Despite not hosting a volleyball camp this year, St. Augustine senior girls’ volleyball coach Darren Josephison was able to put together a drop-in camp for his senior girls’ players.
Usually held the third week in September, the camp brought the Grant MacEwan University Griffins and the Mount Royal University Cougars for an exhibition game. Players and coaches would train students from St. Augustine, but the Cougars have moved to Canada West and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) sport conferences, which has placed them in a different division and schedules have changed for the two teams.
Griffins’ coach Ken Briggs said his team looked forward to the game and practice but he still wanted to come to Ponoka to coach St. Augustine players. He has had a chance to see kids develop their skills over the years. “This is just a bonus to see players at St. A’s grow up.”
He walked students through several different drills involving communication and passing. Players had to pass the ball back and forth over and then under the net to increase their control. “As a team how do you work together to communicate?” was his advice to the girls on the court.
Coach Josephison was glad to hear Briggs teaching what he himself tells players. “It’s nice to hear a coach use the same type of language.”
He enjoys being able to give his students a chance to get back into the sport. “They’re getting some touches, whether it’s serving or passing. Basically knocking the rust off.”
Things might be different for the Queens next year as the Cougars and Griffins might not be able to have the type of exhibition matches they used to, but Josephison is hopeful the team will play well in their league. Tournaments start relatively soon, “three in September,” as well as one or two league games during the week.
With all the games, Josephison feels his players dedicate approximately 20 hours per week to volleyball, sometimes more when there are tournaments.