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Last week was annual CCHS team camp, and this week will be Cowgirl volleyball camp

PMG PHOTO BY LON AUSTIN - Joann McKinnon makes a pass during recent CCHS Volleyball camp.It is a big couple of weeks for Crook County volleyball. Last week was the annual Crook County High School team camp, while this week will be the Cowgirl volleyball camp, which is for elementary school-level volleyball players all the way up through high school freshmen.

The annual team camp has recently gone through several different configurations. Historically, the camp has been for teams from throughout the northwest. Since the pandemic began, the camp has changed to include fewer teams — and this year, the camp was entirely for Crook County High School players.

"Camp is important because it's getting people's bodies used to volleyball again," said Crook County senior McKenzie Jonas. "The first day is a lot of new people that haven't really played before. But by the end of it, everybody really connects, and everyone gets better."

This year's camp was run by Crook County High School alum Makayla Lindburg, who played on four state championship teams at Crook County before playing in college at the University of Portland.

"I'm just happy to be here and help," she said of the camp.

"I think it's really helpful to have Makayla here because she knows what we do, but it's still a different input," said Jonas.

Although the camp focuses on skills, team bonding is also an important part of the process. The idea is that players will not only improve their volleyball skills, but that they will become better friends and better teammates.

"I think, aside from just getting to know everyone, there is just a lot of mechanics and basic things from the ground up," fellow senior Jacie Ramos said. "For experienced players, a refresher course; for the others, it's building a foundation, but the best thing is just the team bonding."

The three-day camp, which ran Thursday through Saturday, July 21-23, had 34 players in attendance, ensuring that the Cowgirls will have plenty of players to field three teams again this coming season.

Tylee Cossitt passes the ball at during the Cowgirl Volleyball team camp last weekWith the start of the fall sports season just three weeks away, the camp is a great way to kick of the season. Camp time was divided between working on basic skills, competition, and team bonding exercises. Players were regularly put on different teams so that they played with as many different other players as possible, and all competition was scored so that players could see how they stack up against each other.

Crook County High School head coach Kristy Struck was at camp the entire time, offering advice when asked, but letting Lindburg plan and run the camp's drills and schedule.

Other members of the team's coaching staff were there as well, helping teach skills.

Struck was pleased with how Lindburg ran the camp and with the willingness of former volleyball players to continue to work with the program.

"I always think its important for our kids to come back and help out," said Struck. "We have some more players coming to help at the kids camp. I feel like it passes down the legacy of Crook County volleyball."

The Cowgirl volleyball camp will run today through Thursday, July 26-28, at Crook County High School. Camps for kindergarten through sixth grade are already filled, but there is still space for seventh through ninth grades. Anyone with questions about the camp should contact Kristy Struck at HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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