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Callaway volleyball players go camping

HOGANSVILLE – They packed a lot into two days.

The Callaway High volleyball camp was held Monday and Tuesday, and for three hours each day, the 20 or so players got a whole lot of work done.

The camp was held in the Callaway High gym from 9 a.m. until noon each day.

“We did fit a lot in,” Callaway coach Heather Smith said. “The first day, we worked on a lot of passing, and setting. And the second day, it was a lot of defense and hitting.”

Smith said the players gave it their all.

“They have worked very hard,” she said. “The positive energy has always been very good. These two days, the leaders have stepped up, and we have learned a lot.”

To help with the camp this year, Smith brought in some coaches from the local colleges to serve as instructors.

Amanda Jones, who is heading into her second season as the head coach at Point University, was one of the instructors, as was LaGrange College head coach Jamie Thomas-McGreal and assistant coach Nikki Binetti.

“We’ve been really lucky to have two coaches from college willing to help them, and put their time in,” Smith said. “It’s always nice to have a different coach’s approach or outlook. They’ve done a really great job. We’ve been very happy.”

The campers were all members of the Callaway High volleyball team.

Among that group was senior Jasemine Drake, who’ll be a key player for the Lady Cavaliers this season.

Drake said she and her teammates were grateful to be able to learn from some college coaches, and that it was a valuable two days of instruction.

“We’ve learned a lot from these two coaches, and they’ve really helped us to improve more on our skills,” Drake said. “They broke it down in a simple way. It’s easier to get the technique down. Now we can apply it. We’ll be able to work more as a team.”

Jones was glad to be a part of the camp.

She wasn’t hired at Point until August of last year, so she wasn’t here in time to be a part of the camp last summer.

When Smith invited her to be a part of the camp this year, Jones jumped at the opportunity, and she also brought four of her players with her to serve as instructors as well.

“It’s been a great two days,” Jones said.

Jones approached the task with a lot of enthusiasm, and she said the players in turn gave everything they had for the six hours the camp was in session.

“I love it. It’s such a good environment,” she said. “They are so competitive. They’re awesome.”

Jones said helping out at camps is a nice way to meet people in the area, and become a larger part of the local volleyball community.

“This is a good way to get out in the community, and make connections,” she said. “I know volleyball’s growing. So eventually, I’d like to be able to recruit from here. It’s been great.”

Point will begin its second season under Jones on Aug. 25 when it hosts Southeastern University.

Also helping out at the camp was Thomas-McGreal, who is in her third season as LaGrange College’s head coach, while Benetti is in her first season at the school.

LaGrange College begins its season on Sept. 2 in a tournament in Tuskegee, Ala.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports

Amanda Jones, the head volleyball coach at Point University, talks to the participants in a volleyball camp that was held at Callaway High on Monday and Tuesday. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/07/web1_volleyball4.jpgAmanda Jones, the head volleyball coach at Point University, talks to the participants in a volleyball camp that was held at Callaway High on Monday and Tuesday. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

The Callaway High volleyball camp was held Monday and Tuesday in the school’s gymnasium. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/07/web1_volleyball5.jpgThe Callaway High volleyball camp was held Monday and Tuesday in the school’s gymnasium. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

Point, LaGrange College coaches help out

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com