Mitchell host to volleyball camps next week
Deb Thill is about to enter her 16th season as head volleyball coach at Mitchell High. In that time, she has started one of the bigger team volleyball camps in the state during the summer in town and also a large two-day individual camp at MHS. T...
Deb Thill is about to enter her 16th season as head volleyball coach at Mitchell High.
In that time, she has started one of the bigger team volleyball camps in the state during the summer in town and also a large two-day individual camp at MHS.
The individual camp begins Monday at the high school and already has more than 100 players signed up for it. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday at the high school and not only draws volleyball players from Mitchell, but the surrounding area as well. The camp is for athletes in grades 7-12.
The deadline to sign up is 9 a.m. Monday. Walk-up players are welcome to sign up then. The cost is $50 and includes a free T-shirt and other prizes. Thill said the goal for the individual camp is to try and give players an idea of what it takes to get ready for the upcoming season.
"We spend a lot of time working on the fundamentals," Thill said. "It's just a little different reinforcement for them, especially if they're from another community. It's always a fun deal."
The team camp has 61 teams signed up and begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday at locations throughout the city. Games will be played at DWU, L.B. Williams Elementary School, Mitchell Christian High School and MHS.
The deadline for entering the team camp has expired. Despite having a lower number of teams than last year when 72 showed up in Mitchell, Thill thinks the camp is perfect for teams since it takes place exactly a month before high school volleyball practices begin.
"We have so many teams here because of that reason," Thill said. "A lot of schools bring more than one team and gives them opportunities to play about nine to 11 matches in a two-day span. That's a lot of volleyball in two days."
Thill said she has received tremendous support from Mitchell businesses for the camp. Seventeen businesses sponsor the camp, five eating establishments in town offer meal deals to the teams and two hotels give them room rates.
"Teams like to come to Mitchell," Thill noted. "We have teams coming all the way from Nebraska and West River. Mitchell's a good location for a lot of these schools."
The team camp will run from about 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday.
As for MHS, Thill said players have been busy going to team camps at Northern State, Dakota Wesleyan, Wagner and Valentine, Neb. MHS will also take part in the University of South Dakota team camp later this summer.
The Kernels return six seniors to this year's roster in Megan Kirby, Shanna Iburg, Dani Torgerson, Jenny Kee, Melissa Dorale and Chelsea Tilberg.
"We have a strong crew coming back. We have 35 open gyms this summer and we also had five weeks of summer league games, which 11 teams were in," Thill said.
There is no limit as to how many camps a volleyball player can go to during the summer. However, coaches are only allowed four contacts with their team during the summer.
The Mitchell volleyball coaching staff will have a new look this year with Abbie Hobbick taking over the head sophomore coaching duties. Former Andes Central head volleyball coach Christina Siemsen is now the head freshman coach and the staff will also be joined by a new assistant freshman coach somewhere down the line this summer.
As of right now, Tricia Neugebauer is still the junior varsity coach and top assistant. Neugebauer submitted her resignation last school year, but she will remain with the job until a suitable replacement is found.