn’t officially begin for two months, Kelly Brown is keeping her players busy early this summer.
The Bulldogs have already had their week-long summer camp. They also have voluntary open gym sessions four days a week. On top of that, they play at least once a week in different summer leagues.
“I wanted to get it in, so that we were ready for summer leagues,” Brown said of their team camp. “We’ve got Midwest Juniors that we are doing. We are also doing a traveling summer league with other schools in the area. It’s just nice to touch base with the kids before the summer really began.”
Two weeks ago, the BHS coach hosted her team camp. Her attendance was down this summer, as only 24 players were there at camp. This year’s camp was also only four days since it started on June 1, the day after Memorial Day.
Brown knew the week would be tough on some girls, who just finished their track season the weekend before, but she was pleased with this year’s camp.
“Camp went well,” she said. “The girls worked hard, although we had small numbers. The girls still came out, worked hard and looked good. Because camp was so early, a lot of the girls really hadn’t started their summer yet, especially the state-track girls. We made sure to keep them focused on volleyball during camp, but they were definitely tired all week.”
One of the reasons for the low attendance was the small number of incoming freshmen. Brown said she only had five or six freshmen at camp, but nearly 30 signed up for the team at a meeting in May. The Bulldogs usually have between 15 and 20 freshmen on the team in the fall.
Since there was a small number of freshmen at the camp, Brown changed the focus of the majority of camp.
“This year we worked on different things, instead of fundamentals,” Brown said. “Usually, I do stress fundamentals, but because we were so low on numbers with the incoming freshman group, we will just go back to that in the fall. We had to kind of redo what we did in camp, because we had more upperclassmen than underclassmen, which was nice to see.”
Now that camp has finished, the Bulldogs are focusing on their summer league games and open-gym sessions. They play in Wellsville every Thursday. Thus far, their coach has been pleased with the product she is seeing.
“We look really good at Wellsville,” Brown said. “We have a varsity and junior varsity team on those nights. They are all playing well and looking really good for being early in the summer.”
From Monday through Thursday, Brown opens the BHS gym for any volleyball players wanting to play or practice during the summer. She has been opening the gym at 7 a.m., but some of the Bulldogs come in earlier to lift weights with the football players.
A year ago, the Kansas State High School Activities Association changed its rules for football, basketball and volleyball coaches during the summer. The KSHSAA allowed the coaches more time with their players until the middle of July. This has allowed Brown and other BHS coaches to open the gym for more hands-on time with their teams in the summer.
“I haven’t been able to do that until this year, so I am taking advantage of it,” Brown said. “We’ve had about a dozen kids each day, which so far is pretty good. Considering the basketball players had camp this week and some others helped out with the junior high camp. I don’t want to wear them dead during the summer, so I let them focus on everything else, too.”